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How to prepare a car for shipping overseas- step by step guide.
Guidelines for Loading a container
FACTORS TO CONSIDER: Air freight vs Sea freight
What is a cubic meter ? How much to ship it from UK?
Transportation of Dangerous Cargo


Air & Sea Freight
Beira Corridor
Buying Tips
Car Articles
Cargo to Botswana
Cargo to Namibia
Cargo to South Africa
Cargo to Zimbabwe
Container Shipping
Customs Regulations
Dangerous Cargo Transportation
Freight Industry Data
Returning resident to Zimbabwe
Sending goods to Botswana
Sending Goods to Kenya
Sending goods to Uganda
Sending Goods To USA
Sending Goods to Zimbabwe
Shipping Cars to Botswana
Shipping cars to Mozambique
Shipping cars to Namibia
Shipping cars to South Africa
Shipping Cars To West Africa
Shipping cars to Zimbabwe
Shipping Tips and Information
Shipping to Gambia
Swaziland Customs and Excise
Trucks Articles
Used Cars/Trucks/Trailers/Buses
Vehicle Clearance in Namibia
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How to prepare a car for shipping overseas- step by step guide.

 This is one of the most over looked aspect of car shipping process. A car is one of the most valuable items you will ever purchase for export to another country. It is therefore important to make sure you do your best to prepare your vehicle  and all related documentation in order to avoid delays, expenses and penalties. This guide is especially applicable for car export from UK. If you are exporting from any other country, please contact our office for guidance.

1.   Fuel, steering and brakes:
Do not fill up the tank. Maximum 1⁄4 tank is allowed for Roll On Roll Off (Ro/Ro) shipments and  1/8 tank for container shipments . Steering and brakes must be operational.
Vehicle must be able to be started and be able to be driven and the battery is fully charged.
2.   Loading of items in the car
Remove all loose items and personal effects from the vehicle except for the car jack and one spare tyre. ( Any items loaded are loaded at your own risk).
 If the vehicle is loaded with household and personal effects- please supply a list of all  items loaded. One list must be left in the front seat of the car and another list sent to our offices.

3.   Keys:
Provide one set of keys for the ignition, trunk door, fuel  tank or any other locking compartments.  UK  Customs may inspect all locked compartments of your vehicle.   (If no keys are provided, vehicle may not be shipped)
4.   Valued Items in the car:
We recommend removing any high value stereos from the vehicle since they are not covered by insurance if stolen.
5.   Anti-Theft Alarm System:
If you leave your Anti‐theft Alarm System in your vehicle make sure the system in disengaged prior to pick up / delivery.
6.  Oils and leakages:
Vehicle must be free of oil and fluid leaks
7.   Written operational instructions:
 must be provided for vehicles requiring special handling when starting the engine. The instructions should be taped to the dashboard visible to the warehouse staff / stevedores.   
8.  Documentation:
Make sure you receive a shipping/Delivery note from Savannah Freight Services before delivering  your vehicle to the Port. If we send a fax to the Port on your behalf, a non-refundable fee is chargeable for this service that is payable at the Port before vehicle is accepted. DO NOT LEAVE CAR REGISTRATION BOOK-V5 /LOGBOOK IN THE CAR.
9.   Take note of condition of your car:
It is advisable to take note of any marks, scratches and dents. If possible take pictures of your car before it is delivered to the port as most ports do not allow the use of cameras within the port. (This may help yo in the event of an insurance claim if you decide to insure your car) However, if the car is not insured, this may not be of any particular help, but I still advise you to be in the habit of taking pictures/videos whenever you can.

10. Regulations in the destination country:
Some countries have age restriction  and certification regulation for importing cars. So before you send a particular car; please familiarise yourself with the regulations of that country. 

All of the above will help prevent any delays in your shipment, help to prevent any unexpected costs, and keep the process simple and stress free for you.

PLEASE NOTE: Marine Insurance for your vehicle is not automatically provided. If you need to insure your vehicle, please contact our offices for impartial support and advice.


Guidelines for Loading a container

We have witnessed numerous occasions where valuable cargo has been lost, damaged or destroyed due to inappropriate container loading. This happens at individual and company level.It is estimated that annually up to $5 billion worth of cargo is damaged in transit. So do not be a statistic.
It is the responsibility of the shipper to make sure that the container you ship is securely loaded. Our experience is that most individuals want to take the responsibility of loading containers themselves as a cost cutting measure (which we genuinely understand). Unfortunately, most perceived savings are lost when container loading goes horribly wrong. Unfortunately, accidents do happen during the process of shipping  containers. Causes of accidents can be human error at the point of loading or mechanical error at operational level.

What to consider when loading a container

IMPORTANT: Pre-plan the stowage of the cargo in container. Last minute rush will always prove costly.

  1. Weight distribution and load security
  2. Space utilisation
  3. Cargo variation and compatibility

1) Weight distribution and load security

Your cargo needs to be distributed evenly in the container. Improper or careless packing of cargo into  a container or improper cargo securing may cause accidents which involve personal injury during handling or transportation.
Poorly packed and inadequately secured cargo may put not only the employees but also rail passengers and other innocent parties at risk. You must not exceed the maximum allowable weight

If packages are stowed loosely, chafing damage is likely to occur due to the motion or vibration of the truck, train or ocean vessel.

When planning the stowage of heavy concentrated weights, careful consideration must be given to the maximum permissible weight and the floor loads allowed in the container. The bedding required to properly spread the weight should be arranged with weight distribution factors in mind 

2) Space utilisation

Compact loading: Fill it or secure it. Use dunnage. Block it out. Leave no void spaces or loose packages on top. Smooth metal-to-metal contact should be avoided as this causes a slippery surface. 

3) Cargo variation and compatibility

If the container is loaded with packages of various commodities, give careful attention to their proper segregation and stowage. The commodities’ physical characteristics (such as weight, size, density) must be considered, as well as whether they are liquids or solids.

