Solar Panels & South Africa

I would like to import solar panels but I don’t know if there are any custom duties in South Africa.  What is FOB?  Can I import any small containers less than twenty feet?

While we can provide information on China export issues, I am afraid we don’t have information on S. Africa import duties. But I can tell you where to look.  If you can’t find it online or by contacting your government office at the nearest port, I would suggest you reach out to a customs broker in the port where you plan to import the solar panels.  They will have the resources to check. And if you offer them the chance to quote you on your shipping, they will be happy to look up the duties for you.    For your reference, a few years back I spoke at the Global Sources China Sourcing show in Johannesburg.  I met a S. African logistics company that could probably be of service to you. I’ll dig up their emails from my files and send their information to you in hopes one of their firms can support you.

If you need additional help finding a logistics partner, check out this link for a tutorial on the process:

Here is a short video too:

Video 7: How to Find and Manage Partners for Logistics

I almost forgot to answer the other questions:


“Freight on Board”.  In simple terms, this means the buyer takes title to the goods when the goods are placed on the boat and have cleared outbound customs.  For example “FOB Shenzhen”.


Certainly. The term is LCL (“less than container load”). The per cubic meter rate will not be as good as shipping a full container, but LCL is fairly common and easy for your logistics provider to arrange for you on the major shipping routes.

Let me know how things work out for you.

Question answered by Mike Bellamy, host of “Ask the Experts” at the China Sourcing Information Center.

Mike Bellamy is an Advisory Board Member & Featured Blogger at the not-for-profit China Sourcing Information Center ( He is also the author of, “The Essential Reference Guide to China Sourcing” ( and founder of PassageMaker Sourcing Solutions ( )



Leave a Comment