South African Humanitarian Customs Regulations

This document provides regulations for importing humanitarian aid into South Africa.

Documents required


  • Import Permit for all used goods
  • to ascertain if permit required for other donated goods, contact Import&Export Control of the DTI: phone (012)310 9909 fax (012)322 9408. Application for permit (stating if goods are new or used) should be made BY THE RECIPIENT to: A request for duty rebate, or waive of import duty can be submitted to The Chairman, The Board on Tariffs and Trade, Private Bag X753, Pretoria 0001
  • contact email: or Department of Trade and Industry Private Bag X192 PRETORIA 0001
  • donor letter to SARS (South African Revenue Service) confirming goods were donated
  • recipient letter to SARS confirming nonsale of goods, and end use
  • Post Office advice, Air Waybill or Bill of Transport Lading
  • statement to SARS with description of good, volume, mass and estimated commercial value.


Restricted goods


  • all donated clothing (unless for a National Disaster Area)


Tax exemption


  • Application for exemption of VAT can be made to Commissioner for SARS, PO Box 402, Pretoria 0001
  • Atten: VAT Law Administration (tel 011 27 12 422 5102) Exemption is given for goods forwarded unsolicited and free of charge for the exclusive use foreducation, religious, medical or welfare purposes, or for issue to or treatment of indigent persons.


Useful websites


  • for information on import tariffs"":
  • for link to further Customs and Excise information



South African Consulate, New York


Regions / countries / territories

Africa: South Africa