Moving to South Africa

If you are relocating and planning on shipping your belongings to South Africa, we understand that it can be quite a daunting prospect. That is why the International Removals team at Cadogan Tate will manage every aspect of your move to make it as simple and stress free as possible. We have provided some information below to help you plan for your move - if you would like further information please request a quotation.

How long does shipping to South Africa take?

For a dedicated container allow seven to ten weeks for door-to-door transit and for shared load containers (also known as groupage) eleven to fourteen weeks should be allowed. Your Move Co-ordinator will be able to advise you on expected timings for shipping to South Africa when you receive a quotation from us.

What can you take?

It is important to understand that when importing belongings into South Africa, the owner of the shipment must be in South Africa before customs clearance can take place. If you are a new resident to the country, household goods and personal items can be imported duty-free. If you are a returning resident, there are some strict restrictions on returning goods duty-free and we recommend that you speak with one of our Surveyors or Move Co-ordinators with regards to this prior to organising your shipment.

Taking a car or motor vehicle

As with personal belongings if you are first-time migrant, bringing a single vehicle into South Africa is free of duty. However you will need to ensure you have the correct paperwork in place with the South African authorities prior to the vehicle being shipped, and you will need to bear in mind that all motor vehicles are subject to special attention in terms of Customs Duty as well as Goods and Service Tax (GST) in some cases. These vary between vehicles and have to be dealt with on a case-by-case basis.

If you are a returning resident duty and VAT requirements for importing a vehicle are much stricter. You will need to have been out of the country for more than 6 months and be able to prove that you intended to undertake a permanent move from the country if you don’t want to pay duty. Otherwise there will be duties to pay on the imported vehicle.

Taking pets

Transporting pets is a very specialist area and each requirement is unique and therefore has to be dealt with individually. When moving to South Africa taking common household pets such as cats and dogs is possible. There are a series of steps that you will need to go through for this, including obtaining a permit for the South African authorities and making sure your pet has the correct tests and vaccinations by a qualified vet. As long as all of these steps are completed within the specified timeframes there is no quarantine required and your dog or cat can be picked up directly on arrival in the country. At Cadogan Tate we can organise all of the requirements for moving your pet to South Africa, please discuss this with your Move Co-ordinator.

Your next steps

It is reassuring to know that the Cadogan Tate International Removals team are experts in moving to South Africa and can ensure everything goes smoothly, efficiently and with minimum fuss.

If you would like a quotation one of our surveyors will arrange a visit to talk you through everything and answer any questions you may have. They will assess your belongings and put together an accurate quotation for shipping to South Africa. Once you are happy we will draw up a plan of exactly what is going to happen, organise a convenient moving date and assign you a Move Co-ordinator who will be there to support you at every stage of your move.

For further information, please email us at, or use the form below to submit your enquiry

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