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Welcome to FlySAA

Frequently Asked Questions

The Frequently Asked Questions section is devoted to answering common questions about SAA Reservations, Voyager and SAA Cargo.

Please click below on the question that matches your query. If you have questions that are not covered in this list of FAQs, please e-mail SAA Cargo directly at SAACargoReservations@flysaa.com.

 

General

 

Dangerous Cargo

 

Domestic Pets

 

 


 

What guidelines should I follow when packing?

To withstand all conditions during normal handling procedures.
To avoid any injury to any person or damage to equipment and aircraft.
Liquids must be packed in containers which are securely closed, sufficient in strength to prevent any leakage which may be caused by change in temperature or altitude. Allowance must be made for expansion.
Packing for the following commodities are specialised. These packing instructions are available from the SAA Cargo Customer Service Centre.
Telephone: (011) 978-1119 (+27 11 978-1119 for international callers) 08:00 to 20:00 Monday to Friday and 08:00 to 14:00 on weekends and public holidays.

 

 


 

What customs procedures should I follow?

Any cargo to be transported internationally is subject to customs clearance prior to acceptance by the airline. SAA Cargo staff will assist in completion of the Customs Bill of Export. All other documents necessary must be obtained and completed by the shipper. Detailed information for customs requirements is obtainable from the Department of Customs and Excise at telephone: (011) 923-2400 (** 27 11 923-2400 for international callers). Customs and Excise are available for clearing of export cargo from 08:00 to 20:00 Monday to Friday and 08:00 to 14:00 on weekends and public holidays

 

 


 

What is the procedure for goods to be forwarded via SAA Cargo?

Cargo intended for transportation internationally and domestically must be tendered to SAA Cargo Centre. Exports Export cargo must be in the airline's possession not later than five hours prior to departure. Domestic General domestic cargo is accepted on a space available basis. Express cargo (only available on domestic services) will be accepted no later than 60 minutes prior to departure of the designated flight.

 

 


 

What is dangerous cargo? 

Dangerous cargo is articles or substances which can pose a significant risk to health, safety or property when transported by air. And remember that some seemingly innocent substances, safe on the ground, may become dangerous when subjected to the fluctuations of temperature and pressure during the flight. If you have any doubts about your cargo please contact your nearest SAA Cargo Office. Because not only is it a criminal offence to ship or attempt to ship undeclared and incorrectly packaged dangerous cargo, it could also result in a fatal accident. Please make sure that all potentially dangerous cargo is declared, labelled and packed correctly.

 

 


 

Where can I find information on training to handle dangerous goods?

In terms of existing government regulations any person involved in the handling of dangerous goods must be suitably trained. SAA provides training courses. For more information write to: Training Administrative Officer South African Airways Cargo Private Bag X014 Kempton Park 1620 or give us a call on (011) 978-9473 (** 27 11 978-9473 for international callers) Fax (011) 978-2038 (** 27 11 978-2038 for international callers) Email: webmaster@saacargo.co.za

 

 


 

What are the different classes of dangerous substances?

Summary of Classes of Dangerous Cargo
(Including names of some commercial products related to each class.)

Class 1
EXPLOSIVES are substances or devices having an explosive effect, e.g. toy caps, detonators, igniters, grenades, fireworks, cartridges.

Class 2
GASES: COMPRESSED, LIQUIFIED, DISSOLVED UNDER PRESSURE OR HIGHLY REFRIDGERATED, e.g. cigarette lighters, compressed oxygen, aerosols.

Class 3
FLAMMABLE LIQUIDS are liquids, mixtures of liquids or liquids containing solids in solution or in suspension that discharge a flammable vapour at medium temperatures e.g. paints, alcohol, petrol, benzine, brake fluid.

Class 4
FLAMMABLE SOLIDS: SUBSTANCES LIABLE TO SPONTANEOUS COMBUSTION; SUBSTANCES WHICH, ON CONTACT WITH WATER, EMIT FLAMMABLE GASES, e.g. phosphorous, potassium, matches, fire-lighters.

Class 5
OXIDISING SUBSTANCES: ORGANIC PEROXIDES are substances that normally do not burn but, when in contact with oxygen, can set fire to other materials or can help to bring it about, e.g. bleaching powder, potassium permanganate, pool chemicals, disinfectants.

Class 6
POISONOUS (TOXIC) AND INFECTIOUS SUBSTANCES are substances that either – can cause death, injury or health problems if swallowed, inhaled or from skin contact, e.g. pesticides, cyanide compounds, rodenticides,
or
contain viable micro-organisms or their toxins known, or suspected to cause, diseases in humans or animals, e.g. bacterial agents.