Improper stowage of heavy and light cargo together causes crushing and damage to contents. Heavy packages, such as cases of machinery parts and heavy, loose or skidded pieces, should always be stowed on the bottom or floor of the container with lighter goods on top.

Avoid direct pressure on doors, use a proper fence or gate to fill any void space.

Finally, secure the doors, lock and seal them, note the seal numbers for insertion on the bill of lading.

FACTORS TO CONSIDER: Air freight vs Sea freight



This is one of the commonest question we get asked. Must I use airfreight or sea freight  to  transport my cargo? Whether you are a business that is moving to new location overseas or  returning resident from overseas or an expatriate  relocating, a decision will need to be made as to what means of transport you must use. The choice is not always obvious as there are 4 main factors to consider before making the decision of Airfreight vs Seafreight

   1. Cost

This is an obvious consideration. You do not need us to dwell too much on it. If you are a business, you consider cost and its bottom line and if you are an individual, you  to consider your budget. There is a generally  acceptable view that sea freight is cheaper than airfreight. This is not always the case. You need to understand the differences in how airfreight and sea freight cargo are  charged.
  Airfreight is generally charged by airliners based on what is called CHARGEABLE WEIGHT. This is calculated as a combination of cagro's weight (kg) and size expressed as height (cm) x width (cm) x length (cm) divided by 5000(5000 is a conversion factor used to convert volume to weight).  
  Seafreight is generally charged by shippers based on size of the container (20 or 40 foot)- sometimes called Full Container Load (FCL). However, if shipping  cargo that are less than a full container (LCL), weight and size then become afactors to consider. 
If shipping less than a container load, the cargo is charged per cubic meter (expressed as height (cm) x width (cm) x length (cm) The bigger and the heavier your cargo is, the cheaper it is per weight  measure to send by sea.As shipment gets smaller, the margins also become smaller, hence at times it becomes cheaper or almost the same to send smaller cargo by air than by sea. Consideration of destination charges, storage costs and documentation fees need to be considered when shipping by sea because at times it may be cheaper to send than actual cargo by sea, but when you factor in destination charges and other customs and excise costs, it will work out to be more expensive than airfreight.

The old adage that "Time is money" really applies when it comes to freight. The faster the delivery time, the more expensive it becomes. Airfreight is  generally suitable for time sensitive light weight goods. Unless your budget allows you, large items such as household effects and industrial heavy duty equipment is usually more economic to send by sea. Air freight generally takes a few days, while seafreight can take up to a month from departure country to destination country.

Any business or individual want a reliable service. However, you need to be aware that there  are factors beyound the air freight and seafreight services which may cause delays. Bad weather and natural disasters affect both airfreight and seafreight. It is a known fact that although airfreight suffers delays, there is a fast turn around of a day or two to correct schedule, whereas seafreight delays may run into days or even weeks. Any delay has cost implication and therefore when deciding which method t use, put cost implication into your decision.

Environmental Impact awareness is playing a major role in affecting how businesses and individuals make decisions about which means of transport they use. Generally when it comes to carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, Airfreight contribute more than seafreight. Seafreight is considered environmentally more friendly than airfreight. So every business and individual have a duty of care about their contribution to CO2 emissions. Current trends show that individuals/ companies tend to favour to do business with companies that have considerations of impact of their business to the environment. This is still a voluntary choice in most countries but if you consider issues of oil spillage and damage to the ecosystem by seafreight, the choice may not be necessarily easy to make.

We will therefore leave you with a bit of information to consder before deciding which method to use.

What is a cubic meter ? How much to ship it from UK?

I have been contacted several times by or valued customers asking me the price of shipping cargo by sea as part of a container load otherwise known as Less than Container Load (LCL) . This is usually the case when you do not have
 enough cargo to occupy a Full Container Load. Your cargo will be shipped together with other customers cargo in a container, usually referred to as Consolidated cargo.
Sea Freight is usually charged per cubic meter. But what really is a cubic meter of cargo? People usually misunderstand what a cubic meter is in respect of international cargo transportation from UK by sea.


A cubic meter of cargo (also known as CBM)  is a measurement of volume occupied by cargo in a space of ONE metre Length x One meter Width x  ONE meter Height  (100cm x 100cm x100cm)= 1cbm
SEA FREIGHT FROM UK, Ocean freight, Consolidated cargo, less than full container from UK

Technically speaking, a cubic meter of cargo can be any dimension of L x W x H in centimetres as long as  when all three dimensions are  multiplied together equals 1. 


Unlike with a parcel service or airfreight, international LCL SEA FREIGHT  rates are MAINLY based on volume, but not on the weight of cargo. Sea freight rates for international sea freight shipments from the USA will be based on  sea freight rates per cubic meter, but not on the weight of cargo in kilos. However, sea freight rates from UK requires that you must supply the weight of your cargo as well.Its not that we do not charge by weight its just that the probability of having a dense item is low.We charge by size 99.99 % of the time and not by weight,  but still if you are shipping from UK, it is advisable to have all the dimensions and weight so that you get an accurate shipping cost.


International volumetric weights are calculated using the formula below: 
(Length x Width x Height in centimeters) / 5000 = Volumetric Weight in kilograms
E.G> 100 X 100 X100 CM /5000=200KG.

It therefore means that if you have cargo occupying one cubic meter; its  volumetric weight is roughly 200kg.
So when we charge you, the cost of shipping cargo to a particular destination for a cubic meter, it will be roughly based on 200kg.
Please note that some companies use 6000  instead of 5000 to convert volume to weight. 

You may want to try this online volumtric calculator:>>>> ONLINE VOLUMETRIC CALCULATOR

Cost of  sea freight shipping from UK  depends on the collection point in UK  and the destination So we are not able to give a specific and universal cost of shipping a cubic meter from UK. It is more helpful if you contact our offices for specific destinations.
Under CONSOLIDATED CARGO shipping regulation, you will be charged a minimum of one cubic meter, even if you have a smaller volume.

