Ever tried to stuff an elephant into a container? It's about as easy as understanding international shipping between the US and South Africa! With the constant flux of rates, ever-changing transit times, and intricate customs regulations, the shipping process can feel like a wild safari.

However, there's no need to panic. This guide is your jungle guide, breaking down the complex world of freight options, from air to sea, from road to rail. We will deep dive into the intricacy of customs clearance, duties, taxes, simplifying it to make sense for businesses big and small.

If the process still feels overwhelming, let DocShipper handle it for you! With its end-to-end shipping solutions, we'll turn your logistical challenges into a walk in the park.

Table of Contents

Which are the different modes of transportation between US and South Africa?

Choosing the right transport method between the US and South Africa can feel like picking the perfect travel adventure. Imagine comparing a road trip between two neighboring towns with a journey from New York to Cape Town – the experiences are worlds apart.

With an ocean separating them and endless kilometers in between, air and sea freight jump into the spotlight. The decision lies in how fast you need your goods in African soil, or how tightly your budget fits.

`Either way, it’s about finding a blend of cost-efficiency and safe, speedy delivery.

How can DocShipper help?

Shipping goods between the US and South Africa? Make it seamless with DocShipper. We handle all the heavyweight tasks, be it transport arrangement, customs clearance, or administrative procedures. It's your journey, we ensure it to be smooth. Want to see how? Get a free estimate within the next 24 hours or dial up our consultants, advice is on us!


sea-freight-services from and to the USA

Sea freight from and to the US

Sea freight between US and South Africa

Bridging the gap between the United States and South Africa, ocean shipping serves as the trade backbone, linking vibrant industrial hubs through key cargo ports.

Picture Container terminals like Cape Town and Durban on the African coastline and New York and Los Angeles on the American side, bustling with cranes, trucks, and enormous cargo vessels.

While it's not the fastest method, sea freight shines in its cost-effectiveness for moving high-volume goods.

Imagine juggling with international shipping as a shipper or business owner. It's safe to say that storms could arrive in many forms: paperwork blunders, misunderstanding shipping labels, or even getting tangled in customs clearance intricacies.

This destination guide is your anchor here; it charts the sea route, uncovering best practices and specifications that can help tame the shipping process' whirlwind nature.

Equipped with this knowledge, you stepping into the shipping world would feel more like a bridge builder than a dice roller. So, let's embark on this sea journey together.

Main shipping ports in US

Port of Los Angeles

Location and Volume: Located in San Pedro Bay, 20 miles south of downtown Los Angeles, this bustling port boasts a shipping volume of 9.5 million TEU.

Key Trading Partners and Strategic Importance: Engaging in trade relations primarily with East Asia, the Port of Los Angeles holds the title of America's top port by container volume and cargo value, providing high-volume access to major markets and suppliers.

Context for Businesses: If you're looking to tap into the Asian markets, the Port of Los Angeles may be a central component of your logistics strategy, given its high-volume throughput and direct transit connections to Asia.

Port of New York and New Jersey

Location and Volume: Stretching across the Hudson River, this port encompasses a shipping volume of approximately 7.3 million TEU.

Key Trading Partners and Strategic Importance: It’s a key exchange point for goods, primarily with Europe and East Asia. As the largest and busiest port on the East Coast, it's central to the trade network of the North Atlantic.

Context for Businesses: Firms interested in reaching markets in Europe and the northeastern US should consider the Port of New York and New Jersey due to its vast network and extensive facilities.

Port of Savannah

Location and Volume: Located on the Savannah River in Georgia, it has a shipping volume of about 4.6 million TEU.

Key Trading Partners and Strategic Importance: The port primarily trades with Central and South America. As the fastest-growing and fourth-largest port in the US, its geographical location allows direct service to the US Southeast and Midwest.

Context for Businesses: Those eyeing expansion in Central or South American markets might heavily rely on Port of Savannah, coupled with its intermodal efficiencies and fast transit times.

Port of Houston

Location and Volume: Nestled in the Gulf of Mexico, this port deals with a shipping volume of close to 2.9 million TEU.

