Importation into South Africa:

Sorting out the paperwork has been a bit of a learning curve. admittedly I did leave it a little late
as I really loathe paperwork

We are obviously planning on importing the Nissan into SA once we eventually get there so the paperwork
required has been a bit more than normal.

I went to the website for the South African High Commision here in the UK to get an idea of what was required,
firstly I needed a Certificate of Conformity for the Nissan from the manufacturer.

No problem, or so I thought because where was she manufactured? Yes you guessed it Japan!!
I emailed Nissan UK and got a reply with attached documents on what I needed to do. Great easy
getting somewhere fast, well not really paperwork sent along with cheque, this gets returned with cheque
with a letter to the effect that as she is an import they cannot supply the paperwork.

So on the phone to Nissan UK, luckily I got a really helpful woman and she spoke to a few people for me.
She phoned me back saying I needed to get hold of Nissan South Africa and get a Statement of Conformity
from them.

I emailed Nissan SA and waited, it took about 2 weeks to get a reply, by which stage I was getting frustrated.
Again Nissan were very helpful, they wanted all the details on the VIN plate and engine number. A few days
later I had the SoC, and details of who to contact at the SABS to apply for the Letter of Authority.
This is a letter from the SABS which allows you to import the vehicle into South Africa.

I duly contacted the SABS and got all the application forms filled in and all the requested paperwork in order.
This I emailed off to the SABS and again waited. A week went by and no confirmation that paperwork had
been received. So yet again on the phone to my contact in the SABS, he'd been away for the week, so as
yet nothing had been processed, but he guaranteed it would be ready by 20th December.

I was fortunate in that my brothers wife went to collect the LoA from the SABS offices in Pretoria for me
so that James could bring it with him when he joins us on the 26th December.

Now we wait on the Import permit. We received the import permit on the 4th January 2008.

We entered South Africa through the Noordoewer border post. Exiting Namibia was a trying process as even though the Carnet specifically stated that it was not valid the woman at the Angola/Namibia border had insisted on stamping it and I now had to get it stamped out of Namibia in the South. The customs officials initially would not stamp my vehicle out, but after much persuasion and pleading they eventually did.

Next was the South African customs. Here I had a lot of fun, as a returning citizen I was allowed to import one vehicle free of customs duties as long as I had owned the vehicle for longer than 12 months.
Initially o one knew what to do and I was sent to the clearing agent just otherside the border post. I went there and again they wanted to charge me duties and vat. After much discussion one of the agents accompanied me back to the customs post where we went through four more people until they called in someone who appeared to be the headhoncho. He looked at the paperwork said yea sure he can import the vehicle free of charges and vat and that I needed to get a SAD 500 from the clearing agent.
So off we go back to the clearing agent, he sits and start filling in the form ( he obviously had not done one for a private import before as I did most of the filling in), after a few more phone calls back to the customs official the form was filled in and I paid the R80 fee for the privilege.
Back at Customs the woman took my paperwork stamped the SAD500, took my photocopy of the LOA and Import permit and that was that. All done and imported within 2 hours, or so I thought.
We got to Pietermaritzburg and started the process of registering and licensing the Patrol.
I went in to the Licensing bureau and got a list of papers required to register her in SA.
The paperwork required was:(originals and 1 set of copies)

1 - the original V5 document (logbook to safas)
2 - origional LoA
3 - Import permit
4 - SAD500
5 - RPI
6 - E16
7 - Copy of ID/Passport
8 - Competed Blue Form (Application for Registration)
9 - Weighbridge weight of vehicle certificate
10- RPC

I will go through each point individually as some were easy others a bit more involved.

1- V5 is registration documents of the vehicle from country of origin.
2- LoA I explained this letter further up the page, however there was one hiccup. My Nissan had a 13 digit VIN number. All vehicles in SA require 17digit number. This should have been picked up and a restiction placed on the LoA stating that the South African Police needed to check the VIN number and supply and stamp a new Vin number n the chassis.
3-Import permit explained further up the page.
4-SAD500, this was supplied by customs at the border post on importation. One thing that should have happened was the paperwork should have been stamped by the SARS(South African Revenue Service) at the border post of entry. For some reason they do not have anyone at the border post we came through, so I had to go to SARS in PMB to get the paperwork cleared by SARS.
5-RPI = Request for Plolice Identification. this form is supplied by the Licensing bureau you have to take it to the SAP vehicle theft unit to Identify the vehicle as the vehicle you are wanting to register and licence.
6 - E16, now this is an interesting one. Basically you need to put your vehicle through a roadworthiness test (COR) in SA, but as your vehicle is not on the computer system you get an E16 form to take to the licensing dept to prove your vehicle passed the test.
7 - self explanatory
8 - The application form supplied by licensing dept.
9 - Find a weighstation and get vehicle weighed, must be done prior to taking for COR.

Once you have got all the above paperwork you go back to the licencing dept and hand it in. They will check all is in order if it is, they take the copies and these sent to another dept where they are again checked and ,if correct, entered onto the eNaTis system.
You are supposed to be contacted once this is done, but I found I had to contact them regularly to check things were moving on.
10- Once you go back to the dept you are then given an RPC which you again take to the vehicle theft unit for police clearance.
Then back to the licencing dept where they take all the originals and the RPC and give you a number to sit and wait.
Your number gets called and you then pay your licence and registration fee. However as the vehicle has no COR and only the E16 they will not issue the license disc until you convert the E16 into a COR, this is done easily enough by going to the test station where the test was done and they issue you with the COR as the vehicle is now on their system.

It took me a total of 6weeks to get all this done, I was lucky as the main Licensing bureau for our area was in PMB and I had time to run all over town to get stuff done. Some people I met in the queues had been trying to get their vehiles registered for anything between 9months to 5 years. So once the process starts you really have to push and persevere.
The Carnet is basically a passport for the vehicle when going in and out of countries. You have a choice of 5, 10, or 25 page document, we are going for the 25 page one as one page is for 1 country.
The Carnet is issued by the RAC (Royal Automobile Association) in the UK.
I have now sent out all the relevant documents and am praying it will be ready for us by the time we leave on the 13th January.