If you have cargo for shipment from UK as part of consolidated cargo, please contact our office for guidance. We are able to conduct a survey and estimation service so that you know the cost of shipping your goods before you decide to ship. 

This information is for your guidance and general information on sea freight shipping from UK. Information supplied here cannot be used as a basis for making a purchasing decision. Some companies may us different formulae to arrive at final volumetric weight and our formula is subject to change depending on our carrier and shipping liner at the time of making your booking.

We strongly advise you to have accurate dimensions and weight at all times to avoid errors.

You may wish to convert from centimeters  and kilogram to Inches and pounds from this online convetor:

Transportation of Dangerous Cargo

The rules governing dangerous goods transportation have, over the last few years, grown far more stringent. While obviously hazardous substances – such as petrol – were previously classified as dangerous goods, packaged goods (that are sometimes equally dangerous) often weren’t. This has now changed, however. 

Today, common household goods like adhesives, aerosols, batteries, cosmetic chemicals, paint and pharmaceuticals are all classified as dangerous goods. And, as a result of this, the list of official dangerous goods has increased from around 750 substances a few years ago to over 2 500 today. Moreover, the modern rules governing the transportation of these materials are very strict. For instance, before a vehicle is allowed to legally move dangerous goods, it must have the correct documentation, including Tremcard, dangerous goods placards, a dangerous goods declaration, a dangerous goods permit and a dangerous goods vehicle licence (category D registration). And all of this can often be confusing to transport clients looking to move dangerous cargo. 

With this in mind, Savannah Freight Services put together a frequently asked questions list to help you navigate the world of transportation of dangerous cargo.

Generally speaking, dangerous goods are substances that are potentially dangerous to people, property and the environment. The term includes substances that are explosive, flammable, spontaneously combustible, water reactive, oxidising, toxic and corrosive. 

What is the difference between dangerous goods and hazardous substances?

Dangerous goods and hazardous substances are classified according to different criteria. Dangerous goods are classified on the basis of the immediate physical or chemical effects that they can cause such as fire, corrosion and poisoning. Hazardous substances are classified only on the basis of potential health effects – especially in the workplace. 

What is the explanation of the different terms often associated with dangerous goods?

Firstly, every substance has a UN number. This is a four-digit number assigned by the United Nations to universally identify dangerous goods. Secondly, every substance has a proper shipping name. This is a standard name given to dangerous goods for transport purposes that can allow anyone to instantly identify a particular substance. Also, every substance has a class. Dangerous goods are grouped into one of nine classes according to the most significant hazard presented by the goods. Importantly, many substances also possess a “sub-risk”. Where dangerous goods present more than one hazard, the less significant hazard is termed a sub-risk. Finally, dangerous goods are also assigned packaging groups (PG), depending on the level of danger that the goods represent. Groups one, two and three represent high, medium and low danger respectively. 

What are the different classes of dangerous goods?

Dangerous goods are grouped into nine different classes, according to the most significant risk presented by the goods. For instance, if a substance falls into class one, it is explosive in nature. Similarly, if it falls in class three, it is a flammable liquid. As I said, however, if a substance poses more than one hazard it is assigned a class on the basis of the most significant hazard and allocated one or more subsidiary risks (sub-risks), based on the other potential hazards. Detailed information on the classification of dangerous goods according to the various classes can be obtained from Hazchemwize. They are classified as per hazard class: •  Class 1 – Explosives
•  Class 2 .1 – Flammable gases
•  Class 2.2. – Non-flammable non-toxic gases
•  Class 2.2 (sub-risk 5.1) – Oxidising gases
•  Class 2.3 – Toxic gas
•  Class 3 – Flammable liquids
•  Class 4.1 – Flammable solids
•  Class 4.2 – Substances liable to spontaneous combustion
•  Class 4.3 – Substances that in contact with water emit flammable gases
•  Class 5.1 – Oxidising substances
•  Class 5.2 – Organic peroxides
•  Class 6.1 – Toxic substances
•  Class 6.2 – Infectious substances
•  Class 7 – Radioactive material
•  Class 8 – Corrosive substances
•  Class 9 – Miscellaneous dangerous goods and articles 

As an customer, how will I know if chemicals I want to move are classified as dangerous goods or combustible liquids? 

Your supplier should be able to give you this information. This information should also be available from the label on the container or from a substance’s material safety data sheet (MSDS). 

Why is it important for shipper/sender to comply with dangerous goods regulations?
In addition to the obvious fact that these regulations exist for the purpose of  protecting people’s lives and property, complying with the rules also makes good financial sense. 

How will I know if different dangerous goods can be stored together?
Two or more dangerous goods are deemed compatible if their interaction does not result in a harmful reaction such as a fire or explosion, or in the creation of flammable, toxic, or corrosive vapours. If goods are not compatible, they must be stored together in a manner that will not allow them to come into contact. Compatibility charts can be used as an aid in determining if two classes of dangerous goods are compatible. The SANS DG Codes, IATA and IMDG Codes contain a matrix for “segregation of dangerous goods”. If the dangerous goods are deemed to be incompatible, then measures need to be taken to segregate the incompatible goods. 

Careful consideration has to be taken when deciding to convey dangerous goods as the information is complex and detailed.

Container Shipping

When you are relocating from the one country to any other country in the world, you might need to move your personal and household goods safely and securely to the country you will be moving to. The most economical way to move your goods will be to ship them in a container.  This is where Savannah Freight Services comes in. We can arrange the shipment of your goods from any country in the world to any destination in the world

Container shipping costs vary depending on the volume of your goods and the destination country. If you need a quote for shipping your container please fill the form on the right hand side of this page. For example if you are moving within mainland Europe, your goods are moved overland while if moving to another continent  for example, if you are moving from Europe to Australia or from Europe to Africa or America to Asia  in that instance your container will be moved by sea freight. 