Key Trading Partners and Strategic Importance: Large volumes of trade take place with East Asia and Europe, and it is a fulcrum for petrochemical goods given Houston's oil industry.

Context for Businesses: If your business strategy includes distributing petrochemical goods to Asian or European markets, the Port of Houston could play a significant role due to its superior logistics infrastructure.

Port of Seattle

Location and Volume: Located on the US West Coast, the port handles a shipping volume of 1.6 million TEU.

Key Trading Partners and Strategic Importance: Key alliances primarily rest with East Asia and Alaska. The port’s maritime activities support both cargo and passenger intake, contributing to local economic growth.

Context for Businesses: If you're considering serving the Pacific Northwest, Alaskan or Asian markets, the Port of Seattle's diverse cargo and passenger capabilities may align well with your business objectives.

Port of Tacoma

Location and Volume: Found in the Puget Sound of Washington state, this port deals with a shipping volume of around 2.1 million TEU.

Key Trading Partners and Strategic Importance: Active trading relationships primarily involve East Asia and Alaska. As the closest U.S. port to major ports in Asia, it provides shorter transit times.

Context for Businesses: For businesses aiming to expedite Asian trade or strengthen connections in the Pacific Northwest, the Port of Tacoma serves as a strategic logistics hub due to its geographic advantage and efficient operations.

Main shipping ports in South Africa

Port of Durban

Location and Volume: Situated in the city of Durban on the eastern coast of South Africa, this port is a vital artery in the international trade landscape, with a shipping volume of over 3 million TEUs per year.

Key Trading Partners and Strategic Importance: The Port of Durban hosts key trading interactions with major economies, including China, the USA, and India. Its strategic location serves Southern African Development Community SADC countries, making it a significant player in South Africa's maritime economy.

Context for Businesses: If you're considering securing a foothold in the African markets, Durban's port, known for its efficient container handling capabilities and extensive connectivity, could be an integral part of your logistics.

Port of Richards Bay

Location and Volume: Located in Richards Bay, this port is renowned for its massive coal exports and currently stands as the largest coal export facility in the world, shipping over 79 million tons of coal in 2020 alone.

Key Trading Partners and Strategic Importance: Given the port's dominance in coal exports, key trading partners include countries heavily dependent on coal, such as China, India, and South Korea.

Context for Businesses: For businesses intent on capitalizing on energy markets, the Port of Richards Bay offers numerous opportunities associated with coal trade and related energy products.

Port of Cape Town

Location and Volume: Nestled at the junction of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, the Port of Cape Town is a significant port for international trade, handling over 900,000 TEUs annually.

Key Trading Partners and Strategic Importance: Major trading partners include China, USA, and Germany. The port plays an impressive role in the fishing industry and is a vital conduit for the export of fresh fruit.

Context for Businesses: If your business model involves perishable goods like fruits or fishing, the Port of Cape Town, with its robust cold-chain infrastructure, should be a strong consideration in your shipping strategy.

Port of Saldanha Bay

Location and Volume: The deep port of Saldanha Bay, located on the West Coast of South Africa, is the largest natural port in the region. It's especially known for its iron ore exports.

Key Trading Partners and Strategic Importance: Primary trading partners are largely dependent on iron ore demand, including China, Japan, and South Korea.

Context for Businesses: For operations tied to the iron ore market or significant iron ore trading, incorporating the Saldanha Bay port into your logistics and supply chain strategy could be beneficial.

Port of East London

Location and Volume: Placed on the southeast coast of South Africa, the Port of East London is a medium-sized port, known for its motor vehicle exports.

Key Trading Partners and Strategic Importance: The port has fruitful trading relationships with the US, Germany, and Japan, anchored in the automobile sector.

Context for Businesses: Businesses dealing with motor vehicles could profit greatly from integrating the Port of East London into their shipping plans, given its strong history and performance in the automotive export sector.

Port of Ngqura

Location and Volume: The Port of Ngqura is located in the Coega Industrial Development Zone, north-east of Port Elizabeth. It's the newest port in South Africa and is designed to handle over 2 million TEUs per annum.

