Firearms and Ammunition
Firearms will be charged at the following rates per sector. Charges may differ depending on the date of ticket issuance.
Shooting / Hunting (Firearms & Ammunition – subject to correct transportation / safety procedure being followed).
|Within South Africa||USD 25 (Including VAT)|
|Within Africa||USD 45|
|International (excl. Frankfurt/Munich to Johannesburg)||USD 65|
|Between Frankfurt/Munich and Johannesburg||EUR 150 / R2400|
Safekeeping of a firearm is set at R250-00. This item may not be kept for longer than 5 days and failure to collect will result in an additional charge of R500-00 per day. This service is available at all domestic airports within South Africa that SAA operates to.
Ammunition: up to 5kg per firearm, will be accepted free of charge when packed separately due to regulations and the correct transportation / safety procedure being followed.
Notification prior to travel:
Should you decide to travel with your firearm you must contact us before the flight to request approval and to ensure compliance with government embargoes and restrictions for the below items. Failure to inform us of the intended carriage of a firearm may result in the item being refused. You can contact us on the SAA call center number to book the firearm and ammunition.
• Firearms of all types, such as pistols, revolvers, rifles and shotguns
• Replicas and imitation firearms capable of being mistaken for a real weapon
• Component parts of firearms, excluding telescopic sights
• Compressed air and CO2 guns, such as pistols, pellet guns, rifles and ball-bearing guns
• Signal flare pistols and starter pistols
All these items must be sent via the firearm desk and would need the appropriate licenses and documentation for the firearms and ammunition that will be carrier such as export / import permits and local and national authorities.
When you notify us please specify:
• The quantity of firearms you wish to carry
• The type (Handgun, rifle, shotgun)
• The make / model and caliber
• The quantity in weight and caliber of ammunition
Flights within South Africa
Firearms may not travel as checked baggage but must be checked-in at the Firearm Desk. Ammunition must be packed separately from firearms in an appropriate, secure and lockable case and although it is possible for it to travel as part of your checked baggage allowance, we strongly recommend that it be checked-in as a separate piece of baggage or checked-in at the Firearm desk.
The Firearm Desk requirements
- 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 will be required to make and declare the firearm(s) safe for carriage.
- Security staff will request the owner to open his/her checked baggage to verify that ammunition is securely packed and that the total weight of ammunition per license holder does not exceed 5kg in weight.
- The owner 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 message to the receiving airport, advising them of details and loading positions of firearms.
- Checked baggage containing ammunition will be affixed with a special tag, indicating that the bag has been inspected, to avoid delays or confiscation of the baggage at further security controls.
Rifles and Handguns
Rifles and handguns must be processed via the Firearm desk and may not form part of your free baggage allowance.
A maximum of 5kg of securely packed ammunition per traveller is permitted for carriage as a separate piece of baggage. Screening authorities may delay baggage containing ammunition, if it is not declared at check-in and marked with an appropriate tag indicating it has already been inspected.
Notification Before Flight
Passengers must contact SAA before flight to request approval and to ensure compliance with government embargoes and restrictions for the below items - if passenger fails to notify us, they will not be able to travel with their equipment:
- firearms of all types, such as pistols, revolvers, rifles and shotguns
- replicas and imitation firearms capable of being mistaken for real weapons
- component parts of firearms, excluding telescopic sights
- compressed air and CO2 guns, such as pistols, pellet guns, rifles and ball-bearing guns
- signal flare pistols and starter pistols.
All these items can be carried as checked baggage and will need to provide the appropriate licences and documentation for the firearms and ammunition, e.g. export/import licences and authorisation from local and national authorities.
Passengers will need to specify:
- the quantity of firearms they wish to transport
- the type (handgun, rifle, shotgun)
- the make/model and calibre
- the quantity (in weight) and calibre of ammunition
Passengers may arrive at the airport with their firearms but the firearms must meet the terms and conditions above, failure to meet these terms and conditions, the firearm will not be accepted.
