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How Much Money Can You Take Out When Leaving South Africa?

By April 21, 2020December 11th, 2023Forex

How Much Money Can You Take Out When Leaving South Africa?

April 21, 2020


If you’re emigrating and leaving South Africa, chances are you’re going to want to take your money with you. So how do you go about repatriating funds to your new home country destination? How do you take money out of South Africa and how much can you take? It’s a good idea to know exactly how much you can move abroad out of South Africa and how it’s done, before you do it because cross-border financial transactions have an exchange control impact, which means they’re going to attract the attention of the South African Reserve Bank (SARB). This makes it important to be aware of the exchange control limits on various methods of transferring funds from South Africa, namely the Foreign Investment Allowance (FIA) and Single Discretionary Allowance (SDA).


What is the limit in South African currency you are allowed to carry with you when leaving the country?

  • You’re allowed to declare and carry a maximum of R25 000/unlimited foreign currency per person.
  • The amount of South African currency you’re allowed to carry if you’re leaving to a country within the Common Monetary Area is unlimited.


How do you move money abroad from South Africa?

South Africans have two means by which they can transfer funds abroad. The Foreign Investment/Foreign Capital Allowance, and the Single Discretionary Allowance. Where the amount is in excess of both allowances, it is possible to move this abroad by means of the Special Allowance, with prior approval from SARB.


What is the South African Foreign Capital Allowance (FIA)?

It is the annual allowance of R10 million available to South African residents, South African residents temporarily abroad and emigrants.


Transfer requirements:

  • You must be 18 years or older.
  • A Tax Clearance Certificate must be obtained from SARS (SA Revenue Service).
  • Green bar-coded ID document or a Smart ID card.


What is the Single Discretionary Allowance (SDA)?

Using this allowance, you can move R1 million out of South Africa per calendar year. This avenue is available to South African residents and residents temporarily abroad.


Transfer requirements:

  • You must be 18 years or older.
  • Have a green bar-coded ID document or a Smart ID card.
  • In this instance, no tax clearance certificate is required.


What is the Special Allowance?

When you want to transfer abroad an amount that exceeds the annual South African foreign investment allowance, as a resident (or resident temporarily abroad) you can make use of the Special Allowance. The amount that you can transfer using this allowance has no limit but will require approval from the SARB and must adhere to the same transfer requirements as stated above.


What are BoP codes and why does the Reserve Bank need them?

The South African Reserve Bank (SARB) requires all cross-border financial transactions to be reported in accordance with their regulations. Balance of Payments Reporting (BoP Reporting) is an electronic notification system used by Authorised Dealers, such as banks, to identify and cross-border transactions to the South African Reserve Bank (SARB). This means that when you’re completing a cross-border transaction to shift funds abroad, you’re going to need to provide justification for the transaction. You’ll choose the relevant Inwards or Outward BoP Code/s for your transaction, for which there can be more than one reason, and accordingly more than one BoP code.


See more about BoP codes here.


FinGlobal: ready to help you with your cross-border financial transactions

When you’re transferring funds abroad using the Foreign Investment Allowance and Single Discretionary Allowance, your choice in financial services intermediary makes all the difference. Take a look at our credentials:

  • Licensed Treasury Outsourced Company with the South African Reserve Bank (SARB).
  • Licensed Financial Services Provider with the South African Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA).
  • Fully accredited and registered with South Africa’s Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC).
  • SSL Security Certified website for secure encrypted connections and confidential interactions.

You can rest assured that everything we do is above board, and fully compliant with all of the necessary regulatory bodies. We also offer highly competitive exchange rates, exceptional convenience and personalised service, every step of the way.

Whether you need foreign exchange, or you’re weighing up the pros and cons of financial emigration, we’re ready to help. We’re also here to offer you any assistance with tax clearance, tax refunds, retirement annuity encashment and so much more. 


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