Key Trading Partners and Strategic Importance: Ngqura serves as a major gateway for trade, catering to markets of the USA, Middle East, and the Far East.

Context for Businesses: If you are focusing on expanding reach to emerging markets, the Port of Ngqura, owing to its cutting-edge facilities and expansive capacity, could be instrumental in your connectivity and growth strategy.

Unlock hassle-free shipping

Discover the ease of international shipping with DocShipper - where we transform cargo shipping into a simpler, hassle-free process. Our team of ocean freight professionals assists businesses in choosing between container consolidation or a full container, taking into account distinct factors such as cargo size and urgency. Don't juggle with shipping complexities - let our experts guide you through. Ready to dive into worry-free shipping between the US and South Africa? Connect with DocShipper today for a no-obligation, free estimation. Your optimal shipping solution is just a click away!


How long does sea freight take between US and South Africa?

If you're planning to ship goods from the US to South Africa via sea freight, you can expect an average transit time of approximately 35-40 days.

It's important to note that transit times can be influenced by various factors such as the specific ports involved, the weight of your cargo, and the nature of the goods being shipped.

For a more precise estimate, it's highly recommended to get in touch with a reputable freight forwarder, such as DocShipper, for a tailored quote.

Following is the average transit times (in days) for sea freight from several main US ports to the main South African ports:

US Port South Africa Port Average transit time (days)
Port of Los Angeles Port of Durban 40
Port of New York Port of Cape Town 34
Port of Houston Port Elizabeth 33
Port of Savannah Port of Richards Bay 38

*Please bear in mind that the transit times are on average. A variety of factors can influence them, for more accurate information please consult a professional freight forwarder like Docshipper.

How much does it cost to ship a container between US and South Africa?

Pinning down a precise shipping cost between the US and South Africa can feel akin to catching wind in a net! Ocean freight rates depend on a medley of factors, including your Point of Loading, Destination, chosen carrier, the nature of goods, and the ever-fluctuating markets.

Don't let this financial fog deter you, though. Our seasoned shipping specialists are adept at finding the best rates suited to your specific needs – quoting on a case-by-case basis, they’re your personalized compass in the complex world of international freight.

Special transportation services

Out of Gauge (OOG) Container

Definition: Out of Gauge (OOG) containers are specialist shipping options designed for cargo which won't fit into standard containers due to their irregular dimensions or heavy weight.
Suitable for: Out of gauge cargo is perfect for your outsized, heavy, or awkwardly shaped goods that won't fit in standard shipping containers.
Examples: This includes large machinery, construction equipment, oversized industrial parts, or wind turbines.
Why it might be the best choice for you: If your goods are too unwieldy or heavy for standard shipping methods, then an OOG container would offer a safe and secure transport solution tailored precisely to your freight needs.


Definition: Breakbulk refers to the method of transporting loose cargo load that is individually, mechanically, or manually loaded and not containerized.
Suitable for: It's suitable for items too large or heavy to fit in standard containers that can be individually handled, which could include a versatile range of commodities.
Examples: Such as generators, transformers, timber, steel or iron beams, and pipelines.
Why it might be the best choice for you: If you're dealing with large, non-containerized items that need to be shipped as separate units, then break bulk is a proven solution that can handle your goods with the individual attention they require.

Dry Bulk

Definition: Dry Bulk refers to a shipping method where goods like granulates, powders or other dry goods are packed in bulk quantities and usually shipped in one unbroken lot without packaging.
Suitable for: Perfect for your non-liquid goods that can be shipped in large quantities.
Examples: Commonly transported goods include coal, grain, or minerals.
Why it might be the best choice for you: Should your business handle large quantities of dry goods without a need for individual packaging, dry bulk shipping can offer a cost-effective and efficient transport solution.