Savannah Freight Services is able to provide secure storage prior to your moving of goods if you need to store prior to shipping your container. We can also provide a warehouse where your goods can be professionally packed into the container as well as the staff to provide the packing. We can handle all the packing, haulage to the port and ultimate shipping of the container. However you are welcome to do your own packing, we are able to deliver any empty container to any address in the UK. 

Once the container has been packed we can arrange road or marine insurance to cover your goods against total loss. Here is an illustration what you can fit in a 20ft container   

For a 40FT container you can load all like above and in addition you can also load a single vehicle or if you have two vehicles both can fit however, you will not be able to fit  personal and household goods with two vehicles 

For the actual sizes of the containers please see below:   40ft =12.19metres.   20ft=6.096metres.   


We are also able to provide Less Container Load (LCL) also known as Shared Container / Groupage Service: If you have less than a full container load, you can ship your goods to any destination in the world using our shared container service.  If you aren’t shipping enough to fill a 20ft container, you can split the cost with other consignments. This is a cheaper option for many people who do not want to ship their whole house or are trying to keep the costs down for their move. The approximate transit time for a shared container / groupage service is the same for a FCL door to door depending on the final destination.    

Door To Door Service To America

Door To Door Delivery Service To America

We are pleased to announce that we are doing a door to door service from small and big cargo packages by air to USA from mainland Europe.

Please check out our full service here

We are now shipping to Gambia & Senegal

We ere pleased to announce that we are now shipping vehicles from UK direct to Banjul in Gambia. We can ship a saloon for £690.00 and a 4x4 for £740.00.

This adds another destination in West Africa which also includes Dakar, Senegal as well as traditional Accra in Ghana and Abidjan Cote d'Ivoire.

We have the whole of West Africa covered

Send Airfreight From UK to Any Destination & Win A Tablet

During this month of June we are giving away a 10" Android Tablet to one lucky customer that sends airfreight from the UK to any destination in the world. Savannah Freight Services can send your cargo to any destination from the UK. Whether you are sending to Africa, Americas, Australia or Asia, Savannah Freight Services is the go to company for all your freight forwarding. 

For more details please visit the link below:

Driving your car from Walvis Bay (Namibia) to Zimbabwe via Zambia

In December 2013; the I wrote an article updating all our valued customers about the changes that were effected by Botswana government. The article was entitled: IMMEDIATE BAN ON UNREGISTERED VEHICLES PLYING BOTSWANA ROADS .

Since then; we have been contacted by numerous customers wishing to know if there is an alternative to going from Namibia to Zimbabwe without going through Botswana?
Yes; there is a alternative route.  The traditional route of driving cars  from Namibia to Zimbabwe through Plumtree is no more.
People can now drive from Namibia - Walvis Bay to Zimbabwe; via Zambia. The route is as  follows:
Walvis Bay to Zambia by Road; Namibia to Zimbabwe via Zambia; Road between Walvis Bay and Zambia; Kazungula Border post; Zimbabwe

Walvis Bay to Rundu-879km- Tarred road- 
2-Rundu to Katima Mulilo-525km Tarred Road
3- Katima Mulilo to Wenela - 5km Border Post- Tarred Road- 
Wenela Border post; Katima Mulilo; Clearing cars in Zambia

Wenela is the Zambian Border post. This is a very small border post which has suddenly been flooded by cars. From our own experience; the last time I was there; I spent 8 hours at the border post waiting to be cleared. There were only a few working computers on the Zambian side. You are therefore advised to make sure you accommodate these delays in your travel time.
4- Wenela Border Post to Victoria Falls  Via Livingstone- 208km Tarred Road but at the moment the road is not very good. There are some potholes which will obviously cause delays. It took us 5 hours to drive the 208km from Wenela to Victoria falls due to the bad state of the road on 16th January; 2014. This was coupled by a lot of rain.                                 
Wenela to Livingstone by rpadZambian Roads

At the time of writing this article; the roads were still in a state as shown above.

Customs charges and Road Permit fees at Wenela Border Post

--Light / Passenger vehicles: US$40-00
• Commercial / Heavy vehicles: US$60-00
(The charges vary according to the WEIGHT  of the vehicle, these are just minimum charges).

Clearing Agent at Kazungula Border post- Zimbabwe.
Savannah Freight Services can support you to clear your car at Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe and Kazungula Border post.
Please feel free to contact us for any further information.

If you would like to share your experiences ; please do contact us.


I  would like to update all our valued customers and readers that there are issues being raised by the Permanent Secretary in The Ministry of Transport & Communications in Botswana. A circular dated 19th December; 2013 has been released to us. It is clarifying the government of Botswana's position on unregistered cars driving through Botswana.

In February 2013; the Ministry of Transport and Communications in Botswana issued a letter to Botswana Unified Revenue Services (BURS) banning the driving of unregistered cars through Botswana. The main reason for the ban is in compliance to the Road Traffic Act Sections 6 and 16
They further argue that:
  1. Vehicles in transit do not qualify to be issued with a Temporary Motor Vehicle Licence as the licence is only issued to cars that have been cleared by the Botswana Police and BURS.
  2. Inspection is for the purpose of road worthiness before a vehicle is registered in Botswana
  3. If uninspected/ unlicensed  vehicles are allowed to drive in Botswana roads; their road worthiness is unknown and they pose a danger to the public 
  4. Vehicles in Transit are not insured; if they are involved in accidents; there is no recourse and most of them will be untracable
  5. Unregistered vehicles are being increasingly used in crimes and there is no way of identifying the culprits
  6. The unregistered cars at the moment do not pay any levies to the Botswana Government but they do cause road deterioration.
  7. BURS said the do not have the capacity and mandate  to manage the part of the  section of the Road Traffic  Act and their responsibility is to clear cars as per the Customs and Excise Regulations. They further state that at the point of clearance; the unregistered vehicle would not have committed any offence; the offence is done after the clearance and therefore the Police and Department of Roads and Transport Services should implement the Act.


The only acceptable way to pass through Botswana is vehicles being on a registered car transporter or flat bed truck carrier.

