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Temporary Firearm Import Permits - PHASA Service

As a service to professional hunting in South Africa, PHASA wishes to assist in providing all international hunters a trouble-free arrival in South Africa.

We are able to obtain your temporary importation permit prior to your arrival. This service is for rifle permits, shotgun permits and handgun for the use of hunting, permits. We will have our representative meet you in the SA Police office at OR Thambo (Johannesburg) Airport, with your permit. (For arrivals in Cape Town, please see last paragraph)


Should you wish PHASA to obtain the temporary import permit prior to your arrival, please send the following documentation to the PHASA Office to reach us no later than 25 days prior to your arrival.

1.the cost of this service for 2011 is USD140 per person. We only accept credit card payments or Bank Transfers. A credit card authorization, or Bank Account Details form, can be requested from the PHASA office.
Proof of Bank Transfer Payment or the Credit Card Authorization must accompany your application.

2.Form SAP520 (Download SAP520: SAP250.pdf)
Fill in the following sections in black ink only:

Complete page 2 – E 2.1 to E 25.4 – Natural person’s details
Complete page 4 – G 1 to G 5 & G 8 to G 9.2 – Import/Export details
Complete page 5 – I 1.1 to I 5 – Details of firearms & ammo
Complete page 6 – J – Signature of applicant

Please note: The date format is: year/month/day
Page 6: Date – when signing the form. Place - where signing

3.Notarized copy of passport (photo & passport details)

4.Notarized copy of Proof of ownership of your firearm(s) in the form of:

◦USA:     Custom Form 4457 (contact your nearest airport for this)
◦UK:       Copy of your firearm License or Certificate
◦Europe: Firearms Possession Licence (Waffenbesitzkarte), or
◦European Firearms Pass (Eoropaeischer Feuerwaffenpass)
◦Other:   A letter from your local sheriff in the form of an affidavit confirming ownership, or
◦Invoice from a gun shop where you have purchased the firearm(s)
{Please use whichever is applicable to your country}

5.Copy of itinerary or airline tickets

6.Invitation letter from your Hunting Outfitter (with the following detail):

◦Letter to be on Outfitter’s official letterhead
◦Name of person being invited
◦Duration of the hunter’s stay
◦Registered Outfitter Number
◦Registered PH Number
◦The physical address(s) and telephone number(s) of the farm(s) where the hunt(s) will take place
◦Type of animals being hunted e.g. big game, bird shooting etc.
◦The recommended calibers required for hunt(s)
◦State that firearms will only be used for hunting purposes on mentioned properties
◦Date and signature of Outfitter

All documents, including payments (proof of bank transfer or credit card authorization) to be sent via courier, i.e. Fedex, DHL or UPS to reach us no later than 25 days prior to your arrival.

Postal services can be used (Global Priority Mail from the USA), but be advised that this service can take between 10 and 21 days to reach South Africa.

For Courier Services send to:                  
71 Lobelia Lane                                        
Irene, Centurion                                                      
South Africa                                            

For Postal Services send to:
PO Box 10264
South Africa

Basic Regulations and Restrictions for the issuing of a Temporary Import Permits

  • Maximum of four (4) firearms or shotguns, 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 applications: (Subject to pre-approval only: documents must reach us 28 days prior to arrival)

Handguns will be allowed into the country, but only for hunting or sport-shooting purposes. You will need:

  • A letter of invitation from the outfitter stating the handgun will be used for hunting purposes only;
  • A motivational letter from you stating that you will be using the handgun for hunting purposes and any other relevant motivation.
  • For Semi-Automatic shotguns, you must supply a letter of motivation stating the reason for wanting to bring it into the country.
  • Any person under the age of 21 that whishes 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 3rd parties will help with the application.


•  Ensure that your firearms arrive on the same flight as you do. This must be done with the airline company on departure.
•  Contact your airline company for their regulations on the number of firearms allowed and packing of ammunition. Certain airlines require the ammo to be packed in a separate locked container.
•  Your firearm/s may only be signed for by you and will not be released to your outfitter or professional hunter should it arrive on a separate flight. In this case, 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 and enables you to buy ammunition in South Africa for the calibers noted on the permit.
•  At all times while you are in possession of your firearms, you must have the temporary import permit on your person.
•  When you are not using your firearm, it must be locked in a safe.
•  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.
•  Check with your airline company on departure that 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.
•  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.

Arriving at OR Tambo (Johannesburg) Airport:

•  Go through passport control
•  Go to the Import/Export Office. Next to it is an area marked: “Firearms and Security Items”.
•  Go there to identify your rifle case and sign for it, if required.
•  Collect your normal luggage at the appropriate conveyer belt.
•  Proceed on the GREEN line through customs.
•  For passengers arriving in Terminal a1 or A2, please exit the arrivals hall and turn right. Look out for the SAP office. You will be met inside this office.
•  Your firearm(s) and ammo will be checked against your pre-issued temporary import permit after which you will be free to leave.
•  Please note that the procedure regarding your firearm at customs depends on the airline used. The speed in which your permit will be handled, depends upon the speed in which the rifle case is handled before arriving at the SA Police Office. Please be patient when waiting for your rifle case.
•  We recommend that there is at least 3 hours between landing and your connecting flight.

Arriving at Cape Town International Airport

We can obtain your temporary import permit prior to your arrival and courier it to you before your departure for South Africa. We can not however meet you at the airport as the firearms office is in the restricted area before passing through customs. We will need these applications 30 days prior to your arrival. The cost for this is $100 USD.

Please contact the PHASA office if you have any queries concerning the temporary importation of your firearms.

We wish you an unforgettable and very successful hunting safari to South Africa.

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