Roll-on/Roll-off (Ro-Ro)

Definition: Roll-on/roll-off (Ro-Ro) shipping involves the transport of vehicles or machinery on their own wheels or using a flatbed onto a specially designed ro-ro vessel.
Suitable for: Ideal for your motorized, towable, or static cargo.
Examples: Cars, trucks, trailers, buses, and any other drivable heavy machinery fall into this category.
Why it might be the best choice for you: If your freight includes vehicles or heavy machinery that can be driven or towed, ro-ro shipping offers a seamless and efficient shipping method ensuring your cargo arrives securely at its destination.

Reefer Containers

Definition: Reefer containers are refrigerated shipping containers for goods requiring temperature control during transport.
Suitable for: Excellent option for your temperature-sensitive goods.
Examples: Typically used for perishables such as fruits, meats, fish, and dairy products.
Why it might be the best choice for you: If your goods can spoil or degrade without strict temperature control, then a reefer container provides the necessary controlled environment to assure your products arrive in optimal condition.

At DocShipper, we're well-versed in all of these shipping options, and can help you select the perfect solution to match your goods and shipping needs. Contact us today for your free shipping quote within just 24 hours.

air-freight-services from and to the USA

Air freight from and to the US

Air freight between US and South Africa

Speed, reliability, and cost-effectiveness define the essence of air freight shipping between the US and South Africa, especially for compact, high-value shipments. Think technology, luxury goods, or urgent pharmaceutical supplies. The airway whispers time is money.

But here's the kicker. Many shippers stumble on the complexities of air freight costs. Instead of the actual weight, air freight uses a formula that counts which is heavier between actual weight or volume weight, also known as dimensional weight.

This can turn your shipping cost into a discouraging surprise if not assessed correctly. Plus, other nooks and crannies in the intricate world of air freight can empty your pockets if you're not careful.

In this guide, we'll explore these hidden traps, kind of like ensuring you know the secret password before entering the exclusive air freight club.

Air Cargo vs Express Air Freight: How should I ship?

When it comes to shipping goods between the US and South Africa, you have choices - Air Cargo, which uses passenger airlines for transport, or Express Air Freight, with your shipment jet-setting on a dedicated plane.

Which option will best suit your specific business requirements? Let's dive into the details to help simplify your decision.

Should I choose Air Cargo between US and South Africa?

Air cargo between the US and South Africa can be a cost-effective and reliable choice, particularly suitable if your shipments weigh in the range of 100/150 kg (220/330 lbs) or more.

Major international airlines such as United Airlines and South African Airways offer cargo services, but remember, this option may have longer transit times due to fixed schedules.

Despite this, the reliability and predictable costs might just align with your budgetary requirements. Secure, fast, and fitting for higher weight categories, air cargo could be the shipping solution you need for your business.

top global air freight companies in the U.S.

Should I choose Express Air Freight between US and South Africa?

If your shipment to South Africa falls under 1 CBM or weighs less than 100/150 kg (220/330 lbs), consider express air freight. A super-fast service, it uses dedicated cargo planes without passengers.

Pros? It's efficient, fully traceable, and ideal for goods requiring quick delivery, like high-value items, samples, or documents. Highly trusted couriers like FedEx, UPS, and DHL, offer this service, ensuring your shipment gets there swiftly and safely.

Main international airports in US

Make the most of their comprehensive customer service and severe weather contingency plans. This option could be just what your business needs for smaller, time-sensitive deliveries.

Top global courier express companies in the U.S.

How long does air freight take between US and South Africa?

Shipping from the US to South Africa by air freight typically takes between 8 to 12 days. However, keep in mind these transit times can vary depending on the specific origin and destination airports, the weight of your shipment, and the type of goods being transported.

For exact transit times based on your specific shipping requirements, it's best to consult with a trusted freight forwarder like DocShipper.

What is the difference between volumetric and gross weight?

Gross weight is the actual weight of an item, measured in kilograms (kg), while volumetric weight takes into account the space an item occupies during shipment. When shipping goods, it's crucial you understand these two concepts to assess your shipping costs correctly.

To calculate the gross weight, simply place your shipment on a scale and note the kg result. For instance, if your package weighs 10 kg, it would be roughly 22 lbs.