Class 7
RADIOACTIVE MATERIALS are materials with a specific activity greater than 70 kBq/kg, e.g. uranium, carbon-14.

Class 8
CORROSIVES are substances that, in the event of leakage, can cause severe damage by chemical action when in contact with living tissue or that can severely damage other cargo or the aircraft, e.g. hydrochloric acid, instruments containing mercury.

Class 9
MISCELLANEOUS DANGEROUS GOODS are substances or articles not covered by other classes and which might be a source of danger during air transportation. These include magnetised material which might affect the flight navigational systems, and other regulated substances which might cause extreme annoyance or discomfort, e.g. dry ice, asbestos, polystyrene beads, engines internal combustion, environmentally hazardous substances.

Information
For more information, contact your nearest SAA Cargo office. South African Airways Cargo. Email: webmaster@saacargo.co.za
 

 

 


 

How can I travel with my domestic pet within the Republic of South Africa?

Pets accompanying passengers may be accepted as cargo for stowage in the cargo hold of the aircraft.

 

 


 

How can I travel with my pet on an international service from South Africa?

Pets accompanying passengers may be accepted as cargo for stowage in the cargo hold of the aircraft. Pets are not allowed to travel as excess baggage to any destination with the exception of the USA.

NOTE: Requirements differ from country to country, therefore it is suggested that the Embassy or Consulate of that specific country be approached for the information pertinent to that country. RESTRICTIONS: No domestic pets will be loaded in the cabin area. No access to domestic pets during flight will be permitted. Domestic pets under the age of 8 weeks will under no circumstances be accepted for carriage by air.

 

 


 

How can I transport my pet to South Africa on the international service?

Pets accompanying passengers may be accepted as cargo for stowage in the cargo hold of the aircraft. Pets are not allowed to travel as excess baggage to any destination with the exception of the USA.

In terms of existing legislation, all animals bound for South Africa on an international flight must be carried as manifest cargo. A further restriction imposed by S.A.A. Cargo on its flights into South Africa is that animals (including domestic pets) must be loaded in the cargo compartment of the aircraft. For the importation of dogs and cats a valid Rabies and Health Certificate signed by a State Veterinarian of the country of origin is required. In addition to that a Veterinary Import Permit obtained from the Director of Veterinary Services, Private Bag X138, Pretoria, 0001, RSA must be produced. Should your documents be in order, your pet will immediately be released on arrival to you. If the necessary Veterinary Health and/or Vaccination Certificates do not comply with the conditions of the Import Permit, the dog or cat may be returned to the point of departure, or quarantined for a period of 30 days in the official Quarantine Station, provided accommodation is available.

However, pets arriving from Africa (north of South Africa and Namibia, but excluding Malawi and Zimbabwe), Central and South America (from Mexico southwards) and the Middle and Far East (all countries east of Egypt, Italy, Austria, Germany, Poland and Finland excluding Greece, Cyprus and Israel), will be subjected to a quarantine period of at least 30 days irrespective of the Health and Rabies Certificates as is the case should your documentation not be in order. Should you be connecting onto a flight to Cape Town, or Durban, a Veterinary Certificate will be issued for your pet and the other clearance formalities can be finalised at these locations as they do not have quarantine facilities.

For all other stations served by SAA, all clearance formalities must be done at Johannesburg International Airport, or if on international flights Durban or Cape Town.

 

 


 

What important requirements should I follow?

Certain countries require export, tranship and import permits and you are requested to please consult the Consulate of the country of your transit and destination to find out the exact importation requirements for their land. (International flights only).
Please contact the State Veterinarian for your pet's Rabies and Health Certificate. (International flights only).
The correct size container must be used. Animals will only be accepted for carriage in crates/ containers that securely confine them, but large enough to permit your pet to move about freely. (Refer to specifications below).

NOTE: 
For transport of dogs and cats to and from or through Kwa-Zulu Natal, a Movement Permit issued by your local veterinarian is required.

GENERAL:

When reporting for check-in for your flight and your pet is travelling with you as excess baggage, you must present your pet at the same time, together with the appropriate documents for your pet, e.g. Health Certificates, Permits etc.
If you wish your pet to be conveyed as cargo, it will be afforded special care and attention by our cargo staff as is the case when travelling as excess baggage.
Your pet must be handed in at the Cargo Building at approximately 3 hours prior to departure of an international flight or 1 hour 45 minutes in the case of a domestic flight, together with the appropriate documents for your pet, e.g. Health Certificates, Permits, etc.