Car carrier  services; car transporter from Namibia to Zimbabwe; Driving of cars banned in Botswana; Botswana Car Transporters; Car Carrier

The letter does not specify what action will be taken on the impounded cars.It is advisable to contact the Botswana Government before you commit to spending your money and having your car impounded.

We provided a reliable car transporter service between Namibia; Botswana and Zimbabwe. Please contact us is you need any support to transport your vehicle. You can WHATSAPP us on +447812559731 or +447462116146.

DISCLAIMER:Please note that the information provided here is for your own record and cannot be relied on to make a purchasing decision. Please contact you freight forwarder for further information and if you prefer Savannah Freight Services Ltd to handle your cargo; please feel free to contact us for professional advise. Views on this article are those of the author and does not represent the views of  Savannah Freight Services Ltd or that of Botswana government. It is your responsibility to comply with various Countries' customs and excise regulations.

Namibia Import Regulations

Clearing cars in Namibia; Car Clearance agencies in Namibia
Savannah Freight Services Namibian Customs Regulations & Information for Imports

Documents Required:

  • Passport
  • Original Bill of Lading (OBL) / Air Waybill (AWB)
  • Packing list
  • NA 304 (3 copies)
  • P1.160 (3 copies)
  • Detailed valued inventory in currency of origin country
  • Letter of Application for Exemption
  • Residence Permit / Work Permit
  • Diplomatic Clearance / Certificate A issued by the Embassy, stamped by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Specific Information

  • Diplomatic shipments can be imported duty free provided that a Diplomatic Clearance
  • Certificate / Certificate A has been issued by the relevant Embassy and stamped by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
  • Returning residents must have lived abroad for 6 consecutive months to qualify for the duty free importation of household goods and personal effects.
  • If the Residence Permit / Work Permit is not stamped in the Passport upon arrival of the shipment, or if the exemption of taxes is not granted, the shipper has the possibility of releasing the cargo by making a refundable, provisional payment of 20% duties and 16.5% taxes.

Documents Required

  • NA 304
  • Import Permit (4 copies)
  • Registration documents
  • Proof of value / Purchase invoice
  • OBL
  • Diplomatic Certificate (Diplomats) completed and signed by Embassy / Consulate and stamped by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with proof of value

Specific Information

  • Only one motor vehicle per family may be imported duty free if owned and used at least 1 year prior to shipment.
  • A tax of 15% is payable on the value of the vehicle (NAD value + 10%).
  • Once imported, a vehicle may not be sold or disposed of for 2 years.
  • Diplomats are exempt from the payment of duties and taxes.
  • For temporary residents, the Import Permit is not applicable if the vehicle is re-exported within 1 year.

Importing Pets Documents Required

  • Vaccination Record
  • Veterinary Health Certificate

Specific Information

  • The Veterinary Health Certificate must indicate that the pet is healthy, free of parasites, and has current inoculations.
  • The pet must have received a rabies vaccination no less than 30 days but no more than 12 months prior to import.
  • Noncompliance with the required regulations may result in refused entry, return to the origin country, quarantine, or worst case, put down.
  • Other kinds of pets (birds, rodents, etc.) may not be subject to rabies regulations but may be required to meet other requirements; contact the destination agent for specific information.
  • Firearms (an Import Permit is required)
  • Plants (check with the destination agent as certain plants and plant materials require a license  for import)
  • Cigarettes (400), cigars (50), tobacco (250 g)
  • Perfume (50 ml) and eau de toilette (250 ml)
  • Narcotics
  • Drugs
  • Incitements
  • Pornographic materials
  • Walkie-talkies radios
  • Products made from animals of protected species (feathers, furs, skins, tusks, etc.)
  • Recommended: Contact the destination agent to ensure all requirements have been met prior to import, especially for differences regarding air / sea shipments.

Motor Vehicles imported By Natural Persons on Change of Permanent Residence to The Republic of Namibia
Rebate Duties

According to Rebate item 407.04 of Schedule No. 4 to the Customs & Excise Act 1998;
Immigrants and Namibian residents who originally emigrated from Namibia and obtained permanent residency abroad and there after return, being natural persons may;
After obtaining permanent residency in Namibia or on return to Namibia permanently import ONE MOTOR VEHICLE PER FAMILY under full rebate of customs duties for his/her own personal use, provided that the vehicle so imported was the personal property of the importer and was owned and used by him or her for a period of not less than 12 months prior to the importer’s departure to Namibia. Namibia residents should note that unless they comply with all three elements:

  • You originally emigrated from Namibia;
  • You obtained permanent residents status abroad; and
  • You are returning to Namibia permanently

Factors to Consider

  • Should the vehicle have been owned and used for less than 12 months prior to departure the amount of duty rebated will be reduced pro-rata according to the number of days less than 12 months.
  • Value added tax which is currently charged at 155 is not rebated and remains payable (Please note that for the purposes of calculating VAT, the FOB value is subject to an upliftment of 10%
  • If you qualify for the rebate under item 407.04 immigrants as well as returning residents, no import permit is required and the restriction on vehicles older than five years do not apply. If you do not qualify customs duties of 29% plus 7% ad valorem for higher valued vehicles will become applicable and the application for an import permit must be made prior to shipment of the vehicle to Namibia.
  • Permit applications must be to:

Section Import/Export Management
Ministry of Trade and Industry
Private Bag 13340
Tel +264612837292/3 Fax: +26461253865
Specific exclusions

The following persons DO NOT QUALIFY for the rebate:

  • Namibian citizens travelling abroad
  • Namibian citizens taking up temporary residence in a foreign country irrespective of the period involved I.e for study, work permit, contract work etc and
  • Foreign nationals taking up permanent residency in Namibia
  • In the case of company vehicles used and then purchased by the importer it must be noted that for any period that the vehicle may have been registered in the company’s name during the 12 months period prior to shipment, the rebate will be reduced on a pro-rata basis.

