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International Moving Company to South Africa from USA

Published on Jul 14, 2021 by Kfir Cohen

South Africa is an exciting and beautiful country, with a lovely, mild climate, high-quality wine, great animals, and dramatic landscapes. If you love fishing or sailing, you’ll love South Africa. Many Americans are choosing to move to South Africa for family reunification, business opportunities, or retirement.

South Africa is about as different as you can get from the United States and still be in a modern country where they speak English and can drink the water. They drive on the left, being south of the equator, the seasons are reversed, and of course, there are the animals.

Many Americans are looking for someplace where they can retire without having to give up their modern lifestyle. South Africa is a good and affordable alternative for those who love beautiful landscapes and great weather. 

What’s on this page?

01 | International Household Moving to South Africa
02 | International Car Shipping to South Africa
03 | South Africa Customs and Regulations
04 | Moving to South Africa Checklist
05 | International Shipping Options

SDC International Shipping is an international moving company to South Africa, specializing in moving Americans to South Africa for family and business.

International Household Moving to South Africa

If you are moving from the United States, you will likely be able to afford something nice. Most homes in South Africa are large and should be able to accommodate all of your household goods. This includes not only clothes and homewares but also your cooking and kitchen utensils, luxury items, artwork and decorations, and more. We recommend taking almost everything outside of major home appliances that won’t work in South Africa. Almost all of your furniture should be sent to South Africa. 

With long coasts on both the Atlantic and Indian oceans, South Africa offers great water sports opportunities. If you like jet skiing, windsurfing, or sea fishing, you will definitely want to send your equipment in your shipment. South Africa also offers many great scuba diving locations, and neighboring Mozambique is considered one of the world’s best places to scuba, and South Africans go there often to dive. If you own scuba equipment, you will definitely use it in South Africa.

International household moving to South Africa is one of SDC International Shipping’s fortes. We move households from the United States to South Africa regularly. Not all of our shipments are full container loads, we send shipments of any size (starting at 100 cubic feet). Your things will be carefully handled by our movers. Furniture that takes up a lot of cargo space will be disassembled from the point of origin.

Your wooden furniture will be wrapped in cloth or cardboard pads to protect them from scratches along the way. Objects made from stone or metal will be protected as well. Once your shipment arrives in South Africa and our agents clear them through customs and deliver them to your destination, they will be carefully reassembled when our movers deliver them. 

You should definitely use SDC’s professional packing service if you have any fragile items. These require special care, and each item will be treated individually. As your cargo is handled several times, there is a high probability of slight damage during shipping, but our packers will protect each item as appropriate. We have special boxes for artwork and mirrors that our movers will use if you decide to order our packing service. Keep in mind that should you pack your things yourself; you won’t be able to insure them against damage.

Most of your appliances won’t work in South Africa, and there is little reason to send them. However, electronics should work fine there, and you should bring them to South Africa with you. Some of the things that you will want to include in your shipment are your computer, its monitors, gaming consoles, TV screens, phones, and most small appliances. Check if your appliance accommodates 220 V electricity input. South Africa has 

International Car Shipping to South Africa

Shipping a car to South Africa from the United States is not a practical option. 

However, South Africa is a land of endless shores, and if you own a boat, you can send that. South Africa allows for the import of one of the recreational boats. You might need a really big container, but you can bring them without tax! Few boats will fit into containers, most are shipped on their trailers, on the ship deck in a method known as RO-RO (roll on roll off).

Do you own a recreational boat? If you do, you definitely want to bring it to South Africa with you. Most boats can be sent to South Africa. If you qualify for duty-free import, you must have lived 5 years abroad and owned the boat for at least one year. Duty-free boats can be up to 15 meters longs, and you won’t be able to sell it for at least two years after your arrival in South Africa. Other boats will be charged VAT.

Read more: International Vehicle Shipping from USA

South Africa Customs and Regulations

Only used goods can be imported to South Africa without paying taxes. New or unused items are subject to South African VAT of 15%. In addition, many items also carry excise tax which could be very expensive. Check the South African Revenue Service for a list of items that will probably be too expensive to import.

You can bring your animals with you to South Africa. South African love dogs, and if you have one, they’ll love to meet it as well. However, you will need to provide a health certificate from a veterinarian, including blood tests for several canine diseases.

Read more: International Shipping Company to Morroco

Moving to South Africa Checklist

SDC International Shipping will soon come to load your personal belongings into a moving van or shipping container. In the meantime, you should arrange:

  • Residency Permit. Check the contents of this site to learn how to set the process of requesting a residence visa into motion.
  • Make sure that your American passports are up to date before travel. If you can renew your American driver’s license before your trip, it is highly recommended.
  • Don’t forget to arrange for private medical insurance, the public system will prove to be insufficient for our clients. It is highly recommended that you arrange for a comprehensive copy of your entire family’s medical records.
  • If you are moving with children, you will want to register for private schools far before you start your relocation.
  • Bring along your educational diplomas and any certificates of professional accreditation that you have earned. Make digital copies as well.
  • If you are bringing a pet you will need both an import certificate and a recent health certificate from a vet (10 days) and APHIS form.

Read more: The Ultimate International Relocation Checklist

International Shipping Options

South Africa has several major seaports. Most shipments go through the major port of Durban, with some shipments going through Cape Town and Port Elizabeth. Air cargo to South Africa is also very dependable, with planes servicing South Africa’s major cities daily, we can quickly send shipments there. However, the cost of air cargo is high. This method is typically used for businesses sending delicate or urgent shipments.

Many people send full container loads to South Africa. SDC International Shipping can send full container loads (FCL) to South Africa. If you are sending the contents of a three-bedroom house, the 20’ container will suffice. If you are sending a larger shipment, we can send 40’ containers. There are also options for smaller shipments, starting at 100 cubic feet (about the size of a fully packed pallet).

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