AUTOMOTIVE - Importing Vehicles
Letter of Authority
A Letter of Authority (LOA) is required
- By any person or organization, including a registered manufacturer, importer or builder of vehicles (MIB) and charitable organizations wishing to import a new or used vehicle (passenger vehicle, goods vehicle, special vehicle or trailer) into South Africa; and/or
- a person and/or organization NOT registered as a MIB that builds or modifies a vehicle; and/or
- a registered MIB that builds or modifies a vehicle to a design or of a model that has not been approved (homologated) by Automotive.
The requirements for conformity must be met and an LOA obtained for new and used vehicles irrespective of where the vehicle was built, including gifts, donations, and bequests to charitable organizations and individuals.
Importers are advised to contact the International Trade Administration Commission of South Africa (ITAC, http://www.itac.org.za/) with regard to import permits.
Types Of Vehicles For Which LOA Is Required:
- Passenger vehicles (cars, buses, motorcycles);
- Goods vehicles (trucks or vans);
- Trailers; and
- Special vehicles (e.g. mobile cranes, tractors, harvesters)
intended for use, or capable of use, on public roads.
Conformity Of Vehicles
All vehicles used on public roads whether locally manufactured or imported must conform to the requirements for vehicles as set out in the Road Traffic Act and relative compulsory specifications and importers must supply proof of conformity to the NRCS.
The required proof depends on the individual circumstances and is at the discretion of NRCS. A certificate of ECE compliance or local origin is usually sufficient for individual imports.
The requirements for vehicles are in general aligned with the applicable standards, regulations, and directives of the EEC and ECE. Importers of foreign vehicles are strongly advised to consult NRCS to determine the specific requirements for their vehicle/s. This is essential for vehicles that originate in countries outside of Europe (e.g. Americas, Far East, Australasia).
Left-Hand Drive Vehicles
IN TERMS OF NATIONAL ROAD TRAFFIC ACT- REGULATION 200 (2B) A LEFT-HAND DRIVE VEHICLE MAY ONLY BE LEGALLY IMPORTED & OPERATED ON A SOUTH AFRICAN PUBLIC ROAD IF IT WAS REGISTERED IN THE REPUBLIC IN THE REGISTERED OWNERS OR IMPORTERS NAME BEFORE 1st JANUARY 2000. A LOA WILL NOT BE ISSUED UNLESS SATISFACTORY PROOF OF OWNERSHIP IS SUPPLIED.
AGRICULTURAL TRACTORS, new or used, must conform to the compulsory specification gazetted on 20th February 2004. Proof of conformity must be supplied by the importer.
The following forms are available by email as PDF documents, or by fax. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader installed to view and print PDF documents. To download the free Adobe Acrobat Reader, click