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South Africa

Shipping Ports

Durban is the maritime port in South Africa.



Right Hand Drive Cars

Right Hand Drive vehicles are only permitted for importation in South Africa and as per current legislation left hand drive vehicles which were not registered in RSA before 23 July 2004 may not be registered, licensed, roadworthied and operated on a public road in South Africa.

Documents Required

  • Documents required while importing used cars from Japan in South Africa.

  • Immigrants need their permanent residence permit issued by the Department of Home Affairs (or a copy)

  • Returning South Africans must show proof of emigration from SA, proof they had permanent residence abroad and evidence that the permanent residence has been withdrawn.

  • A duly completed form DA304A

  • Bill of Lading

  • Purchase Documents (Invoice(s)

  • Registration Certificate/permit (Deregistration Certificate)

  • Documentary evidence of the date on which delivery of the vehicle was taken

  • Documentary evidence of the date on which the vehicle was handed to the shipper for shipment to South Africa

  • An Import Permit and

  • Export certificate

  • Commercial Invoice

  • Inspection Certificate (if mandatory)

  • MOT Certificate

  • Passport Copy

  • An original Letter of Authority


Important points to be kept in mind while importing the used cars from Japan in South Africa

  • You must have Import Permit from government. Import Permits are only forwarded to South African addresses.



  • You can't import used cars for commercial purposes.



  • Get authorization before purchasing any vehicle.



  • An Imported Vehicle should be otherwise unavailable in South Africa.


About importing a second-hand or used vehicle

You can only import a second-hand vehicle into South Africa if you have been granted a permit to do so. The importation of used vehicles is restricted to protect the local motor vehicle manufacturing industry. Permits are only issued under specifically defined circumstances. Mainly returning South African nationals and immigrants who have permanent residence are permitted to bring vehicles registered in their names into the country.

Other cars that may be imported include racing cars, vintage passenger vehicles, specially designed vehicles and inherited vehicles. Before you import a used vehicle, goods vehicle or trailer you must first obtain a letter of authority from the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS). More information is available in the import guidelines on vehicles and components compiled by International Trade Administration Commission (Itac).


Duties and Taxes

  • Customs duty applicable on the import of used cars from Japan in South Africa is calculated ad valorem of the used cars.

  • Customs Duty 30% (motor cars more than 20 years old are subject to 20% customs duty.)

  • Ad Valorem customs duty (based on a sliding scale depending on the value of the vehicle, with a minimum of 0.75% and a maximum of 20%).

  • Value-added tax (VAT) 15%

As an example, the cumulative taxes and duties payable on the car with a value of approximately R 200,000 are ±70% of the market value. All vehicles with a market value for ad valorem customs duty purposes of less than R 130,000 do not pay ad valorem customs duty on importation into South Africa.If the original purchase invoice is not available, three written valuations must be obtained from Japanese used Car Exporters to assist the customs clearance process in South Africa.

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