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Understanding SARB exchange control regulations

We can help you easily satisfy all the South African Reserve Bank’s (SARB) rules and regulations when you decide to move money into our out of South Africa. The reserve bank restricts the outflow and inflow of capital in South Africa by using exchange control regulations. All forex transactions are subject to these regulations. Whether you are travelling, emigrating, investing, returning to South Africa, importing or exporting goods or services, your foreign currency transactions need to be declared to the SARB.

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The rates we display here are mid-market and indicative.
Actual rates will vary depending on your transfer amount.

What are the exchange control regulations?

Most people are aware of foreign exchange control regulations, even if they don’t quite understand the finer details and implications. Due to the complexity of these regulations, there is a perception that it is difficult to move money in and out of South Africa. This isn’t true if you work with an experienced foreign exchange provider who is an authorised dealer and can guide you through the process, ensuring you are compliant along the way.

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There is also a common misconception that once you have brought money into South Africa, it's virtually impossible to get it out again. There are limitations on the amount of money that can be transferred out of the Republic, and all funds transferred into or out of South Africa must be declared to the South African Reserve Bank, but it’s by no means impossible to transfer large sums of money out of the country. As long as you follow the correct procedure and have a registered forex partner by your side, you’ll find that this process can be rather simple.

How we help you transfer money out of South Africa easily

We prepare and submit Reserve Bank applications on behalf of private and corporate clients for any transfers that do not fall into pre-approved allowances. This makes sending money into or out of South Africa as easy as possible.

Don’t try do it alone. Any mistake made in your application could lead to delays and even, in extreme cases, penalties if you fail to follow the regulations to the letter.

How much can I transfer out of South Africa per year?

You can transfer a total of R11 million a year using your allowances. Taxpayers over the age of 18 who are South African residents are eligible for the following allowances:

  • R1 million single discretionary allowance (no tax clearance required from SARS)
  • R10 million foreign investment allowance (tax clearance required from SARS)

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The R1 million single discretionary allowance may be used for any legal purpose abroad (including investment purposes). This can be used solely at the discretion of the resident without any documentary evidence having to be produced as to the purpose of the transfer.

The R10 million foreign investment allowance may be invested into offshore investment portfolios, property, bank accounts or other investments. As of 1 April 2015, the foreign investment allowance increased from R4 million to R10 million per person per calendar year and R20 million per family unit. We can help you make use of your allowances, free of charge, and if you wish to exceed the amounts above, we can assist you with applying to the SARB for special dispensation.

If you are considering investing your foreign investment allowance outside of South Africa, you may want to get in touch with one of our wealth advisors who can provide you with financial planning and investment advice. If you’re wanting to transfer your allowance, we can provide you with the best possible exchange rate and lowest processing fees around. Get in touch  with one of our experienced forex brokers to get an obligation-free quote.

What about non-South African citizens?

For non-South Africans living in South Africa, their exchange control status will determine if there are limitations on transferring money out of The Republic that was previously brought in. This is a more complex situation and needs to be assessed on a case by case basis.

A client’s exchange control status is different to their tax status. It is vital for an individual to know their status from the outset so future money transfers can be easily executed. If you have any questions about your tax status, feel free to get in touch us on safe@sableinternational.com and we will complete a complimentary assessment of your current tax status.

Why transfer with us?

We are an established foreign exchange service with over a decade of experience, as well as offices across South Africa, the UK and Australia. As your forex partner, we can ensure you are always compliant, and you get the most competitive exchange rates and lowest transfer fees. What’s more, we pride ourselves on exceptional customer service, and our South African team is always on hand and will be happy to assist you with any query you may have along the way.

Forget about your bank

Many South African’s first port of call when thinking of making large international money transfers is the bank. However, the bank falls short when it comes to advice, competitive pricing and attractive rates. A trusted forex provider can save you a considerable amount on every transfer you make and advise you on how to make the most out of every transfer.

Our forex division offers international money transfers at bank-beating exchange rates and low transfer fees. What’s more, our core focus is on providing exceptional customer service. With us, you won’t ever think about using your bank for international money transfers again.

Why thousands of people continue using our forex service

 

Great rates, low fees

We transfer your money at fees that banks can’t compete with, we'll make sure you always get a great exchange rate.

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Fully regulated

We are fully compliant with South African Reserve Bank, Financial Services Conduct Authority and South African Revenue Services.

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No obligation consultations

We offer all prospective clients free no obligation consultations on their personal or business forex needs.

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Expert advice

We always provide a personalised service and all our solutions are tailored to our clients’ needs.

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Money Transfers

There’s no better way to do international money transfers

Many South African’s first port of call when thinking of making large international money transfers is the bank. However, the bank falls short when it comes to advice, competitive pricing and attractive rates. We can save you a considerable amount on every transfer you make and advise you on how to make the most out of every transfer.

Our forex division offers international money transfers at bank-beating exchange rates and low transfer fees. What’s more, our core focus is on providing exceptional customer service to each and every one we interact with. With us, you won’t ever think about using your bank for international money transfers again.

Let us answer your questions about transferring money

You may have some questions about transferring your hard-earned money, and we understand. You are right to want to know more about our service before you choose to transfer with us.

Below are the answers to the questions we get asked most regularly. If you still have questions after reading the FAQs below, you can contact our South African based team on +27 (0) 21 657 2153. If you’d rather keep things online, you can email saforex@sableinternational.com and we’ll help you out.

