Permanent Importation of Vehicles into South Africa

If you intend on importing a foreign registered vehicle into South Africa, you need to qualify for an Import Permit as well as a Letter of Authority.

Import Permit
To obtain the Import Permit, contact ITAC:

Tel 0861 843 384
City/town   Pretoria
Province Gauteng
Physical Address International Trade Administration Commission, 77 Meintjies Street, Block D, Sunnyside, Pretoria, 0001
Postal Address  Private Bag X753 Pretoria, 0001
Web Address


Importation of aircraft and aircraft spares, motor vehicles and motorcycles

Name Sifiso Mntambo 
Contact Number +2712 3943 738
Email Address

Letter of Authority to qualify for the Import Permit, you need to prove to ITAC that you are either a returning resident, having owned and used the vehicle for 6 months or more prior to its importation into SA or that you are an immigrant in the country - your permanent residency has come through.

To obtain the Letter of Authority, contact the National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications (NRCS).

Application forms can be obtained from

Contact details for applications or enquiries:

Sifiso Phakathi, phone +27 (0)12 482 8865 email

Charlotte Makou, phone +27 (0)12 482 8785 email

Call Centre +27 (0)12 482 8700

Telephone: +27 (012) 428 6314 / 6534

Application forms may be obtained from SABS' website. Visit

In order to qualify for a rebate of customs duty, a returning resident needs to prove to SARS that they have owned and used the vehicle for 12 months or more prior to its importation into South Africa (only one car per family may qualify for rebate of duties - 2nd and 3rd vehicles pay full duties) and that they gave up their residency in South Africa.

Once you are in possession Import Permit and the Letter of Authority, you will need to contact a clearing agent - SARS will be able to refer you to one. Clearing agents will assist with the SAD500 form and arrange for the payment of duties and taxes, if any, to SARS. Once duties have been paid, SARS will issue a document called Customs Release Notification form. This form is then taken to the vehicle licensing department and the vehicle is then registered in SA. (Please note, left-hand driven vehicles manufactured after 1 January 2000 may not be imported into South Africa - they do not qualify for the Letter of Authority.

NOTE: These guidelines may change without prior notice.