Upon arrival customers can proceed to the Firearm Desk to collect firearms. Checked baggage containing ammunition may be collected at the normal baggage carousel. Ammunition handed in separately may be collected at the Firearm Desk.
Flights outside South Africa
It is the responsibility of each traveller to comply with local laws on the carriage of weapons in every destination they travel to. It is up to each individual customer to be fully aware of legislation covering firearms and ammunition. Passengers with any onward connections within South Africa or transiting through South Africa must note the provisions for flights within South Africa, despite allowances abroad to prevent baggage from being delayed or rejected for travel.
Travellers should not pack any firearms within checked baggage. Firearms must be packed in suitable lockable firearm cases or bags.
Always declare your firearm and request a firearm identification tag to be placed on your firearm case or bag, as this will assist in the correct loading and delivery handling on SAA flights arriving in South Africa.
Where travellers originate their journey on South African Airways, we request that you declare the firearms and any checked baggage containing ammunition to our check-in staff for appropriate handling and labelling.
Ammunition may be carried within checked baggage, provided that it is securely packed in a lockable or secure container, and that the total weight does not exceed 5kgs of ammunition per traveller carrying a firearm. (In general, most airlines allow the carriage of ammunition in terms of the dictums of ICAO Dangerous Goods Standards and associated airline processes followed in terms of IATA requirements/guidance). Please do not pack ammunition loosely in checked baggage.
Arriving in South Africa
- All declared or identified firearms may be collected from the Firearm Desk just after immigration. Firearms not declared at departure, or not identified by an appropriate label will be delivered to the normal baggage carousal for collection. After collection of checked baggage containing ammunition, you are required to proceed to the SA Police Firearm Office, where all necessary import permits and other documentation will be finalised.
- Customers with onward domestic flights must clear firearms and ammunition at the SA Police Firearm Office before proceeding through customs. They will then be required to follow the process as described for domestic flights for onward and return journeys.
- Customers with onward international flights may have their firearms and ammunition checked through to the final destination. Do note however that such firearms and ammunition may be blocked by airport baggage screening staff for inspection, which will require the airline to page the traveller to proceed to a baggage reconciliation area, where you will be required to open any bags containing ammunition for inspection.
We urge customers to declare baggage containing ammunition to the SAA handling agents at the point where you originally join SAA flights to avoid delays during the transfer process.
Travellers with onward international flights who have not checked firearms and ammunition through to their final destination will be required to visit the SA Police Firearm Office, before proceeding to international check-in.
General information and assistance
Strict legislation on the carriage or importation of hand-held firearms exist in almost all countries and heavy fines could be imposed on the traveller and the airline should such items arrive without the necessary documentation (e.g. import permits and licenses.) It is the responsibility of the traveller to consult the local consulate of the destination country (including transit and stopovers where applicable) to establish and comply with all entry requirements.
Visitors require a Temporary Import Permit. Temporary Import Permits will only be issued for foreign hunters and participants in an organised sport shooting event. Temporary Import Permits can be obtained on arrival at the SA Police Firearm Office situated after immigration.
- Return airline ticket
- Firearm license (or proof of ownership) from country of residence
- Invitation letter from Outfitter or Sport shooting event organiser (on official letterhead)
- Letter from owner of the firearm stating the reasons why the firearm is needed in South Africa
- Address where traveller will stay
- Export permit from country of residence
- No automatic, semi-automatic firearms or military weapons are allowed
- No firearms for self-defense allowed
- Only 1 firearm per calibre allowed
- Under South African Firearms and Ammunition laws a maximum of only 200 rounds of ammunition will be allowed per firearm calibre
- No handguns may be imported without the necessary permits, and they need to be obtained before arrival
- Person must be 21 years or older to enable them to import a firearm to South Africa
Flights to and from Australia
Please note that all firearms are to be declared at Customs at Perth International Airport. Firearms cannot be through checked and you are advised to allow sufficient time for your connecting flights.
Flights to and from The Democratic Republic of Congo
Please note that there is an embargo on firearm import to the Democratic Republic of Congo. Firearms cannot be accepted to and from the DRC.