To calculate volumetric weight in Air Cargo, you measure your package in cm (length, breadth, and height), multiply these dimensions, and divide by 6000. That's a universal industry standard. For example, let's say your package is 50cm long, 40cm wide, and 30cm high. Your calculation would look like this: (50 x 40 x 30)/6000 equals 10 kg. In lbs, that's approximately 22 lbs.

In contrast, Express Air Freight follows a slightly different rule, dividing by 5000 instead of 6000. Using our previous dimensions, the calculation would be: (50 x 40 x 30)/5000, giving you a volumetric weight of 12 kg or around 26 lbs.

These calculations are fundamental because freight charges are determined based on the higher of the two weights—we call this the 'chargeable weight.' So, whether you're shipping teddy bears or toolkits, you'll want to consider both weights to devise the most cost-effective shipping strategy.

Door to Door Transport from and to the USA

Door to door transport from and to the US

Door to door between US and South Africa

Navigating international logistics? Door to door shipping, a comprehensive service managing cargo transit from pickup to delivery, might just be your golden ticket. Especially when shipping between the US and South Africa, convenience and time-saving aspects are clear wins. But that's just the tip of the iceberg, folks.

So buckle up and let's dive in to unveil the magic behind door to door shipping!

Overview – Door to Door

Door-to-door shipping from the US to South Africa is your straightforward solution to the intricate world of international logistics. This service streamlines customs, transport, and delivery into one seamless process, cutting stress and hidden charges.

Though it might seem costlier up-front, it actually reduces unanticipated bottlenecks and fees. It's no surprise such packages are most demanded by our clients at DocShipper. Bear in mind, there could be delays beyond our control, like customs hold-ups.

Still, this method provides you with a comprehensive, hands-off approach that ensures your shipment’s safe journey across the Atlantic. Get ready for the most effortless shipping experience you've ever had!

Why should I use a Door to Door service between US and South Africa?

Ever wished that shipping goods was as simple as ordering a pizza? Well, your wish just might come true with the Door to Door service for shipments between the US and South Africa. Here's why!

  1. Less Stress, More Success: The greatest benefit is the reduced stress. Imagine not worrying about coordinating different legs of transportation. Everything from pickup at your location to delivery at the destination is taken care of by one single service provider. Say goodbye to logistics headaches!
  2. Timeliness for Urgent Shipments: Urgent shipments can't dawdle around in warehouses. The streamlined approach of Door to Door service fast-tracks your goods through various transport stages, cutting down on the delays, ensuring timely delivery.
  3. Special Care for Complex Cargo: If your cargo has unique needs - such as refrigeration or delicate handling - the Door to Door service accommodates these complexities, giving your goods the VIP treatment they deserve.
  4. Convenience is King: No more dealing with multiple contacts, check points, paperwork, or trucking connections. Door to Door service includes all of this in its offer, making it a truly turnkey solution.
  5. Final Destination Delivery: Last but definitely not the least, your shipment is delivered right at the doorstep of the recipient. For you, it means the assurance of complete delivery, a benefit that is synonymous with convenience and peace of mind.

In short, Door to Door service is like your own personal shipping concierge. Why just ship when you can ship in style?

DocShipper – Door to Door specialist between US and South Africa

Experience smooth, all-inclusive, door-to-door shipping between the US and South Africa with DocShipper. Our expertise ensures your goods' painless transition from origin to destination as our dedicated Account Executives handle everything – from packing and transport to customs clearance, using the most appropriate shipping method.

You'll have peace of mind and time on your side with our transparent, fast quotes delivered in less than 24 hours. For further assistance, engage with our specialized consultants at zero cost. Trust in our proficiency for a stress-free global shipping journey.

Customs Clearance in the U.S.

Customs Clearance US

Customs clearance in South Africa for goods imported from US

Navigating the intricate world of Customs clearance can be daunting, especially when importing goods from the US to South Africa. It's a complex maze that often springs unexpected charges or leaves your goods stranded. Understanding customs duties, taxes, quotas, and licenses is key to avoid these pitfalls.

Be sure, we'll provide detailed insight on these in the coming sections. Rest assured, no matter where in the world or what type of goods, DocShipper is equipped to assist you. Need an estimate to budget your project? Reach out to our team with your goods' origin, value, and HS Code.

