Claim Back your VAT Refund

Visitors from other countries who establish their permanent residence outside South Africa can receive a refund of the 15% Value Added Tax (VAT) paid on goods purchased during their visit, provided that they export the items upon their departure. To claim the refund, tourists must present their receipts and evidence of export at the VAT refund counters situated at designated airports, including O R Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, Cape Town International Airport, King Shaka International Airport in Durban, and other eligible airports.


As an international visitor shopping in South Africa, remember to inform the store assistant of your status and request a TAX INVOICE for your purchases. If the total cost exceeds R5,000, ensure that your name and address are clearly indicated on the invoice. For purchases over R10,000, you must provide proof of payment such as a credit card receipt or other documentation.


Before departing South Africa, customs officials must inspect all purchased goods. This is mandatory and must take place in the departure hall before checking in for your flight. At Cape Town International Airport, inspections are conducted only at the VRA counters in the departure hall. At OR Tambo International Airport, high-value items like jewelry, electronics, and watches undergo inspection by both customs officials and an additional office. Customs inspection takes place before security and passport control, while the additional office is located in the duty-free area after immigration control.


Claiming your VAT refund is easy. Simply go to the VAT Refund Office at any designated airport and bring your passport, boarding pass, and tax invoices stamped by Customs. Your VAT refund will be paid directly into your account via EFT. Please note that from the date of submission it may take up to 90 days or more for claims R3000 and higher to be processed.