Duties and Taxes for Travellers

What is the duty-free allowance?

The following goods may be imported into South Africa without the payment of Customs duty and Value-Added Tax (VAT):

Consumable goods in accompanied baggage

Goods falling within the following allowances may be imported without the payment of Customs duty and VAT as accompanied baggage. Crew members, including the master of a ship and the pilot of an aircraft, are only entitled to this rebate provided such members are returning to South Africa permanently:

  • No more than 200 cigarettes and 20 cigars per person.
  • No more than 250g of cigarette or pipe tobacco per person.
  • No more than 50ml perfumery and 250ml eau de toilette per person.
  • No more than 2 litres of wine per person.
  • No more than 1 litre in total of spiritous and other alcoholic beverages per person.

Persons under 18 years of age may claim duty-free allowances on goods imported by them, with the exception of alcohol and tobacco products, whether or not they are accompanied by their parents or guardians and provided that it is for their personal use.

Handmade articles

  • If you are a traveller from SACU or the Southern African Development Community (SADC) member states you are allowed to import handmade articles of leather, wood, plastic, stone, glass, etc; if the goods do not exceed 25kg in total, without the payment of duties or taxes.
  • These goods (provided they do not exceed the limits stated) may be declared despite the fact that they may be intended for commercial purposes.

New and used goods

In addition to the personal effects and consumable goods allowances, travellers are allowed new or used goods in accompanied baggage to the value of R5000 (or R25 000 if arriving from Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia or Swaziland). This allowance is only valid once per person during a 30-day period and does not apply to goods imported by persons returning after an absence of less than 48 hours. Crew members (including the master or the pilot) are only entitled to a duty-free allowance on a value not exceeding R700. Consumable goods as mentioned above are excluded from this entitlement.

Travellers may access the following link for more information about duty free allowance and other relevant information: Guide on Duty Free allowances for travellers. 

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