Armed with these details, we'll help map your journey through customs.

How to calculate duties & taxes when importing from US to South Africa?

In your voyage from the US to South Africa, understanding your import duties and taxes effectively plays a pivotal shape in defining your overall logistical budget. This calculation takes into account several key influences including the country of origin, the HS Code, the Custom Value, the Applicable Tariff Rate, and other incidental taxes or fees associated with your specific products.

Embarking on this task, the starting point is to pinpoint the country where your goods were initially manufactured or produced. This information can play a contributing role in shining light on the regulations, tariffs, and possible exemptions that may apply to your shipment.

Step 1 - Identify the Country of Origin

Understanding the Country of Origin, in this case the United States, matters and here's why:

  1. Firstly, it helps you find any specific trade agreements with South Africa that could affect your costs. The African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), for instance, allows certain goods from US to enter South Africa duty-free.
  2. Secondly, it's critical to recognize which goods you can legally import. South Africa has restrictions on certain types of items, like used motor vehicles from the US, to protect local industries.
  3. Third, it determines the duties and taxes you will face. The South African Revenue Service (SARS) levies these based on the Country of Origin.
  4. Fourth, it allows you to assess opportunity costs. You might find alternative markets offering better financial prospects due to different trade agreements.
  5. Lastly, it enables you to anticipate and prepare for potential shipment delays due to diplomatic relationships or embargos.

Remember, the Country of Origin is often the first step in securing an accurate HS code for product classification. Managing your imports professionally and smartly starts with this fundamental step.

Step 2 - Find the HS Code of your product

The Harmonized System (HS) Code is a standardized numerical method of classifying traded products. It is used by customs authorities around the world to identify products for the application of duties and taxes, which helps in streamlining the entire process of shipping goods internationally.

Now, you may be wondering, how can you find the HS Code of your product? One of the easiest ways is to ask your supplier directly. They are typically well-versed in the products they are importing, as well as the corresponding regulations.

However, if this method isn't feasible, don't worry. You can also locate your product's HS Code by following these steps:

1. Visit the Harmonized Tariff Schedule
2. Enter your product name into the search bar
3. Take note of the HS Code listed in the Heading/Subheading column

Keep in mind the importance of accuracy when determining the HS Code of your products. Using incorrect codes can lead to delays in shipping, and even potential fines.

To assist you in this process, we've created the following infographic which illustrates how to read an HS code. It will be particularly helpful in ensuring you correctly identify and use HS Codes for your goods.

hs code finder

Step 3 - Calculate the Customs Value

Diving right into the thick of things, the customs value isn't just the price tag on your product. Instead, it's the total of three key components: the cost of the goods, international shipping charges, and insurance costs - the CIF value.

Wondering how it works? Let’s say you’ve bought goods worth $1,000 from a US supplier. Your shipment costs are $300, and you've shelled out $50 for insurance. Your customs value won't just be the $1,000 you paid for the goods but the CIF value, which totals $1,350 ($1,000 for the goods + $300 for shipping + $50 for insurance).

Calculating this correctly plays a huge role in ensuring your shipments clear South African customs without any hiccups!

Step 4 - Figure out the applicable Import Tariff

Import tariffs are taxes imposed on goods imported into a country. In the context of South Africa, a few types of tariffs are used, such as ad valorem tariff, specific tariff, and compound tariff.

For U.S. exporters to South Africa, the import tariff can be found on South Africa's International Trade Administration Commission (ITAC) website. To identify your product's tariff, follow these steps:

1. Locate the HS (Harmonized System) code for your product that you identified earlier.
2. Use this code to search for your good's tariff on the ITAC's website.

For example, let's say your product is a cotton t-shirt, with the HS code 610910. The ITAC tariff book shows an ad valorem tariff of 40%. You also need to calculate the Cost, Insurance, and Freight (CIF) value of the goods. Let's assume your CIF cost is $200. The approximate import duty will be calculated as follows:

CIF cost x Import tariff ($200 x 40%) = $80

Your import duty, in this case, would be around $80. Always make certain to double-check figures with a customs broker or freight forwarder to avoid potential complications or extra fees.

