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. We will also arrange to meet you in the SA Police office at OR Thambo (Johannesburg) Airport with your permit.

Please read through the following requirements and information and do not hesitate to contact us for any assistance at the following email address: admin@phasa.co.za.

For instructions in German, please click: 1217586380.doc
For instructions in Spanish, please click: 1217586407.doc
For instructions in French, please click: 1217586426.doc


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 2008 is USD 120.00.
We only accept credit card payments or cheques (checks).
A credit card authorization form can be requested from the PHASA office.

2. Form SAP520 (Please download from this site: 1217586452.pdf or request it from the office)
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 etc.
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

{Page 8 Section N only gets completed if you want PHASA to fill in the SAP520 on your behalf; Written permission from the hunter should accompany the rest of the documents}

3. Notarized copy of passport (photo & signature page)

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

  •  US Custom Form 4457 (contact your nearest airport for this), or
  •  Copy of your firearm License or Certificate, or
  •  Firearms Possession Licence (Waffenbesitzkarte), or
  •  Eoropean Firearms Pass (Eoropaeischer Feuerwaffenpass), or
  •  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

{Please use whichever is applicable to your country}

5. Proof of export from country of origin in the form of:
- US Custom Form 4457, or
- Copy of firearm certificates (for UK hunters), or
- Waffenbesitzkarte, or
- Eoropaeischer Feuerwaffenpass

{Please note that some of the above forms are used for proof of ownership and export where the country of origin do not have an export form}

6. Copy of itinerary or airline tickets

7. 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 (cheques or credit card authorization) to be sent via courier, Fedex, DHL, 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: For Postal services send to:
71 Lobelia Lane PO Box 10264
Irene Centurion
0157 0046
South Africa 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 30 days prior to arrival)

  •  Handguns will be allowed into the country, but only for hunting 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:

Due to the airport being upgraded at present, passengers are asked to please follow these directions.

  •  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 A2, please exit the arrivals hall and turn right to Terminal A1. Enter Terminal A1 and walk against the arriving passengers until you find the SAP office on your right hand side, where you will be met.
  •  For passengers arriving in Terminal A1, please look out for the SAP office on your left hand side after clearing customs, where you will be met.
  •  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.

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.

PHASA Contact Details:
Email: admin@phasa.co.za
Tel: +27 12 667 2048
Fax: +27 12 667 2049