Importing Vehicles into South Africa

The laws and regulations governing importation of a bus onto the African Continent will vary depending on the country. Since a shipping and container service will be necessary to import a bus onto the continent, bus owners can obtain the help and information they need from their chosen shipping and transport provider. That being said, for those wishing to import a bus into the most likely country (South Africa), the rules and regulations are determined by The International Trade Administration Commission of South Africa (ITAC).

The core functions of ITAC include customs tariff investigations; trade remedies; and, import and export control. They are the body that issues the Import Control Guidelines pertaining to the importation of used or second-hand vehicles, trucks, buses, taxis, coaches, engines, gearboxes, differentials and used or second-hand spares for heavy duty trucks.

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.

Permits for the importation of used or second-hand passenger motor vehicles for personal use are issued to immigrants for the importation of private passenger motor vehicles and LDV'S. Application form IE462 must be completed and applications can only be considered when permanent residence status has been issued by the Department of Home Affairs.

In the event of permanent residence not being available, The South African Revenue Service SARS, Customs and Excise division must be approached for temporary clearance.

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.