South African Airways and Firearms

Saturday, 1st June 2019

Important notice!!!

Dear valued clients..

Special Baggage


Fragile, valuable or items with sentimental value should not be checked in. These items, including identification documents and passports, should be placed in your hand baggage and kept safely.

Firearms will be charged at the following rates per sector.

Shooting / Hunting (Firearms & Ammunition – subject to correct transportation / safety procedure being followed).

Within South Africa

USD 30

Within Africa

USD 60


USD 100

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.

Flights within South Africa
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.
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.
All firearms and ammunition must be declared at the time of check-in. Firearms and ammunition in your checked baggage will result in your baggage being rejected.
Our check-in staff will issue the relevant baggage tags then direct you to the Firearm Desk for inspection and processing of firearms and ammunition for secure handling to the aircraft.
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 must be processed via the Firearm desk and may form part of your free baggage allowance. Excess baggage charges will be applied if necessary.
A maximum of 5kg of securely packed ammunition per traveler 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.
On Arrival
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 traveler 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.
Travelers 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 travelers 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 labeling.
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 5kg of ammunition per traveler carrying a firearm. (In general, most airlines allow the carriage of ammunition in terms of the dictum's 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, you are required to proceed to the SA Police Firearm Office, where all necessary import permits and other documentation will be finalized.
  • 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 traveler 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.
Travelers 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 traveler and the airline should such items arrive without the necessary documentation (e.g. import permits and licenses.) It is the responsibility of the traveler 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.


  • Passport
  • Return airline ticket
  • Firearm license (or proof of ownership) from country of residence
  • Invitation letter from Outfitter or Sport shooting event organizer (on official letterhead)
  • Letter from owner of the firearm stating the reasons why the firearm is needed in South Africa
  • Address where traveler 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 caliber allowed
  • Under South African Firearms and Ammunition laws a maximum of only 200 rounds of ammunition will be allowed per firearm caliber
  • 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

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