Firearms and Ammunition
Flights within South Africa
Firearms may not travel as checked baggage and must be declared during check in to be processed at the Firearm Desk. Ammunition must be packed separately from firearms in an appropriate, secure and lockable case and checked-in at the Firearm Desk. All firearms and ammunition must be declared at the time of check-in. Firearms and ammunition in checked baggage will result in the baggage being rejected.
The following items are not classified as firearms or ammunition and can be packed as checked baggage without having to notify us:
• Toy guns and laser pistols
• bows, cross bows and arrows
• harpoon guns and spear guns
• slingshots and catapults
Note: The above list is not recommended in checked baggage for travel however the customer can arrange for safe carriage at the firearm desk at a rate of R500. ACSA might reject the bag for toy guns and the airline will be called to assist. SAA will not provide delivery service in the event of this bag being delayed.
Customers that require to travel with a firearm must contact SAA Reservations to book the firearm.
A handling fee is charged for the carriage of handguns. Payment will only be accepted by credit card or cash at Ticket Sales. These firearms will be processed at the desk for safe carriage in the hold of the aircraft.
Note: A maximum of two firearms will be allowed per carrier case. Any additional firearm will be charged at the full rate. An additional rate will be charged if two customers share a carrier case.
Shooting / Hunting (Firearms & Ammunition – subject to correct transportation / safety procedure being followed)
Rates per flight sector
Johannesburg to Durban = R500
Cape Town to Harare via Johannesburg = R800
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.
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. Customers 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.
Departure outside South Africa
Customers should not pack any firearms within checked baggage. Firearms must be packed in suitable lockable firearm cases or bags.
Customers must always declare firearms and request a firearm identification tag to be placed on their firearm case or bag, as this will assist in the correct loading and delivery handling on SAA flights arriving in South Africa.
Where customers originate their journey on South African Airways, customers are requested to declare the firearms and any checked baggage containing ammunition to 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 carousel for collection. After collection of checked baggage containing ammunition, customers 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.
Customers are urged to declare baggage containing ammunition to the SAA handling agents at the point where they originally join SAA flights to avoid delays during the transfer process.
Customers 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 customer 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-defence 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.