Importing Samples


DHL Express understands that importing clothing and fabric samples quickly is critical to ensure production runs and contractual obligations can be fulfilled by our customers.

Complying with the regulations set out by South African Customs is one of the most significant opportunities for success, which is why we have created this guide to a successful import of clothing and fabric samples. 

What to check for…

Clothing, fabric, and shoe samples need to be physically mutilated in a specific way to satisfy customs that the items cannot be resold upon arrival.  Key considerations include that shoes must arrive in pairs and that the accompanying invoice should also clearly state that the contents are ‘mutilated samples not for resale’. 

Mutilation cannot happen upon arrival into South Africa. This is not negotiable by customs. Clothing, shoes or fabric arriving into the country states as mutilated samples which are unmutilated will have to be cleared at a full rate of duty and VAT with an additional payment of 25% of the under declaration value (minimum R1500) and potential confiscation.

Consignments of foodstuffs, non-alcoholic beverages, perfumes and chemical products can also be cleared as samples under specific circumstances.

For a full breakdown of details relating to clearing samples of clothing, fabric, shoes as well as food etc., please read through the SARS Guide.