Step 5 - Consider other Import Duties and Taxes

In addition to the common tariff rate, your imports from the US to South Africa could incur extra duties and taxes. These vary based on the item's origin and its nature.

For instance, there could be an excise duty applied on certain goods like tobacco, alcohol, or luxury cars. An anti-dumping duty could come into play if your goods are priced below fair market value -- this is to protect South African industries from unfair competition.

A significant charge you should prepare for is the Value-Added Tax (VAT). In South Africa, the current VAT rate is 15%. Say your goods' CIF (Cost, Insurance and Freight) value is $10,000. With the VAT, you'd pay an extra $1,500 (that's 15% of $10,000).

Remember, these are purely examples. Actual rates can certainly differ based on your product, its value, and most recent guidelines. So, while it can feel intimidating, understanding these potential charges can help you set realistic cost projections and effectively manage your budget.

Step 6 - Calculate the Customs Duties

In 'Step 6 - Calculate the Customs Duties' you can determine your expenditure accurately. Start with the Customs Value (CV). Next, calculate Customs Duties by multiplying CV with the duty rate provided by the South African Revenue Service.

For instance, suppose you ship goods with a CV of $1000, with a 10% customs duty but no VAT. Your customs duties are simply $1000 x 10% = $100.

Now, consider a CV of $2000, with both a customs duty of 5% and a VAT of 15%. Here, customs duty is $2000 x 5% = $100. Then, add the duty to CV yielding $2100. VAT is then $2100 x 15% = $315. So, your total cost is $100 (duty) + $315 (VAT) = $415.

Finally, let's add anti-dumping taxes and Excise duty in our example. Your CV is $3000, customs duty is 7.5%, VAT is 15%, anti-dumping tax is 10%, and excise duty is 5%. Here, the customs duty is $3000 x 7.5% = $225, the excise duty is $3000 x 5% = $150. Add both to CV yielding $3375. VAT is $3375 x 15% = $506.25. Add appropriate anti-dumping tax $3000 x 10% = $300. Total tax here is $225 (duty) + $150 (excise) + $506.25 (VAT) + $300 (anti-dumping tax) = $1181.25.

These calculations can get complex. That's why DocShipper can handle every step of customs clearance for you anywhere worldwide, ensuring you aren't overcharged. Contact us for a free quote in less than 24h!

Does DocShipper charge customs fees?

Confused on customs costs? DocShipper, acting as your customs broker in both the US and South Africa, will only bill you for the customs clearance service. The actual customs duties and taxes? They're paid directly to the government. We'll hand you the official documents to prove it.

Think of it like a restaurant service charge versus the meal cost; one for service, the other one's product price. Straightforward enough, right?

Contact Details for Customs Authorities

Required documents for customs clearance

Understanding the maze of customs paperwork can be daunting. Our guide will untangle the knots, taking you step-by-step through the Bill of Lading, Packing List, Certificate of Origin, and CE Standards documents. Stay ahead and avoid those costly, stressful delays!

Bill of Lading

Imagine the Bill of Lading as your Golden Ticket once your cargo starts to roll between the US and South Africa—it signifies the transfer of ownership from the seller to the buyer. This mandatory document, often abbreviated as B/L, provides details of the goods, contract terms, as well as shipment and delivery locations.

An Electronic or Telex Release has been gaining traction due to its convenience; it allows for faster, smoother transactions without the need for physical paperwork. Similarly, when you're opting for air freight, there's the AWB (Air Waybill), essentially the air cargo version of B/L.

So remember, whether it's by sea or air, your journey of international trade cannot begin without these key documents. Stay organized, digitize when possible, and keep your Golden Ticket safe!

Packing List

When it comes to shipping goods between the US and South Africa, your Packing List is not just a piece of paper—it's your lifeline in the vast ocean of international freight. Imagine it as the detailed biography of your shipment, offering particulars like net and gross weights, dimensions, quantity, and type of goods.