1. Once registered, how long does it take to activate my account?

As soon as we have received a copy of your passport and proof of residential address (signed and dated by yourself), we will activate your account on the same business day.

If your remittance request exceeds +/- R180,000 (or the equivalent in another currency), we will request a few additional documents.

2. How long does a transfer take to be processed?

Once we have received all the necessary documentation associated with the transaction and your funds have cleared in our client account, the converted funds will be credited to your nominated overseas account within one to three working days.

3. What are the minimum and maximum amounts that can be transferred?

There is no minimum or maximum amount when you transfer money online with us. There are, however, certain benefits to sending larger amounts. To find out more about the benefits of sending larger amounts pop us an email, or give us a call, and tell us how much you’d like to send and we’ll walk you through the currency conversion process.

When transferring +/- R180,000 (or foreign currency equivalent) or more in a single currency transaction, or R540,000 (or foreign currency equivalent) in a number of transactions over a 12-month rolling period, we require proof of “source of funds” as prescribed by international money laundering regulations.

4. What methods of payment can I use to transfer the funds to your account?

We accept internet banking payments. Your name and surname must be used as the reference when paying via internet banking. If a name and surname are not supplied, proof of payment must be emailed to us so we can allocate your funds for transfer.

5. What happens when I use internet banking as my preferred payment method?

If you have chosen internet banking as your preferred payment method to transfer money abroad, you will need to complete two stages to effect a transfer. Firstly, you will need to upload your transfer instruction onto our website. This tells us the amount of money, destination to which and date on which you want the funds to be sent. After this, you will have to log in to your internet banking account and transfer the requested amount to the relevant Sable International client account, using your name and surname as the payment reference.

The appropriate details for our client holding account will appear when you upload your transfer request on our website.

6. How can I be sure that my funds will be correctly allocated?

If you are using internet banking, it is imperative that you ensure that your funds will clear under your name and surname. If you use your name and surname as the payment reference, we will know that the funds are from you and we can process your transfer as soon as the funds clear.

If the funds will be clearing under a reference other than your own name and surname, please send an email to saforex@sableinternational.com informing us as to what name the funds should clear under. Following these guidelines will decrease the likelihood of a delay.

7. Are there any hidden charges or receiving bank charges?

Not at all. One of the main advantages of using our money transfer service is that we charge a flat fee. You should also know that there are no receiving bank fees when you transfer from South Africa to accounts in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Poland and Eurozone-based accounts.

8. How secure is the site?

Our site uses Secure Socket Layer (SSL) 128-bit encryption to protect your transaction details. This 128-bit encryption is the latest and strongest data encryption technique commercially available for securing information between you, our client, and our website. SSL works by encrypting/scrambling data from our website to your computer.

The data is encrypted on our web server and can only be decrypted/unscrambled by the person with the correct decrypt/unscramble key. You can visually verify our site’s use of SSL in two places: The "s" in https in the site’s web address and by the padlock on the left-hand side of the address bar.

9. How can I be sure that my funds will be correctly allocated?

If you are using internet banking, it is imperative that you ensure that your funds will clear under your name and surname. If you use your name and surname as the payment reference, we will know that the funds are from you and we can process your transfer as soon as the funds clear.

If the funds will be clearing under a reference other than your own name and surname, please send an email to saforex@sableinternational.com, informing us as to what name the funds should clear under. Following these guidelines will decrease the likelihood of a delay.

10. What are the requirements of a registered Money Service Business?

The law requires us to monitor any unusual or suspicious transactions of any size taking place where we have reason to believe the money is derived from illegal activity. We will report any suspicious international money transfers to the authorities.

The law also requires us to keep full records of all transactions, together with copies of identification provided. We are unable to process any transaction where this information is withheld. Proof of address and proof of funds may be required in certain cases – please see our “know your customer” guidelines for more information.

11. How secure is the site?

Our site uses Secure Socket Layer (SSL) 128-bit encryption to protect your transaction details. This 128-bit encryption is the latest and strongest data encryption technique commercially available for securing information between you, our client, and our website.

SSL works by encrypting/scrambling data from our website to your computer. The data is encrypted on our web server and can only be decrypted/unscrambled by the person with the correct decrypt/unscramble key. You can visually verify our site’s use of SSL in two places: The "s" in https in the site’s web address and by the padlock on the left hand side of the address bar.

 

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Compliance and regulations

We are fully regulated and registered in South Africa, the UK and Australia. In South Africa, we have an FSB licence (FSP licence number 41900). Our Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL number 335126) was issued by ASIC.To find out about our certifications and security procedures, visit our compliance page

South Africa

Cape Town

Regent Square
Doncaster Road
Kenilworth 7708 +27 (0) 21 657 2120

Durban

201 The Annex
Ridgeside Office Park
Umhlanga +27 (0) 31 536 8843

United Kingdom

London

Castlewood House
77/91 New Oxford Street
WC1A 1DG +44 (0) 20 7759 7514

Croydon

5-7 Selsdon Road
South Croydon
CR2 6PU +44 (0) 20 7759 7581

Australia

Melbourne

9 Yarra Street
South Yarra
VIC 3141 +613 (0) 8651 4500

Sable International is a trading name of 1st Contact Money Limited (company number 7070528) registered in England and Wales. Sable International is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK (FCA no. 517570), the Financial Services Conduct Authority in South Africa (FSP no. 41900) and holds an Australian Financial Services License issued by ASIC to deal in foreign exchange (AFS License number 335 126).

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