Import processed meat

What you should do
How long does it take
How much does it cost
Forms to complete
Who to contact



About importing into or moving in transit processed meat products through South Africa

If you want to import processed meat products (e.g. cooked, fermented, dried) into the Republic of South Africa, or move such products in transit through South Africa, you must obtain a veterinary import permit or in-transit permit from the Director: Animal Health. You must obtain this permit before the consignment leaves the exporting country.

Veterinary import permits are valid for a limited period and one consignment only. Imports via third countries generally are not accepted.

The Director of Animal Health of South Africa will only issue veterinary import or in-transit permits for processed meat products for countries where the veterinary services and animal health status have been evaluated and approved.

There are import protocols in place that are specific to individual countries based on the products and the animal health situation there. As the health requirements change often, please contact the Directorate: Animal Health (tel: 012 319 7420 /7524 /7700, fax 012 329 6892) to obtain the latest requirements.

Companies within South Africa or agents in South Africa appointed by international companies may apply for import permits for meat products imported for commercial purposes.

For meat products in hermetically sealed containers, you must also get approval from the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS).

What you should do

  1. Complete the application to import animals or animal products into South Africa form.
  2. If the products are in transit through the Republic of South Africa, you must submit a copy of the veterinary import permit from the country of final destination with the application for a South African veterinary in-transit permit.
  3. Deposit the permit fee into the department’s bank account:
    • Name of bank: Standard Bank of South Africa
    • Name of account holder: National Department of Agriculture
    • Account No: 011219556 International Band
    • Branch: 010845
    • IB brand 0001982 Centre Code
    • Swift Code: SBZA-ZAJJ
    • Name of the branch: Arcadia
  4. You can also make payments at the offices of the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.
  5. Reference must be the importer’s name and surname.
  6. You are responsible for bank charges as well as the foreign bank charges; the Department will not issue a permit if the full fee is not received.
  7. (The fees are revised annually and published in the Government Gazette).
  8. Send the completed form and proof of payment to:
    • The Director: Animal Health
    • Import Export Policy Unit
    • Private Bag X138
    • Pretoria
    • 0001
    • South Africa
  9. No application will be processed without proof of payment. Proof of the deposit must be faxed to 012 329 8292 for attention: Ina Labuschagne.
  10. Please state on the application form if the permit will be collected or must be mailed to you.
  11. Following receipt of the completed application form and proof of payment, a veterinary import permit and a veterinary health certificate template will be issued and sent directly to you.
  12. You must obtain a veterinary health certificate from the veterinary authorities in the exporting country before the product is shipped. This health certificate must comply with the conditions stipulated in the South African veterinary import permit or must have been negotiated between the veterinary authorities of South Africa and the exporting country. If you need any information on the exact requirements for a specific animal product, you can obtain specimen copies of the veterinary import permit and the veterinary health certificate from the Permit Office.
  13. You must present the following to the South African veterinary import control officer at the port of entry:
    • Original veterinary import permit.
    • Original veterinary health certificate.
  14. All consignments of meat products must be inspected at one of following inspection sites stipulated on the import permit:
  15. Durban, tel. 031 337 4346/7
  16. Cape Town, tel. 021 551 2050
  17. City Deep (only from neighbouring countries), tel. 011 613 1636.

How long does it take

Once the state veterinarian at the national office has approved the importation, it takes three to five working days to process the application and issue the permit.