Exchange Control for Travel

All foreign exchange transactions in South Africa are subject to exchange control regulations, which are governed by the South African Reserve Bank. As an authorised dealer in foreign exchange, we are equipped to help you to comply with the South African Reserve Bank's requirements.

Here are the main rules in place for South Africans wanting to travel:

  • A single discretionary allowance of R1 000 000 per calendar year, for residents over the age of 18 years. This allowance may be used for travel, donations, gifts, study allowance, alimony and child support, wedding expenses, foreign capital allowance and maintenance payments, provided the amount does not exceed the limit of R1 000 000 per calendar year.
  • Children under the age of 18 years qualify for a travel allowance of R200 000 per calendar year.
  • Foreign currency for travel purposes may not be bought more than 60 days prior to the departure of the traveller. For travel purposes, a valid air ticket must be presented, indicating that the journey commences from South Africa and such allowance may not be issued more than 60 days prior to departure.
  • Travellers must convert unused foreign exchange within 30 days of returning to South Africa.
  • The costs of land arrangements (hotels, cruises, tours, etc.) form part of your travel allowance, but the payment of airfares do not.
  • Using your credit card while travelling abroad forms part of your travel allowance.
  • In addition, each traveller may take R25 000 in South African Reserve bank notes when visiting abroad.
  • Where the insurance value of your personal belongings, not for sale, exceeds R50 000 you will need an NEP form attested by a bank or by Customs and Excise. Please enquire at your nearest Foreign exchange outlet should you need this form.
  • If you use your credit card to purchase goods and services online from another country, the value should not exceed R20,000
  • South African residents also have an investment allowance of R10 million per calendar year to invest abroad. Should you want to use this allowance you need to provide the bank with a tax clearance certificate issued by SARS.

Travel allowances for Companies:

  • Standard Bank, as an Authorized Dealer, is permitted to approve applications for ‘Omnibus’ Travel facilities up to R20.000.000 (Twenty million Rand) per calendar year for allocation at the discretion of the company in respect of any number of business trips abroad by one or more Travellers.
  • Requests to avail of higher facilities must be submitted to the South African Reserve Bank via Standard Bank.
  • Company representatives availing of this facility still qualify for the single discretionary allowance (which includes travel allowance) of R1.000.000 per annum.
  • We request as much detailed information as possible to facilitate processing of the application:
    • Registered name of company.
    • The company registration number.
    • A brief outline of the company’s activities and nature of business.
    • Details of any foreign affiliates and/or shareholding.
    • Motivation for the application.
    • The Rand amount applied for.
    • The names of officials traveling and anticipated travel schedule.
    • Confirmation that the allowance will be utilized only for travel related expenses and not to generate any profits.
  • The application must be submitted on a company letterhead and signed by authorized representatives of the company, as well as each request/order for Foreign Exchange to be provided thereafter, must be accompanied by an official letter from the company authorising the proposed business visits to be undertaken
  • Please note: The Omnibus facility may not be deposited in foreign bank accounts under any circumstances.

For more information on Exchange Control, please click here


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