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Vat Refunds


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Non-resident foreign passport holders and South African passport holders who are permanently resident in an export country, on a temporary visit to South Africa, are able to claim a refund of VAT paid on movable goods purchased from  VAT registered vendors which goods are exported on departure from the Country.

Claim VAT refund

Visitors to South Africa who permanently reside in another country are able to claim back the 14% VAT paid on all goods purchased during their stay, provided the goods are exported on departure.  For visitors departing from O R Tambo International Airport, Johannesburg, Cape Town International Airport and King Shaka International Airport, Durban, follow these 3 easy steps


When making a purchase, identify yourself to the shop assistant as a foreign visitor and request a TAX INVOICE for the goods purchased. If the amount you spend exceeds R5 000 your name and address MUST appear on the TAX INVOICE issued by the store.

For purchases exceeding R10 000 you are required to furnish proof of payment. This may take the form of a credit card receipt or similar proof.


The goods MUST be presented for inspection on your final departure from South Africa. If the items are packed into you hold luggage, present the goods to the custom officials in the departure hall before checking in for your flight (In Cape Town the inspection is done in the arrivals hall at the VRA counters). Items carried in your hand luggage may be presented for inspection at the VAT Refund Office situated after passport control.


Present your claim at the VAT Refund Office. VAT Refund Offices are located at O R Tambo International Airport – Johannesburg, Cape Town International Airport and King Shaka International Airport – Durban. The location of the VAT Refund Office is clearly sign posted.

You will need your:
– Passport
– Boarding Pass
– TAX INVOICES that have been stamped by Customs.

If the TAX INVOICES were not presented to a customs official for inspection, you will also need to show the goods at the VAT Refund Office.

Your VAT refund claim will be processed and you will be issued with a VAT REFUND CARD which, once loaded with your VAT refund, may be used to make purchases or withdraw cash from any ATM wherever the MasterCard® Acceptance Mark is displayed (excluding the common monetary area being South Africa, Namibia, Lesotho and Swaziland). In addition, there are a number of countries and geographical regions where the use of the Card is currently prohibited. Please verify the list of countries and regions on this website.

Refunds for amounts below R3 000 are generally loaded onto the card within 3 days of your date of departure. Refunds for greater amounts are loaded once the claim has been approved by the South African Revenue Service. This generally takes between 6 to 8 weeks.

Full details on how to use the card, review the balance and all other information regarding the VAT Refund Scheme, may be found on this website.

VAT Refund card is issued by Travelex Card Services Limited, pursuant to license by MasterCard® Asia/Pacific Pte. Ltd. MasterCard® and the MasterCard® Brand Mark are registered trademarks of MasterCard® International.