Tourists may import a vehicle into South Africa, provided all qualifying criteria are met. Importation for tourists is exempt from VAT for a period of up to three months. This may be extended to up to six months, but may be subject to a provisional payment to Customs to secure the VAT on importation. After six months the vehicle has to be re-exported and the owner may apply for a rebate on any taxes/duties paid.
Vehicles which have been temporarily imported do not need to be registered in South Africa but must be registered in the owner's country of residence.
Foreign vehicles may be brought into South Africa without incurring any import duty or requirement to be registered in South Africa by obtaining a Carnet de Passage, which is usually valid for up to one year.
Temporary residents are also able to import foreign vehicles to South Africa. They must pay a cash Customs Bond to cover full duties and taxes. A refund of the bond can be applied for from the South African Department of Customs and Excise. Proof of re-export must be provided for this refund.
The maximum amount of time a vehicle is allowed to be imported to South Africa on a temporary basis is usually two years. The vehicle may not be sold or disposed of in the Republic.
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