Temporary Importing of Firearms in South Africa Eastcape & Karoo Safaris

Hunting rifle with Eastcape & Karoo Safaris - South Africa

Firearm Permits

You are required to complete the SAP 520 form when applying for the temporary importation of firearms. Download the SAPS 520 form here.  

Instructions on Completing the Form

  • Use black ink on the form.
  • Leave the form unsigned until finalised in front of a police officer.
  • The following documents must accompany the SAP 520 form:
    • Passport
    • Return airline ticket
    • Proof of ownership
    • Firearm licenses, documentary proof etc. For USA citizens an officially stamped Customs
    • Declaration Form 4457, is essential.
    • Proof of export
  • Note: Clients must obtain documentation for the legal export of firearms from an official government institution (police or customs). This must be written in English and state the following:
    “It is hereby certified that the owner of the firearm(s) M (state particulars) with calibre (state calbre), serial number (state the serial number) and type (state type of weapon) is hereby authorised to temporarily export the above firearm(s) from country (state country).”
  • Invitation letter from the hunting outfitter
    This letter must be written on an official letterhead of the hunting outfitter/company and conform with certain specifications.
  • Note: Firearms will be physically inspected to ensure that the serial number(s) match those of the licenses (proof of ownership) and the application form. Ammunition will also be inspected.

South African Firearm Rules

Ammunition must be separated from weapons and although permissible to be packed within checked baggage under aviation regulation, SHOULD be packed as a separate piece of checked baggage in a secure lockable container or ammunition case. No ammunition may be packed loosely in checked baggage, or within the same case as firearms.

We strongly recommend that ammunition be packed in lockable cases which can be handed in as loose items at the firearm counters to avoid possible delays during checked baggage screening.

All firearms and ammunition must be declared to the airline check-in agent at the time of check-in. Undeclared firearms and ammunition within checked luggage will result in such baggage being rejected during mandatory checked baggage screening, and will result in the passenger being required to open such baggage for further inspection and safe handling, or the confiscation of such items for further processing and forwarding on a subsequent flight.

Check-in agents will issue the relevant baggage tags and will then direct firearm owners to the appropriate firearm desk for inspection and processing of firearms and ammunition for secure handling to the aircraft.

During the acceptance process at the appropriate firearm desk, the following will be conducted:

  • The owner of the firearm will be required to produce a valid license or temporary import permit for the firearm(s) and ammunition.
  • The owner of the firearm(s) will be required to make and declare the firearm(s) safe and unloaded for carriage.
  • Security staff will request the firearm owner to open his/her checked luggage to verify that ammunition is securely packed and that the total weight of ammunition per license holder does not exceed 5kgโ€™s in weight.
  • The owner of the firearm will be required to complete a firearm register for handover to security staff, who will ensure the secure loading of such items.
  • The staff at the firearm desk will send a pre-advise notification message to the receiving station, advising them of details and loading positions of firearms.
  • Checked baggage containing ammunition will be affixed with a special tag, indicating that such bag was already subjected to inspection, to avoid screening authorities from delaying or confiscating such bag for further security controls.