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:

Telephone +27 (012) 394 3610 / 3617 or +27 (086) 184 3384

Application forms may be obtained from ITAC's website. Visit

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 itís importation into SA or that you are an immigrant in the country - your permanent residency has come through.

Letter of Authority

To obtain the Letter of Authority, contact SABS:

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 itís 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 of these two documents, you 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.

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