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Are you moving to South Africa? Compare My Move can save you up to 70% on the cost of your international removal. South Africa is home to over 200,000 British Expats and with the relaxed, low cost and high standard of living, it’s not hard to understand why.
There are many great reasons for relocating to South Africa. The country is home to some of the world’s most picturesque and well-known cities, including Cape Town, Port Elizabeth and Johannesburg. There are 11 different languages spoken in the country, though most people speak English.
We have helped thousands of people move abroad each year and when you compare with us, you are in good hands. We will match you with up to 6 removal companies that specialise in International home moves.
Our directory of removals partners has been through our strict verification process. We only work with trusted companies that have the appropriate skills and expertise as well as the necessary insurance so you can rest assured when you choose a mover through us, you are using experts.
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Consider the freight options for removals to South Africa.
Welcome to SA!
Compare My Move is a market-leader when it comes to helping ex-pats with shipping to South Africa and other international locations. We are partnered with a range of highly-reputable international removal companies and can help you save up to 70% on what you may be charged elsewhere. The country itself is renowned for its epic scenery and relaxed pace of life, and 200,000 UK ex-pats have already set up home there. All the companies we work with have the experience and expertise needed to ensure your relocation is a smooth, trouble-free process.
Shipping freight to South Africa is the most common method for getting belongings over to the country, whether you are opting for a full or part house load. You can choose between 20ft and 40ft containers but can also choose a shared container to cut costs.
Air freight to South Africa is another option, but as this can be expensive, it is more suitable for small loads including items you need to gain quick access to.
Air freight to South Africa will take around 1-3 days, whilst the more cost-effective sea freight option will take between 16-22 days.
The cost of moving to South Africa will depend on a range of factors.
When shipping your items to South Africa from the UK, you will normally pay around £4,650 - £5,140 for sole use of a 20ft container and £8,830 - £9,750 for a 40ft unit.
If cost is not so much of an issue, or you urgently need access to certain goods, you may well wish to opt for air freight. It can cost between £10,000 - £15,000 to send the contents of an average 4-bedroom house to the country. One of the reasons air freight tends to be so expensive is that costs are worked out by weight.
You may also wish to book well in advance to secure your slot regardless of which method you choose.
Here's a rundown of the points to consider when importing your belongings to South Africa
As an immigrant, returning resident or temporary resident, you will be authorised to carry out a single duty-free importation of household and personal effects into the country. You will need to provide import documentation alongside a comprehensive inventory.
Help is available from Compare My Move and our partners if you do need assistance with completing the paperwork.
You will also require a passport and a residency visa. A valid work permit will be required if you only have temporary residency.
You also need to be aware of what you can and cannot take into the country. The South Africa customs rules and regulations are designed to protect the country and its people. You won’t be able to take narcotics, medicines, furs, honey, agricultural products, ammunition, explosives, pornographic materials, meat or meat products into South Africa.
Items that you will need special permission and a licence to import into South Africa include firearms, plants, seeds, bulbs and liquor. You may also need to pay duty on these goods. It’s always wise to read up on South Africa customs regulations well in advance of your move.
Here are some points to consider when packing your items for South Africa.
When it comes to packing up your goods for your move to South Africa, the earlier you start, the better. One important reason for getting things underway early is that packing tends to take longer than expected. You can avoid many problems by beginning the process at the top of your house before working your way down.
Confusion and stress can be prevented by concentrating on one room at a time. It may be cost-effective to sell certain items and replace them once you arrive in some circumstances. Many experienced movers opt to use many small boxes rather than a modest amount of large ones so they can be moved around easily.
All boxes need to be clearly labelled with information about what is inside them and which room they are going into. Should any boxes contain items of high value or goods that could be broken easily, write ‘fragile’ on them. Make sure the heaviest items go to the bottom of your boxes, and lighter items are rested on top of them.
Make sure all the documents you need are filed away together, especially those related to your move. You will need easy access to various types of paperwork once you arrive at your new home.
Packing can become a much simpler process when you have a highly-experienced team of professional movers behind you, so feel free to get in touch if you do need help with this aspect of your move. Professional support can help you avoid breakages and various unforeseen costs. Plus, if you opt for air freight, keep in mind your items will need to be professionally packing because of safety regulations.
Here's how to import your car to South Africa.
You will only be able to take your car to South Africa if you have a permanent residence visa or are a returning national.