It's the go-to reference for customs officers, right at their fingertips. Whether you're flying top-quality California wines to Johannesburg or shipping machinery parts by sea to Cape Town, every item has to be accounted for accurately. Careless mistakes can cause costly delays at the customs. Sea or air freight—it doesn't matter.

This document is not optional. Therefore, taking the time to create a error-free and precise packing list will help ensure your goods have a smooth and expedited journey across borders.

Commercial Invoice

Nailing the Commercial Invoice is key to seamless shipping from the US to South Africa. This document not only declares what you're shipping but also serves as a basis for customs duties. Ensure it accurately details your shipment's description, value, shipper and receiver information, and HS Code.

Don't underestimate the power of coordination - your Invoice must align with your Packing List and Bill of Lading. Consistency here can banish unnecessary customs delays. Remember, an ambiguous product description on your Invoice could leave customs officials scratching their heads, and your shipment lingering in clearance limbo!

So, be thorough, be specific, and you'll be on the fast track across the Atlantic.

Certificate of Origin

When shipping goods from the US to South Africa, your Certificate of Origin is a big deal. The pivotal role of this little piece of paper can't be overstated. It verifies where your goods are made - an essential detail for allowing preferential customs duty rates to grace your bottom line.

Picture this, you're exporting premium Idaho potatoes; demonstrating their US origin can give you a price cut on customs rates. But remember, popping down 'US' without it being the actual country of manufacture isn't a good move. So, when it comes to forming solid, cost-effective trade relationships, that Certificate of Origin does a whole lot of heavy lifting.

It's all in the details - get it right and it can open doors for your business.

Get Started with DocShipper

Navigating through customs can feel like navigating a labyrinth. It's time-consuming and complex, but no need to worry! With DocShipper's expertise, you'll bypass this maze completely. Trust us to handle, speedily and efficiently, every step of your customs clearance between US and South Africa. Click here now to receive a free quote within 24 hours. Shipping international, minus the headache!


Prohibited and Restricted items when importing into South Africa

Grasping the intricacies of what can and can't be shipped to South Africa can feel like a maze, but it's vital for avoiding a potential customs nightmare. This guide will help you skip the confusion with clear insights into the country's list of prohibited and restricted items. Avoid those fines and delays – let's get you informed!

Are there any trade agreements between US and South Africa

Yes, there is a key trade agreement between the US and South Africa, known as the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), permitting duty-free entry of certain goods into the US. While there's no FTA or EPA, efforts to negotiate deeper arrangements are ongoing. Bear in mind, this could affect shipping procedures and costs for your business.

Even though there's no imminent infrastructure project, like a new railway line, membership in trade associations could divulge early news of economic opportunities. Stay abreast to exploit these and enhance your shipping efficiencies.

US - South Africa trade and economic relationship

Rooted in decades of cooperation, the trade relationship between the US and South Africa holds a significant economic impact. In 1994, when South Africa transitioned to democracy, the groundwork was laid for ongoing trade relations, hitting a milestone in 2001 with the establishment of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).

This has positively impacted various sectors. In 2018, South Africa was the third largest export market in Africa for the US, with machinery being the largest export, accounting for over a quarter of goods sent. Meanwhile, minerals and metals made up a significant portion of imports from South Africa.

Investments have also grown steadily, with US businesses pouring roughly $10 billion into the South African economy in 2022, receiving $16 billion of South African imports. Moreover, cross-border trade has witnessed an upward trend, with the total trade value reaching $26 billion in 2022. This vibrant economic relationship continues to link these continents, cherishing growth and mutual benefit.

Your Next Step with DocShipper

Are you overwhelmed with shipping complexities between the US and South Africa? Shed the load and let DocShipper’s experts handle your freight needs. We assure secure, efficient and hassle-free transportation. Say goodbye to customs paperwork and red tape! Contact us now and experience seamless global shipping.


Additional logistics services

Elevate your business with our comprehensive logistics solutions, beyond just shipping and customs. Discover how DocShipper navigates the entire supply chain for your seamless, hassle-free transactions.