Documents to be produced

In support of clearance of the vehicle in Namibia, the following documentation must be produced to your clearing agent/customs:

  • Immigrants must produce their permanent residence permit issued by the Namibian Home Affairs ministry or a copy thereof;
  • Returning Namibians must produce proof of emigration from Namibia, proof of permanent residence obtained abroad as well as evidence that such permanent residence has been withdrawn
  • A duly completed form NA 304 A;
  • Purchase documents;
  • Registration certificate/permit
  • Documentary evidence of the date on which delivery of the vehicle was taken and;
  • Documentary evidence of the date on which the vehicle was handed to the shipper for shipment to the Republic

Additional Information

  • A vehicle shall not be deemed to be personally owned and used by an importee unless such importer was at all reasonable time personally present at the places where the vehicle was used. 
  • The period of use is deemed to be from the date on which physical delivery was taken of the vehicle/the date on which the vehicle was registered in the name of the importer whichever is after, until the date on which the vehicle was delivered by the importer to the shipper or other agent for the purposes of shipment or dispatch to Namibia
  • Vehicles imported under the provisions of item 407.04 may not be offered advertised, lent, hired, leased, pledged, given away, exchanged, sold or otherwise disposed of within a period of 20 months from the date of being cleared for Customs purposes in Namibia. 
  • Prior permission must be obtained should an importer wish to dispose of the vehicle within the 20months after date of clearance.
  • For the purposes of item 404.04 during the initial 20 months after customs clearance in Namibia an importer shall if he or she is absent for a continuous period of longer than 3 months from the place where the vehicle is usually used in Namibia be deemed not have imported the vehicle for his/her own personal use and the duty determined by the Commissioner for Customs & excise shall be payable as from the date of such absence

Recommended: Contact the destination agent to ensure all requirements have been met prior to import, especially for differences regarding air / sea shipments.

Savannah Freight Services Disclaimer: Customs regulations can change at any time with or without notice. This document is provided as a guide and for information only. While Savannah Freight Services has exercised reasonable care in publishing this document, Savannah Freight Services makes no representation, either expressed or implied, as to its accuracy or applicability.

How To Buy A Used Car From The Guardian UK

We saw this and thought our customers and readers might be interested. It ties in with our article we posted here about avoiding being scammed when buying a used car from UK.

Source: Guardian UK

If You Are Buying A Car From UK Beware of Scams

buying a new car from UK to Botswana; spare parts from UK to Botswana
The internet has surely transformed lives in Africa. With increasing ease of access to the internet through smart phones and tablets this has meant that the world is truly a global village. A person in Mutorashanga in Zimbabwe can browse UK's Auto Trader looking for a car to buy. Now with the availability of high definition pictures and video they can vividly see the car they want to buy. Heady with mental images of themselves driving that car and with numerous ways of communicating like email, Skype, WhatsApp, they can contact a seller of the car they like arrange to wire the money for the purchase of that car as well as paying for its shipping until it gets to Zimbabwe.

cars sales in UK; Car shipping to Botswana from UK. Shipping cars Zambia; Shipping containers to Zambia
It sounds easy, visit Auto Trader UK or Gumtree, choose a car within your budget, contact seller, arrange to pay through Western Union, ask the seller to arrange shipping which you also pay for and just wait until your baby to arrives. Unfortunately its far from easy, there a number of people who have been swindled huge amounts of money by a authentic looking advert in the Auto Trader or Gumtree. People have sent huge amounts of money over to someone they have never met.In the end they call freight forwarders like us because during negotiations they have been told that Savannah will ship the car on their behalf. The telephone number which was being enthusiastically answered prior to the transfer of the money now diverts all calls to voice-mail. The emails now go unanswered, WhatsApp and Skype has blocked you as a contact. That initial excitement in anticipation for a new purchase gives way first to anger and finally realisation that you have been fooled.

Many people choose not to speak about it, they fear to be labelled fools. Those that do acknowledge that they have been foolish vow not to buy anything from UK not to even trust reputable companies that have a successful track record of delivery. However while being scammed cannot be completely avoided the risks can be minimised. 

Buying cars from UK to Zimbabwe; Shipping Cars from UK to Botswana
  • The first thing is to investigate the seller.
  • Find if its an individual or a company. 
  • Avoid individual sellers, if its a company the questions that you need to ask is their Company Registration Number. 
  • Which you can investigate if it is a made up series of numbers of a genuinely registered company in England and Wales. 
  • With the registration number you can check the company via a free UK Companies House webcheck here, which in turn will tell you when the company started trading, whether they submit their accounts on time (which is a measure of trust in itself).
  • The Companies House info will also tell you registered address of the company, the number of directors it has and their names.
  • The second way of checking the genuineness of a UK is to see whether they are VAT registered, most car sellers by virtue of volumes of cars they sell and the  and the amount of money they turnover will be VAT registered. To check the validity of a VAT registration you will have to ring up or email Her Majesty Revenue Services (HMRC) with the VAT number and ask if it is genuine they will happily answer that.
  • Supposedly everything checks out this is a genuine company and they are surely VAT registered will only mean that it would be very unlikely that they can scam you. However you never know they might ship the car to you but it turns out to be a scrap not worth the money you paid for which is the same as being sold a phantom car.
  • The next stage of seller verification involves professional procurement companies such as ourselves.
  • What we do is we send an experienced and qualified motor vehicle mechanic who will examine the car, authenticate in he same process whether the seller is a genuine article.
  • Once that has been done, the buyer can wire the money either directly to the seller or put it in an escrow account such as Paypal which only releases they money once goods have exchanged hands.
  • An escrow account is highly recommended.
  • If all fails it is important to engage a professional reputable company that will procure a vehicle within your budget in a transparent manner and ship it securely to its final destination

Its hard to loose hard earned money, so when buying vehicles from the UK please do take care!

