Visitors to South Africa – Procedure for Permits

Visitors wanting to participate in sporting clay competitions, whether international, SA National or Provincial Competitions may bring their own shotgun (1 ONLY) and limited ammunition (5kgs or 175 x 28 gram cartridges ) into South Africa.  For this you MUST complete an SAPS 520 form and it must be authorised in Pretoria by the South African Police Services (SAPS) before you leave your own country.  Please allow a MINIMUM of 30 days for processing. It is possible to obtain the authorisation / permit at the South African “Port of Entry” but this cannot be guaranteed and if you are in a group it can be very time consuming.  As is usually the case when transporting firearms and ammunition, they must be packed and secured in separate security cases.


PLEASE NOTE : You must bring with you a written authorization which permits export from country of origin. (If not supplied by country of origin – written confirmation is required).

Please be aware that the South African authorities require you to present a proof of permission to export from your country of origin. This applies to ALL applicants from ALL countries.

See below for UK visitors.

Overseas Visitors :

How to apply for your permit 

Step one :  Temporary Import/Export permits – click HERE to download the application form (SAPS 520).

Step two :  Send your completed form to the South African Police Service via email:  E-Mail: 

AMMUNITION : Please ensure that you request 1000 rounds of ammunition to be listed on your permit so that you have permission to be in possession of ammunition in South Africa.  We strongly recommend that you do NOT bring your own ammunition due to customs and transportation difficulties.

(Contact email address for SA Police Service correct as at March 2019 – the contact details are on this link HERE)

Please do not send your permit applications to the CTSASA



To avoid any processing problems either in advance of your visit to South Africa or upon arrival, we strongly recommend that you use the PHASA processing service (the fee is $160) which also includes a ‘Meet and Greet’ at Johannesburg O R Tambo airport (meet and greet not available at Cape Town but you can still use the processing service to obtain your permit).  Please download the SAPS520 form HERE (or you can complete it on-line at The information on the processing service HERE.  Documents must be submitted at least 30 days before arrival.

Please do not send your permit applications to the CTSASA – please send your permit applications either direct to SAPS – – or use the PHASA processing service as described above.

AMMUNITION : Please ensure that you request 1000 rounds of ammunition to be listed on your permit

LETTER OF INVITATION : PLEASE NOTE you will need a letter of invitation for the event in which you are participating – please email Sarah at the CTSASA at



For UK visitors, please also note you will need to obtain Proof of Export from the UK:

UK CITIZENS importing firearms into the RSA for sporting or hunting purposes.

UK Citizens temporarily exporting firearms for sporting or hunting purposes to South Africa and applying for a temporary import permit via the SAPS 520 form at the airport (not pre-issued) after arrival in South Africa, will need to have Proof of Export from the UK.

This is compulsory. Without this proof, the police will not issue the temporary import permit and will confiscate your firearm(s).

What to do:  Contact the UK Border Force at Heathrow

Email the UKBF Armoury Control on -:  – at least 2 weeks prior to your departure for South Africa:

Advise them that you will be travelling to South Africa for a sporting competition or a game hunting safari.

Request them to issue you with a letter/document that you may lawfully temporarily export your firearms and ammunition to South Africa.

Scan and email copies of the following with the request:


Firearms licence – indicate exactly which rifles/shotguns you will take and the amount of ammunition.

Invitation letter

Return flights and dates

Contact details: +44 (0) 20 8910 3721