When arriving in South Africa from abroad, you will need to go through Customs to determine whether or not you need to pay VAT and duties on the items you are bringing in. Certain items are restricted with regards to quantity.
Upon arrival in the airport terminal, you can either enter the red or the green channel. By entering the green channel, you indicate that you have nothing to declare, i.e: you aren’t carrying any restricted goods and that none of the items exceed the prescribed amounts. Random spot checks are done on passengers and luggage going through the green channel.
If you do have something to declare, enter the red channel. The Customs officer will assess your goods to determine the value, the duties and VAT payable, and whether or not the goods fall within your duty-free allowance limits.
Similarly, certain restrictions exist when leaving South Africa. See our article on duty-free shopping for more.
For detailed information on the various custom requirements when entering and leaving South Africa, click here to download the Traveller’s Guide