RSA Firearm Rules & Regulations
Basic Regulations and Restrictions for the issuing of a temporary import /export permit for South Africa
- Maximum of four (4) firearms or shotguns per applicant.
- Not more than one of the same caliber or gauge.
- Only 200 rounds for each permitted firearm or shotgun will be allowed.
- No ammunition for other firearms (not accompanying you) is permitted.
- Firearms must bear the manufacturer’s serial number or any other mark by which the firearm
can be identified. The identification number must be stamped and the mark affixed in the
prescribed manner on the barrel, the frame or the receiver of the firearm.
Special Application (Subject to pre-approval only. Documents must reach us at least 35 days prior to arrival)
- Handguns are allowed into the country for hunting purposes only and therefore you need to submit the following
additional documentation: (1). A letter of invitation from the outfitter stating the handgun will be used for hunting purposes
only; (2). A motivational letter from you stating that you will be using the handgun for hunting purposes only and any other
- Semi-Automatic shotguns: (1.) A letter of motivation from you must be submitted, stating the reason/s for bringing it into
- Any person under the age of 21 that wishes to apply for a temporary import permit has to include a motivational letter
with the application proving that he/she is a capable hunter. Any additional motivational letters from third parties will help
with the application.
Traveling with children under 18 years of age
From 1 June 2015, the Department of Home Affairs in South Africa will require all passengers under 18 to travel with
an Unabridged Birth Certificate. This is being done to curb human trafficking. According to the Department of Home Affairs, 30 000 minors are trafficked through South African borders every year. 50% of these minors are under the age of 14.
It is the responsibility of the passengers to ensure their children have the correct documentation or risk being denied boarding. The new law will be enforced by airlines and immigration officials across the board (land, sea and air). Although airlines and travel agents are doing everything to keep passengers informed, ultimately it will be passengers’ responsibility to know what is required of them. In all cases an Unabridged Birth Certificate will be required for minors departing and arriving in South Africa ... they will not be allowed to travel without it.
In cases where the Unabridged Birth Certificate is in a language other than English, it must be accompanied by a sworn translation issued by a competent authority in the country concerned.
Firearm and Ammunition Important Facts
- Should a firearm not be declared on arrival and a temporary import permit not issued, you will face severe penalties
and possible arrest if detected.
- Ensure that your firearms arrive on the same flight as you do. Contact all airline company/ies for the different sectors
of your flight before making reservations, for their regulations regarding transport of firearms and ammunition.
- Carriage of ammunition. Certain airlines require the ammo to be packed in a separate locked container.
We strongly recommend that ammunition be packed in a lockable case which can be checked in with the firearm(s) to
avoid possible delays during checked baggage screening.
- In General, ammunition should not be packed in checked baggage or in the gun case. On arrival in South Africa,
South African Airways will instruct you to place the lockable ammunition box in your check luggage because it applies to
their own (airline) firearm transportation policy.
- Your firearm/s may only be signed for by yourself. It will not be released to any other person.
In the event of it arriving on a separate flight, the firearm/s will be held by the SAPS until such time as you claim
ownership in person.
- The temporary import permit serves as your firearm license in South Africa.
It enables you to buy ammunition in South Africa for the calibers noted on the permit.
- You must have the temporary import permit on your person at all times while you are in possession of your firearms.
- The firearm/s MUST be locked in a firearm safe when you are not using it.
- We recommend that you allow at least 3 hours between landing and your connecting flight.
- In-Transit Permits are required for any person spending the night in South Africa while in-transit to a third country.
The same pre-requisites apply as to obtain the normal Temporary Import permit. It is your responsibility to check with your
airline company on departure if your luggage and firearm(s) will be checked through to your final destination,
when you are connecting to a third country on the same day.