 

 


 

What containers are necessary for carriage by air?

Animals will be accepted for carriage by air only in suitable clean containers which must be leak-proof and escape-proof. The container must be constructed in a manner which will permit handling staff to give the necessary attention to the animals without the risk of the animals harming them. Adequate litter must be provided to absorb excreta. The use of straw as absorbent material is to be avoided because of the restrictions on the importation of straw imposed by a large number of countries. Wood that has been treated with chemical preservatives must also not be used to construct the shipping container, as the preservatives could be toxic to the animal housed therein.

 

 


 

What labels and markings do I require?

It is mandatory to attach at least one IATA "Live Animals" label or tag, properly completed, to each live animal's container. In addition, "This way up" labels shall be placed, where possible, on all four sides of the container to indicate the upright position. (See examples below). These labels are supplied free of charge if animals are transported by SAA Cargo Services

 

 


 

What are the carrier's requirements for transporting? 

Only animals which appear to be in good health and condition and fit to travel to the final destination will be accepted for carriage by air. The shipper is required to declare when animals are pregnant, or have given birth in the last 48 hours. Animals which are declared to be pregnant will not be accepted unless accompanied by a veterinary certificate certifying that the animal is fit to travel and there is no risk of birth during the journey.

 

 


 

What is the carrier's liability?

Carrier will not be liable for any loss, damage or expense arising from the death due to natural causes or death or injury of any animal caused by the conduct or acts of the animal itself, or by defective packing of the animal, or by the inability of the animal to withstand unavoidable changes in its physical environment inherent in the carriage by air.

 

 


 

Must I feed my animal in transit?

Generally, it is not necessary to feed an animal in transit, though certain species may need water depending on climatic conditions and total journey time. If this is required in transit, it is the shipper's responsibility to make advance arrangements for feeding. The shipper must confirm these arrangements in writing at the time the animal is presented. Any water provided must be fresh and uncontaminated, preferably suitable for human consumption and shall not be iced. Any packets of spare food provided by the shipper shall be attached to the container. In any event, food and water troughs must be fitted with outside fillers.

 

 


 

Is it necessary to tranquillise my animal?

For hold storage experience has shown that there is no considerable risk in sedating animals transported by air. For these reasons, routine tranquillisation is not recommended when animals are placed in the cargo compartments. Tranquillisers should only be administered by a veterinarian or by a person who has been instructed in their use. For hold storage experience has shown that there is no considerable risk in sedating animals transported by air. For these reasons, routine tranquillisation is not recommended when animals are placed in the cargo compartments. Tranquillisers should only be administered by a veterinarian or by a person who has been instructed in their use. For hold storage experience has shown that there is no considerable risk in sedating animals transported by air. For these reasons, routine tranquillisation is not recommended when animals are placed in the cargo compartments. Tranquillisers should only be administered by a veterinarian or by a person who has been instructed in their use. For hold storage experience has shown that there is no considerable risk in sedating animals transported by air. For these reasons, routine tranquillisation is not recommended when animals are placed in the cargo compartments. Tranquillisers should only be administered by a veterinarian or by a person who has been instructed in their use.

 

 


 

What preparations must I make before dispatching my animal?

Feed the animal only a light meal and a short drink approximately two hours before dispatch. Snub-nosed dogs, such as boxers, bulldogs, Pekinese and pugs, are affected more than other breeds by rarefied atmosphere and care must be taken to ensure that the front of the container has open bars from the top to the bottom of the box for ventilation. It is essential that the animal be free from respiratory troubles. Shipment of females in heat (estrus) is not recommended. Females with suckling young and unweaned animals will not be accepted for carriage. For pet animals, a familiar article in the container helps to placate the animal. Animal's name should be marked on the outside of the container.

 

 


 

Non-Embalmed, Embalmed or Exhumed Human Remains?

These general requirements apply to both international and domestic carriage.

Acceptance
Human remains may be offered for transportation by air and may be accepted for carriage on an airport to airport basis subject to advance bookings having been made to final destination and on a pre-paid basis only.
Packing and marking requirements – international and domestic carriage
Human remains tendered for dispatch, must in all instances be embalmed and enclosed in a hermetically sealed metal container and then be placed in a stout wooden leak-proof coffin. (Refer to notes 1 and 2 below in respect of exceptions applicable to the Domestic Carriage only).
A coffin of usual shape must be fully covered with burlap/hessian or may be enclosed in a secondary outer packaging constructed of wood or strong fibreboard.
The coffin, whether covered or placed in a secondary outer packaging, must be constructed so as to withstand the rigours experienced during normal handling and transportation.
No marks, letters or endorsements must appear on the package/wrapping except the required AW143A cargo identification label, name and address of consignee and package orientation labels which are required on opposite sides of the outer packaging.

