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South Africa customs regulations

It is important to know about customs regulations before traveling to South Africa to avoid legal issues and potential fines. As you know, customs regulations widely depend on the country. Before traveling to (or from) South Africa make sure to check the allowance and limits for the next things:

  • Alcohol and tobacco
  • Currency
  • Medicines (especially those containing drugs)
  • Animals
  • Cultural artifacts
  • Plants, fruits, vegetables and other agricultural products

Check the information below to be sure that you are complying with South Africa customs regulations.

Import regulations in South Africa

Duty-free allowance

Bringing alcohol

Restricted to travellers 18 years and over. All of the following:

  • 2 litres of wine;
  • 1 litre of any other alcohol.

Tobacco limit

Restricted to travellers 18 years and over. All of the following:

  • 200 cigarettes;
  • 20 cigars;
  • 250 grams of tobacco.

Cash limit

  • Funds of R25,000 and over must be declared.


  • 50mL perfume; and
  • 250mL eau de toilette.

Other Goods

  • Personal goods, such as clothing and toiletries.
  • Other non-commercial goods not exceeding R5,000 in value.
  • Three months' worth of medicine for personal use, accompanied by a prescription.

Note: Passengers importing expensive items for their stay may be asked to leave a refundable deposit with the customs officers.

Prohibited items

The following are goods which cannot be brought into the country.

  • Narcotic and habit-forming drugs.
  • Fully automatic, military, and unnumbered weapons.
  • Fireworks and explosives.
  • Poisons and other toxic substances.
  • Cigarettes with a mass of more than 2kg per 1000 units.
  • Counterfeit goods.
  • Prison and penitentiary manufactured goods.

Restricted items

These goods are strictly regulated, and in most cases require a permit to be obtained prior to arrival.

  • Firearms and weapons require a permit from the South African Police Service.
  • Gold coins.
  • Unprocessed minerals, such as diamonds and gold.
  • Animals and their derivative products, such as meat, require a permit from the Director: Animal Health. For further information please visit Import animals and animal products.
  • Herbal products require a permit from the Department of Health.
  • Plants and their derivative products require a permit from the National Plant Protection Organisation of South Africa. For further information, please visit Plant permit.

Information has been updated: .