Vehicles are subject to import duty and VAT, although some people may be exempt from these charges, depending on their circumstances. Customs duty of 36 percent may be payable on a vehicle less than 20 years old. Vehicles over 20 years old are subject to 20 percent customs duty. Ad valorem duty is applied on a sliding scale, depending on the value of the vehicle, with a minimum of 0.75 percent and a maximum of 20 percent.
VAT is currently charged on all duties at 14 percent.
A rebate may be applicable for one vehicle per household for returning residents and immigrants (conditions apply). Returning residents wanting to qualify for a rebate of customs duty must be able to prove that they owned the vehicle for more than 12 months prior to import.
Clearing agents can assist with the payment of duties and taxes and the completion of the relevant forms. The Import Permit and the Letter of Authority should be obtained before contacting a clearing agent. Following payment of duties and taxes, if applicable, the South African Revenue Service (SARS) issues a Customs Release Notification form. This then needs to be taken to the licencing department for the vehicle to be registered in South Africa. SARS can also recommend clearing agents.
Following import the vehicle must be registered.
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