NOTE 1:
Two exceptions to the above ruling apply to the domestic services of SA Airways:
Human remains may be placed in a heavy gauge/polythene bag instead of a hermetically sealed metal container and then be placed in a stout wooden leak-proof coffin. If the human remains are placed in the plastic/polythene bag, most of the air must have been extracted and made airtight by sealing. In cases where the deceased died of an infectious disease and authority is granted for transportation by air by the Health Authorities, two plastic/polythene bags must be used. The undertaker dispatching such consignments must sign the following declaration in the "Handling Information" rubric on the Air Waybill: "This is to certify that the remains are encased in a SABS approved sealed heavy gauge plastic/polythene bag".
It is permitted to transport non-embalmed human remains by air on the domestic services of SA Airways without prior authority from the Quality Assurance & Standards department.

NOTE 2:
Any requests for the carriage of non-embalmed human remains on the international services of SA Airways must be directed to the Quality Assurance & Standards department at the telephone number 27 11 978 3844 or Fax to 27 11 978 3817 or at SITA telex code JNBFPSA. The telex message must contain the following information:

  • Name of deceased
  • Date of death
  • Cause of death
  • Date and intended routing for transportation of human remains.
  • Cremated Remains
  • Acceptance
  • No reservation is required
  • Packing and marking
  • Ashes are to be contained within a plastic bag in a funeral urn or casket which is suitably sealed and packed in a wooden or strong fibreboard outer packaging. Packaging orientation labels are required on opposite sides of the outer packaging. No other special packing requirements are required.
  • Documentation For International Carriage
  • Documentation required to destinations outside the Republic of South Africa
  • Certain countries have stringent regulations regarding the importation of human remains, be they embalmed, non-embalmed or cremated. The Air Cargo Tariff (TACT) Rules, Section 7 refers - Information by countries may be consulted in this regard, however, it is advisable to contact the Embassy or Consulate of the country concerned for the latest information.


Coffins with human remains

  • A permit from the Director-General Department of National Health and Population Development, Private Bag X63, Pretoria approving the removal, and a certificate of endorsement from the Consulate/Embassy concerned representing the country of destination, approving the importation, must be produced.
  • The application for the permit must be accompanied by:
  • A medical certificate stating the cause of death or a properly certified copy thereof;
  • A certificate or statement or a properly certified copy or translation thereof by the foreign authority signifying the approval of the importation of the human remains;
  • A removal order from the District Registrar of Births and Deaths of the district where the death took place; and
  • A non-infectious disease certificate or a properly certified copy thereof.
  • The Department of National Health and Population Development does not levy any fee for the permit, but the cost of all telegrams, will be recovered from the applicant. All permits must state the following information: the name, age, sex and race of the deceased; the date and place of death; cause of death; the circumstances under which it is desired to remove the body from South Africa; the proposed mode of conveyance; the precautions which will be taken to prevent any danger to health and to ensure that offence will not be caused; and the proposed mode and place of disposal of the body outside the Republic of South Africa.

Cremated remains (ashes)

  • A permit is not required for the exportation of cremated remains from South Africa, but a certificate of cremation must be produced, and a certificate or endorsement by the authorities concerned if required by the country to which the cremated remains are being dispatched, must also be produced.
  • Documentation for entry into the republic of South Africa
  • Coffins containing human remains
  • A permit from the Department of National Health and Population Development must accompany the remains into the Republic of South Africa. The acceptance station abroad must comply with the requirements of the country from which the shipment was dispatched.
  • Cremated remains (ashes)
  • A certificate of cremation must be produced but no permit is required.

Documentation for Domestic Carriage
Documentation for conveyance within the republic of South Africa

Coffins with human remains
The following is required:

  • A death certificate.
  • A removal order issued by the district registrar of deaths or by the SA Police.
  • A certificate by the undertaker stating that the necessary sanitary precautions have been met.
  • In the case of a notifiable medical condition, a certificate by the local medical officer of health that carriage is authorised and by the local medical officer of health at the point of destination that the body will be received.
  • Cremated remains (ashes)
  • No permit or other documentation is required for the transport of cremated remains within the Republic of South Africa.

 

 

 

 
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