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Leaving South Africa? Here is how to use the traveller declaration form

Leaving South Africa? Here is how to use the traveller declaration form

April 17, 2024


Need to declare goods or currency when leaving South Africa? The new online Traveller Declaration System makes it easier and faster to get customs clearance in SA! Here’s what you need to know about the departure form from South Africa.

Launched in November 2022, the Traveller Declaration Form from the South African Revenue Service has been successfully implemented at major airports like King Shaka International Airport (KSIA), Cape Town International Airport (CTIA), and OR Tambo International Airport (ORTIA). This online system replaces the manual declaration process, making it easier for travellers to fulfil their legal obligation of declaring goods, including currency. The system not only streamlines the process but also enhances risk management at entry points.

The next phase includes expanding the system to other airports, Cape Town harbor seaport, and the Beit Bridge and Skilpadshek land ports. South African citizens, residents, and others leaving or entering the country by air, land, or sea can use the online declaration system. It involves completing and submitting a declaration online, followed by receiving electronic confirmation before the journey. If travelling with children, a declaration on their behalf is also necessary.

During the pilot phases, the system operates on a voluntary basis, with SARS encouraging feedback from the public and private partnerships to improve the process.

Customs clearance in South Africa: what’s new?

Instead of filling out paper forms, you can now complete your traveller’s declaration form online before you travel. This saves time and hassle at the airport, seaport, or land border.

Who needs to use the traveller declaration form?

Everyone leaving South Africa by air, land, or sea needs to complete a SARS customs declaration, including:

  • South African citizens
  • Residents
  • Visitors

The digital traveller declaration form gathers and processes your travel details, delivering an electronic confirmation via email to validate your declaration. Travellers departing South Africa must follow the instructions provided in their declaration upon reaching the port of entry. If travelling with your children, a declaration on their behalf is also necessary.

What do you need to fill out the traveller declaration form?

  • Passport details
  • Travel details
  • Contact details
  • Details of travel companions (if travelling with others)

How to submit your declaration:

  1. Visit the SARS website:
  2. Confirm you’re leaving South Africa.
  3. Click “Complete Declaration” and enter your details.
  4. Submit your declaration. You’ll receive an email confirmation.
  5. Print or save the confirmation for easy access at the port.

What happens after you submit a traveller declaration form?

You’ll receive instructions in your confirmation email on what to do at the port.

Need help?

  • Check out the SARS website for FAQs and a video tutorial.
  • Email for assistance.
  • Visit the service counters at the airport for in-person help.

Remember: Completing your traveller declaration form online saves time and makes your travel experience smoother. So get started today!

Taking money out of South Africa: how much cash can you take?

Upon physical departure from the country, you may declare and transport a maximum of R25,000 in cash. Additionally, personal belongings with a value of up to R1 million can be exported after declaration to SARS.

Read more: How much money can I take out of South Africa when I emigrate and thereafter?

Exporting Krugerrands: can you take Krugerrands out of South Africa?

The maximum permitted limit for taking Krugerrand coins out of the country is set at R30,000. Approval from the Financial Surveillance Department of the South African Reserve Bank is necessary for amounts exceeding this limit. It is essential to adhere to the appropriate procedures to declare the coins to SARS, Customs & Excise upon departure.

Read more: Emigration 101: What you need to know about the export of Krugerrand coins when you leave South Africa.

Exporting your South African art collection

If you’re emigrating, you can export your South African art collection. Ensure a smooth process by understanding the necessary steps to avoid delays at Customs.

Read more: How to export your art collection when you emigrate from South Africa.

FinGlobal: financial migration specialists for South Africans abroad

Moving your finances abroad shouldn’t be stressful. FinGlobal can help reduce your anxiety levels if you’re emigrating from South Africa. We can assist you with tax clearance, tax emigration, retirement annuity encashment and international money transfer from South Africa – making it quick, simple and as hassle-free as possible.

To put FinGlobal’s services to the test, leave us your contact details and we’ll be in touch to see how we can assist.

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