You may also need to pay duty and tax and will need an import permit and letter of authority from the country. The Letter of Authority will be needed for vehicles including cars, 4x4s, vans, trucks, trailers and motorcycles. You need to apply to the National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications for a Letter of Authority and the International Trade Administration Commission of South Africa for an import permit.
Here are some simple points to get the ball rolling on bringing your pets to South Africa.
Many UK ex-pats have been able to take their pets with them to start a new life in South Africa. The process of South African pet import is generally much simpler if you are planning on importing cats and dogs.
Veterinary documents will be checked at the airport. If the paperwork has been completed correctly, there should be no need for your pet to enter quarantine in South Africa.
Most pets will need to be at least 12 weeks old, have an import permit from South Africa’s Department of Agriculture, have a pet passport, be microchipped and vaccinated against rabies. Tapeworm treatment will also be required when moving dogs to South Africa.
Here's what you need to know to get residency in South Africa.
There are many types of residence permit you can apply for in South Africa. One of these is the Relatives Permanent Residence Permit, which you may able to obtain if you are biologically related to a citizen of South African or a foreigner who has a permanent residence permit.
If you are the spouse of or you are in a long-term relationship with a foreigner with permanent residence or a South Africa citizen, you are able apply for the Spousal/Life Partner Permanent Residence Permit.
Those that have worked in the country for a minimum of five years under a certain work visa and remain in permanent employment may be able to get the Five Years Continuous Work Permanent Residence Permit.
Other permanent residence permits include the Critical Skills Permanent Residence Permit, the Business Permanent Residence Permit, the Financially Independent Permanent Residence Permit and the Retirement Permanent Residence Permit. Many UK ex-pats have a South African residence permit.
Do you need more information about getting a South Africa visa in the UK? Here's what you need to know.
If you wish to stay in South Africa for longer than 90 days, you will need a visa. As you might expect, there are many different types of South African visa in use, and these include the Intra-Company Transfer Visa, which allows you to join the South Africa branch of a company you have already been working for elsewhere.
Corporate Work Permits and Visas are applied for on your behalf by companies and make you exempt from many of the rules usually linked to permits. You may be able to get a General Work Permit or Visa if you have been given a conditional offer of work from an employer based in the country who has tried and failed to recruit a suitable South African for the role.
The vast majority of visas and permits allows partners and dependents to stay with you in South Africa, but they will need to make separate applications if they wish to work.
Retirees are entitled to apply for temporary and permanent Financially Independent Permanent Residence Permit South Africa, whilst individuals investing a maximum of 2.5 million Rand may be able to gain a Business Permit or Visa.
Permits and visas for students are also available, and there are a number of additional options for those related to South African residents.
It’s wise to keep yourself fully up-to-date on the rules and regulations surrounding visas and permits in South Africa, as these are regularly updated. Once you are a resident in South Africa, you will be taxed on worldwide income.
The basics of banks, bills and utilities in South Africa.
You shouldn’t face any real difficulty when opening a bank account in South Africa. As long as you are able to produce your passport and proof of address, you should be able to get your account set up in no time at all.
One problem you might face when it comes to finance is obtaining a credit with a lack of credit history in the country, but getting a South African bank account shouldn’t be a problem.
Electricity and water are the main utilities used in South African households, though many low-income families use gas to heat their homes and cook meals. The government aims to heighten the country’s use of renewable energy over the coming decade. Gas, which comes in the form of Liquid Petroleum Gas, needs to be purchased in cylinders as homes are not supplied with it in the same way they are in the UK.
There is only primary electricity supplier in South Africa, which is called Eskom and is operated by the government. Though it’s likely your home will already be connected to an electricity supply, you may need to pay a fee to set it up if this is not the case. It’s wise to contact Eskom well in advance of your move.
Different South African areas are governed by different water boards. You should also get in touch with the water board for your area before you relocate.
Mail forwarding to South Africa is available. Royal Mail can forward your mail to your new address for a maximum of a year after you leave. Make sure utilities providers and HMRC know the date you are leaving the UK.
South African currency is called the South African Rand. To make the best possible start to your new life in South Africa, make sure you have the right money available.
At Compare My Move, we are partnered with a leading currency exchange for South Africa called Currencies Direct, which provides services that make money transfers as simple as possible and regularly beat what the High Street have to offer. You can speak to the experts at Currencies Direct prior to agreeing an exchange rate and can have your money sent to your new South African bank account on the day it is opened.