Customs Duty - Frequently Asked Questions

What is customs and why do governments charge it?
· Every country levies on goods that are bought into the country using a indirect tax called Customs Duty.
· Customs duty can be interpreted as a punitive tax aimed at discouraging people from importing goods outside of their country when they can source it within their country or a way of protecting local industries.
· It could also be a result of a trade agreement between trading block or countries belonging to a regional or international body such as the EU or SADC.
Can you avoid it?
· In general no, unless the goods have been purchased at the port or airport and are classified or have been declared duty free.
Can you pre-determine duty to be charged?
· Most governments publish widely the applicable tariffs for duty payable; the published tariffs can be used as a guide only to work out a potential duty which might be due.
· The actual duty payable can only be determined once the goods have arrived at the destination and customs officials have examined the goods.
Is in other words there is no way that duty is pre-determined?
· Yes, there is no way to pre-determine duty since duty to be paid as it is dependent  on the valuation of customs officials and the classification of goods imported as well its quantities and weights and the cost of freight and insurance to its final destination
How is Duty Calculated?
· Calculation of Customs duty depends on the determination of what is called assessable value in case of items for which the duty is levied ad valorem. This is often the transaction value unless the Customs officers determine assessable value in accordance with Brussels definition.
· However, for certain items like petroleum and alcohol, Customs duty is realized at a specific rate applied to the volume of the import or export consignments.
· Assessable value is usually based on percentage of the cost of the goods imported plus the cost of freight and insurance to its final destination.
· For the purpose of assessment of Customs duty, products are given an identification code that has come to be known as the Harmonized System code. This code was developed by the World Customs Organization based in Brussels. H. S. Code may be from four to ten digits. 
Where can I find information about general published tariffs that can be used as guidelines?
· Most customs tariffs are online on government websites of many different countries such as UK, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
· Embassies and consulates are also sources of information on customs tariffs

The Beira Corridor Offers An Alternative To Business Dependent On Time Critical Imports

Beira-corridor; shipping cars to Beira.
The Beira Corridor is one of Southern Africa’s main transport routes. It is a road and rail network linking large parts of Zambia, Malawi, Zimbabwe and Mozambique to the port of Beira on the Indian Ocean.  For businesses reliant on imports operating in the above named countries, Beira Port in Mozambique offers an alternative route to business whose operations are time critical. Beira is just 4 hours drive from the Zimbabwean city of Mutare, which shortens the journey and the time a business has to wait for delivery of imported goods critical to their business.
Beira’s capacity and infrastructure was badly damaged during the 16 year Mozambique civil war. Now it has been restored to its pre-war capacities handling millions of tonnes of goods. The port has benefited from €190 million funding from the EU and other funds from World Bank. The main advantage it holds over any other ports in Southern is its multi-modal facilities. It offers rail and road links to the DR Congo, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Malawi. The feasibility of constructing new railway lines to link Kafue to Lion’s Den in Zimbabwe, as well as for the construction of a One Stop Border Post at Forbes / Machipanda, is being considered.
In comparison the popular gateway of Walvis Bay, Namibia if one just considers the cost of port to port shipping from Europe it’s cheaper than port to port destined for Beira. However you will also need to factor in the cost of transit from Namibia to say Zimbabwe or Zambia. As well as the time it takes, the distance between Walvis Bay and Plumtree is 1766km which is equivalent to 48 hours. There is no rail link between Walvis Bay and Plumtree just road links with South Africa, Botswana and Zimbabwe. 

At Savannah Freight services we recommend Beira Corridor for businesses and individuals whose operations are time sensitive to the expedited delivery of their imported goods. 

Send Your Goods Early To Avoid Christmas Delays

Ship Early To Avoid Disappointments This Christmas

It might be too early to talk about Christmas, but it is important that we make our customers aware that leaving your cargo just a few days before Christmas will only result in frustrations. The months leading to Christmas are the busiest in the transport industry. The retail industry would be looking to stock up early. In order to avoid not only shortages of popular items but also to avoid the risk of having replacements delivered late as there will be bottleneck of deliveries in weeks leading to Christmas. In normal trade a cargo ship/plane makes a single journey with little or no cargo for the return journey. At Christmas times both to and fro journeys are both full; trade between countries also peaks at this period.

Christmas is also that time that people in the Diaspora decided to shower their relatives back at home with presents.  For some the cargo they send is not only annual Christmas gifts but important items that people cannot do without. They are oblivious to the fact that it also the world’s busiest period in terms of sending goods. Yet still they wait till the 11 hour to send goods to their loved ones, consequently the cargo is delayed. Personal effects in other words non commercial cargo takes second preference when being booked by airlines and shippers. It makes commercial sense to them to move several tonnes for a commercial entity than to move just a few tonnes of non-commercial cargo.

So in order to avoid delays and frustrations caused by the busiest period of the year, it is advisable to book and send goods early. How early you might ask? From now till October ensures that the goods arrive early and there is no panic or frustration, November is okay but risky, December is a last resort and you should be prepared for the fact that your goods might get there after Christmas.

Savannah Freight Services can ship or send via airfreight your goods to any destination in the world, we also ship cars. Call us now 02070960264 or 07812559731 or 07413351322 to ensure that this will be a stress free Christmas.


There is a bit of confusion as to his issue that we reported on 09-January 2013. 

Today, 23-01-13, We at Savannah Freight Services Ltd-UK contacted Namibian Port Authority to get clarification on the issue.
We are delighted to let all our valued readers that we have been given guidance on what is required and should anyone be intending to send personal effects in a vehicle, IT WILL NOT BE POSSIBLE. To make it clear, personal effects include items like: Televisions, Clothes, Food, electrical goods, household furniture and related items.
We have however worked a way round this in order to be allowed to load other items that are not personal effects. You can load cars, mining compressors, tyres and other business related items.Provided your Freight Forwarder complies with other requirements that have been set by the Namibian Port Authority.
Please contact our office for proper guidance before you invest your hard earned cash and regret if your cargo reaches Walvis Bay without proper preparations.
We are able now to ship your cargo, provided it complies with the requirements that we will only be advising to those intending to ship at the moment.

