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Importing Japanese Used Cars Into South Africa


Importing cars is tightly controlled to protect the local vehicle manufacturing industry. It is still possible to import used cars, but buses, trucks, taxis and coaches are completely restricted for now.

Used Vehicles can be brought in if:

  • You are an Immigrant (cannot sell/rid car for 24 months minimum)
  • You are physically disabled and need a specialty vehicle
  • You are inheriting a car from someone dead (must prove)
  • You are importing a vintage car (over 40 years old)
  • You are importing a collectors car (must be internationally recognized as a collector's car)
  • You are importing a racing car on for circuit or track purposes only (must prove you are licensed racer)
  • It is a specially designed vehicle (such as a mobile crane) that cannot be bought locally
  • You are a returning SA resident or national (after 6 months min gone) bring in a personally import.

Things to note:

  • You must have Import Permit from government.
    • Import Permits are only forwarded to South African addresses.
  • You can only import RHD, not any LHD vehicles unless with special consideration.
  • You can't import commercially
  • Get authorization before purchasing any vehicle.
  • An Imported Vehicle should be otherwise unavailable in SA.
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Duty = 30%
Excise Duty (for vehicles) : .75% to 20%
VAT = 14%

All vehicles with a value for ad valorem customs duty purposes of less than R130 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 motorcar dealers in the country of export to assist the customs clearance process in South Africa.

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  • 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of emigration from SA, proof they had permanent residence abroad and evidence that the permanent residence has been withdrawn.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
  • An original Letter of Authority
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Get approval to Import

Applications for Import Permits should be addressed to:

  • The Director of Import and Export Control
  • Trade and Industry
  • Private Bag X192
  • Pretoria
  • 0001
  • South Africa

  • Tel: +27 12 428 7793 or 428 7796
  • Fax: +27 12 428 7799
  • E-mail: [email protected]

Applications for Letters of Authority should be addressed to:

  • The South African Bureau of Standards
  • Private Bag X192
  • Pretoria
  • 0001
  • South Africa

  • Contact: Mr. Paul Snyman
  • Tel: +27 12 428 6276
  • Fax: +27 12 344 1568
  • E-mail: [email protected]

  • Contact: Mr. Allen Cohen
  • Tel: +27 12 428 6891
  • Fax: +27 12 344 1568
  • E-mail: [email protected]
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ITAC Import Guidelines

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