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How to Export Insurance Auctions Cars from the US to South Africa?

By Mike Richards Updated: 05/22/2019 Posted: 10/17/2015

If you want to export cars from the US insurance auctions to South Africa, the good news is that it’s generally much easier and cheaper than trying to get them into many other countries – in some cases. However, there are some rules you will need to pay attention to though, and you are not able to import all types of vehicles.

The Rules in South Africa

Currently, the nation does not allow you to export cars from the US if they are used vehicles for use and registration in South Africa, unless they are classic cars. They have their own vehicle industry – manufacturing plants in the country for all of the major makes and models, so they try to ensure people are buying from within South Africa.

If you want to import a classic vehicle. though, it is certainly possible, as long as the cars are greater than 25 years old. To do so, you will need to make sure you have a special import permit, which you can get through the South African Bureau of Standards (situated in Pretoria, not Cape-Town). You need to make sure you have this permit in order before you ship the vehicle.

You are not able to sell, lease, give away, or exchange the vehicle that you bring into the country for 20 months. After that, you are able to do what you wish with the vehicle. In addition, you can’t be out of the country for more than three months during that 20-month period since the vehicle is supposed to be for your personal use.

The duty to import the car is based on the value of the vehicle. Since you can ship only classic cars that are more than 25 years old into the country for your personal use, you will generally have to pay a duty rate of 20% of the vehicle’s value.

After you export the car from the US to South Africa and it goes through customs, and you’ve paid the duties and taxes, you will receive a Customs Release Notification form. You can then repair the vehicle if needed, and register it at a licensing office, where it needs to pass a test to determine whether it is safe to drive on the road.

Export Cars from the US to South Africa and Ship to Other Countries

You can ship vehicles to South Africa and then have them shipped to other parts of Africa that do not have the same restrictions in place. People from countries such as Botswana, Zimbabwe, and Zambia are using this method, as they will not need to have an import permit to South Africa to do so.

Shipping Options

If you’ve found a great classic car that you want to export from the US to South Africa, you have to consider just how you will ship the vehicle to your country. You will generally have several options when it comes to shipping – roll on roll off and container shipping.

When you choose the roll on roll off shipping method, the car is driven onto and off of the ship. If you have a vehicle that needs repairs when it arrives, and it is not in drivable condition, then this will not be a good shipping option for you. One of the benefits to using it though is that it tends to be cheaper overall.

The container shipping method is often preferred, as it can provide some added safety to the vehicle. In this case, the vehicle actually goes into a container that is loaded onto and off of the ship. Different sized containers are available to accommodate various types of vehicles. Some are large enough to hold two vehicles.

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