We hope this will clarify some of the grey areas and we are always here to assist you.


Namibia Port Authority has issued a memo notifying all Shippers and Agents that with effect from 01 February 2013 
all vehicles destined to any Namibian Port on Roll on Roll Off  (ro/ro) will not be accepted into the country if they are carrying any goods inside.
It has been the practice that when people send  cars from overseas to Walvis Bay; in order to maximise on space; people would load some extra goods inside the cars. This has been going on for sometime, and it has been smooth for sometime.
For loading goods in the car; there has been a surcharge that some Agents were charging.However, in a memo dated 03-01-13, Mr Raymond Visagie of the Executive: Risk Management section of Namibia Port Authority (NAMPORT) stated that.....'Shippers and Agents of ro/ro are advised that  Namibia Ports will not accept  vehicles stuffed with goods of whatever nature effective from 01-February 2013'
Clearing cars in Walvis Bay; Clearing Agents in Namibia; shipping cars to Walvis Bay Namibia
This ban has been introduced to curb a lot of problems associated with goods being in the cars. As most people who have sent goods insides may witness; sometimes goods disappear or they are stolen. As there is no one really accountable for goods in transit inside the cars; this creates a opportunity for some scrupulous people to help themselves. This creates an administrative headache at the Port.

As a Freight Forwarder;  we; at Savannah Freight Services,  understand the need to send extra goods in the car. However, due to the nature of the shipping process between Port of Loading,e.g Sheerness or Immingham in UK   and Walvis Bay; it is almost impossible to assure our customers that once goods are left in the car while in transit, they will be secure. While in transit in the vessel, it is most unlikely that the goods will be tempered with; although there is no guarantee that it is so. On arrival at the Port of Discharge- e.g. Walvis Bay; the vehicles are off loaded and handed over to the Local Authority; who will then facilitate the process of clearance in coordination with Agents and other stakeholders and departments. At this stage; no one can assume responsibility for goods stowed in the vehicles. There is a chance that goods may miss, but I want to make this clear, I am not accusing anyone at the port of discharge. Once clearance is completed and the vehicles are handed to their owners, it is at this stage that most people become aware that their goods are missing. 
It is very difficult to actually pinpoint at which stage goods go missing. After goods miss, it becomes the duty of the Agent to explain to the customers. But from experience, no explanation can ever be given that can fully identify the stage of loss. With this in mind we always feel that it is better for our customers not to put any goods inside the cars.
Most insurance companies do not cover the loss of such goods while in transit. 

Stakeholders are in discussion with the Namibian Port Authority to find an amicable way forward that will benefit everyone. However, in the meantime:-
Mr  Raymond Visagie; explained that ....' all household goods; personal effects and used goods shall be packed separately, sealed and clearly marked on an inventory list and shall not be shipped as consolidated shipments with import vehicles.
Therefore, until a solution is found to this issue or until Namport reverses its decision; we strongly advise all our valued customers not to load any goods in their cars.

Namport has warned that any violation will result in goods being confiscated and heavy penalties imposed. So be warned.

Should you have any questions please fell free to contact us at Savannah Freight Services. We are here to make sure your transactions are as smooth as possible.


What is Bill of Lading?

I have had numerous enquiries from our valued customers who want to understand what a bill of lading is; without getting too technical? I will try to simplify the explanation for the benefit of those who just want to know.
What is Bill of lading?
 The term bill of lading   is derived from the combination of words “bill,” in the sense of a bill 
for transporting goods, and "lade", the verb meaning “to load,” specifically, a cargo for shipping.

Bill of Lading (sometimes abbreviated as B/L or BOL) is a type of document that is used to acknowledge the receipt of a shipment of goods and gives title of that shipment to a specified  party. A transportation company or carrier 
typically issues this document to a shipper.  
For example, if you (The shipper) ship a car through a freight forwarder like Savannah Freight Services-Ltd, Savannah Freight Services will forward your car to the shipping company. The shipping company will then transport your car (cargo), the shipping company will then issue a bill of lading with the details below.

In addition to acknowledging the receipt of goods, the document gives the following details:

  1. Name of shipper/exporter- 
  2. Consignee/ Receiver name, address  and telephone number in the destination country
  3. The name of the vessel on which the goods / Cars have been placed, 
  4. Their intended destination 
  5. The terms for transporting the shipment to its final destination and disclaimer.
  6. Description of the goods that are being shipped, their weight and the other shipping details. For example Car's VIN/Chassis Number; Vehicle registration Number
  7. Details of any other items loaded. e.g, A truck carrying a small car or goods loaded in a car.
  8. Signature of shipping agent/company.
  9. Disclaimer by the shipping company.
Most shipping companies will not take responsibility for any goods loaded in a vehicle. Most bills of lading have this disclaimer:
Clearing cars in Zimbabwe; Clearing cars in Botswana
Please feel free to contact us if you need any information on processing your Bill of Lading.

Bill of Lading is usually produced by the shipping company after departure of the cargo. Shipping companies usually produce a draft bill of lading as soon as the vessel departs. The Draft Bill of Lading is usually sent to the Freight Forwarder for verification of details and correction before the original bill of lading is despatched. Most common error on vehicle bill of lading is the vehicle chassis number and destination of vehicle. If these errors are noted early, the freight forwarder will communicate with the shipping company for correction. 
In most cases; if the shipper chooses to receive the original bill of lading; the original bill of lading will be sent to the shipper ( owner of goods) before the goods arrive at port of discharge. If the shipper chooses not to receive the original bill of lading, a telex release will be done at the port of destination. It is not possible to have both a telex release and original bill of lading on the same cargo. 
Sometimes delays occur if paperwork is not processed on time or if payment is not received on time. There are times when the freight forwarder and the shipper have done everything correctly, but still there are delays with telex release and issuing an original bill of lading. If this happens, it is always best to keep all parties informed.