South Africa airline
Firearms & ammunition
Firearms & ammunition information
Passengers who wish to travel with their firearms may do so provided they comply with the following policies and procedures.
- Acceptance of carriage
- Check-in protocol
- Arrival protocol
- General information
- South African Express
Acceptance of carriage
Firearms designed for sporting purposes, such as target pistols and safari/hunting rifles, may be carried on South African Airways under the following conditions:
- The firearm must be unloaded and, if possible, dismantled and packed in a suitable lockable firearm case.
- Firearms will be processed at the firearm desk for safe carriage in the hold of the aircraft.
- Ammunition (cartridges for weapons) must be securely stored in a lockable container within checked baggage.
- The maximum weight of the ammunition carried by any single passenger is 5kg (11lb).
- For transfer and transit passengers who are connecting to onward flights, prior clearance to travel with firearms and ammunition must be obtained from the South African Police Firearm Office at the airport.
- At time of check-in, all firearms and ammunition must be declared to the airline agent.
- Undeclared firearms and ammunition will result in luggage being rejected during mandatory screening. As a result, the passenger will be required to open his/her baggage for further inspection and safe handling, or the items will be confiscated for further processing.
- Check-in agents will issue the relevant baggage tags and then direct firearm owners to the firearm desk for inspection.
- The owner of the firearm will be required to produce a valid licence or temporary import permit.
- The owner of the firearm(s) will be required to make and declare the firearm(s) safe for carriage.
- Security staff will request the firearm owner to open his/her checked luggage to verify that ammunition is securely packed and within the maximum weight allowed.
- Upon arrival, passengers are required to proceed to the allocated firearm desk to collect firearms and/or ammunition.
- Checked baggage containing ammunition may be collected at the normal baggage carousel.
- After collection of checked baggage containing ammunition, you are required to proceed to the South African Police Firearm office, where all necessary import permits and other documentation will be finalised.
Strict legislation on the carriage of hand-held firearms exists in almost all countries, and heavy fines could be imposed on the passenger and carrier should such items be transported without the necessary documentation (import permits/licence, etc.)
- It is the RESPONSIBILITY OF THE PASSENGER to consult with the local consulate of the country to which he/she will be traveling, including transit/stopovers where applicable, to establish and comply with all entry requirements of the countries concerned.
- South African citizens and residents require a South African firearm licence.
- Visitors require a Temporary Import Permit; these will only be issued to foreign hunters and participants in an organised sport-shooting event.
- Temporary import permits can be obtained either:
- On arrival at the South African Police Firearm office
- At least four weeks before arrival in South Africa:
- The Registrar
Private bag X 811
Republic of South Africa.
- Passport and return airline ticket
- Firearm licence or proof of ownership from country of residence
- Invitation letter, on an official letterhead, from sport shooting event organiser
- Letter from owner of firearms stating the reasons why the firearms are needed in South Africa
- Address where person will stay in South Africa
- Export permit from country of residence
- No automatic, semi-automatic firearms or military weapons are allowed
- No firearms for self-defence allowed
- Only one firearm per caliber allowed
- Only 200 rounds of ammunition allowed per firearm
- No handguns may be imported to South Africa without the necessary permits
- Person must be 21 years and older to enable them to import a firearm to South Africa
- Airlink will no longer transport firearms, except hunting rifles and shotguns. Hunting rifles shall only be transported to and from the following destinations:
- O R Tambo International, Johannesburg
- Cape Town
- Port Elizabeth
- Mpumalanga International Airport, Nelspruit
- Airlink will continue to transport handguns, shotguns and rifles to all destinations except the following:
- Phalaborwa (Rifles are accepted)
South African Express
Hunting rifles and shotguns may be transported on South African Express Airways flights.
Only law enforcement agents may be allowed to transport their hand guns on South African Express Airways flights. They must produce some form of official identification e.g appointment certificate. They shall be liable for the stipulated cost for the transportation of the firearm.
NOTE: No firearms may be transported to George Airport
- Firearms may be accepted on all South African Express Airways destinations listed below:
- Port Elizabeth
- Kruger Mpumalanga International
- Cape Town
- Richards Bay
- Walvis Bay
- East London
South African Airways & Mango codeshare between Cape Town and Durban
Important information to note when travelling on the Mango codeshare flights:
- Firearms will no longer be accepted for travel on this route. This is a requirement of the operating carrier Mango.