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Moving Guide
– South Africa

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Removals to South Africa

Moving to or from South Africa is made effortless with Britannia Alan Cook. Our commitment goes beyond mere relocation – we take pride in offering a suite of removal services tailored to your unique needs. Whether you’re in need of storage solutions or expert packing assistance, our goal is to ensure your move to or from South Africa is as smooth and stress-free as possible.

At Britannia Alan Cook, we’re your trusted solution for relocation to South Africa, irrespective of the size or destination. Whether you’re navigating local landscapes or exploring picturesque regions, our seamless service is supported by the extensive network of Britannia Movers International. Your journey to South Africa begins with us.

For more details on our Overseas Removal services, click here. Alternatively, contact us to arrange a free quotation, or if you have any further questions.

Country Facts: South Africa

Time Zone:

UTC + 2 is the main time zone of South Africa, although Marion Island is UT3 + 3

The official currency of South Africa is the Rand

Calling Code: +27

Languages spoken

South Africa has eleven official languages, Afrikaans, Zulu, English, Xhosa and Swazi are a few of those languages.

Britannia Alan Cook Removals & Storage team member securely packing furniture in padded removal covers

Importing Personal Effects

To ship personal effects into South Africa, a UK resident holder will need to:

  • Provide a copy of the photo page of their passport
  • Provide a South African residence permit or temporary residence permit along with a valid work permit

If above documents are provided, then importing used personal effects should be duty free. More information can be provided upon request.

Importing Vehicles

There are a few more documents required to ship a car from the UK to South Africa. In addition to the same documents required to move personal effects, the below will also need to be provided:

  • An import permit (issued from South Africa, and needs to be submitted to customs at the time of clearance)
  • A LOA (Letter of authority, also issued from South Africa)
  • Registration document
  • Document showing vehicle has been in use and in importers ownership out of South Africa for more than 365 days
  • A copy of an insurance certificate for the vehicle and original proof of purchase.
Britannia Alan Cook Removals & Storage team busy wrapping and packing a customers personal belongings into cardboard boxes while she sits and relaxes

Moving Pets

There are a few permits required to be able to import Cats, Dogs and birds into South Africa. Documents such as a rabies vaccination certificate, a health certificate and import permit would need to be acquired. To obtain an import permit, the owner will need to arrange a place for a quarantine period. Quarantine is required for animals from most countries although there are a few countries where the quarantine period will not be required.

A company specialising in moving animals internationally will have more information on the requirements.

Prohibitions and Restrictions:

Shipping alcohol into South Africa is restricted in that duties will be applicable and additional Permits will need to be obtained. A full inventory for the alcohol will need to be taken which will need to include information such as the year of manufacture, the value, the type of alcohol it is, the strength of the alcohol. Please ask for a full list of what information is needed.

Items that are prohibited are fairly standard with a lot of other countries, such as narcotics.

Walkie-talkie radios are not permitted as our certain furs, tusks, skins of any animals covered under the protected species regulations.

It is not recommended to ship any food or drink from the UK to South Africa.

Importing plants do you need a Phytosanitary certificate.

It would be, but it is not recommended to include any plants in a shipment of personal effects from the UK to South Africa.

A happy family thanking one of our removals managers following another successful house move
Britannia Alan Cook Removals & Storage lorries outside a customers new home ready to be unloaded

General information about the country and what it is known for

South Africa has three different capital cities. Each city is the capital of a branch of government. Pretoria is the administrative capital city, the legislative capital is Cape Town and the city of Bloemfontein is the judicial capital of South Africa.

Some of the earliest fossils ever found were discovered by archaeologists in South Africa. Found in a cave formation called Sterkfontein in northern South Africa, close to Johannesburg, some of the fossils are more than two million years old. After the discovery, the region was given the nickname “Cradle of Humankind”.

Like many countries, South Africa has a passion for music, art and sports. On the sporting side of things, South Africa became the first nation in Africa to host the football World Cup. They are the second of two nations, after England who have hosted the football, rugby and cricket World Cup.

Whether you need a permit to work or live there

Non- South African residents would need a residence permit to be able live in South Africa.

A happy family thanking one of our removals managers following another successful house move
Young woman looking at the website of Britannia Alan Cook Removals & Storage foreign exchange partners, IFX a leading foreign exchange and payments consultancy

International money transfers

If transferring currency from or to South Africa, IFX can use their expertise to save you money with competitive rates that are better than the high street bank. Please contact them to see how much you can save.

BRITANNIA MOVERS INTERNATIONAL PLC in partnership with International Foreign Exchange (

For more information about South Africa removals and storage services, please contact our friendly team. Alternatively, please complete our contact us form and we will be in touch as soon as possible.

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