Directorate Veterinary Services (South Africa)

Requirements and Procedure for the Importation of Casings


The Directorate Veterinary Services administers the Animal Diseases Act, 1984 (Act No 35 of 1984). The Import Export Policy Unit of the Directorate Veterinary Services also administers the sections of the Meat Safety Act, 2000 (Act No 40 of 2000) and regulations that apply to the importation of meat. The importation of animals and animal products from individual countries is evaluated in accordance with these Acts, international standards and other requirements.


The Animal Diseases Act, 1984 (Act No 35 of 1984) is available on the following website: 

Animal Diseases Act, No 35 of 1984

The Meat Safety Act, 2000 (Act 40 of 2000) is available on the following website:

Meat Safety Act, No 40 of 2000

The new Red Meat Safety Regulations are available on  

Red Meat Safety Act, No 40 of 2000, Regulations


Copies of the Animal Diseases Act, 1984 and the regulations promulgated there-under can also be obtained by contacting Ms Ramos at Tel 012 319 7405 (International tel. +27 12 319 7405), AnnaR@nda.agric.za or fax no 012 329 0499. Copies of the Meat Safety Act, 2000 and the regulations promulgated thereunder can be obtained by contacting Mrs Viviers at tel 012 319 7700 (International tel. +27 12 319 7700), ElmarieV@nda.agric.za or fax no 012 329 6892.


Veterinary Import Permit


An importer must be in possession of a South African veterinary import permit before the consignment departs from the country of origin. Import permits for animal products imported for commercial purposes are only issued to companies residing in South Africa or an agent in South Africa appointed by an international company.


Obtaining an Import Permit


Please ensure that the correct application form is completed. Applications for veterinary import permits will not be processed unless a payment of R110 per permit has been received.

Please indicate whether the import permit must be mailed to you or whether it will be collected at the permit office.


Completed application forms must be returned to:


Postal address:

Physical address:

The Director Veterinary Services

Import Export Policy Unit (Permit Office)

Private Bag X138




Permit Office, Room G52

Delpen Building

Corner of Annie Botha and Union Avenue




Fax No:

012 329 8292 / 012 319 7491


Application forms and information concerning the payment can be obtained from the permit office at tel no 012 319 7514 / - 7414 / -7633 / -7632 / -7503 or via the following link: Link to application forms


It is not advisable to enter into any agreement before you have received a signed and stamped veterinary import permit for a particular product (this excludes specimen copies of veterinary import permits) - especially, if you are importing it for the first time.


In Transit Consignments


In transit movement of animals and animal products is regarded as importation, unless it does not leave international ground and departs within a couple of hours. If the products are in transit through the Republic of South Africa, a copy of the veterinary import permit from the country of final destination must be submitted with the application for a South African veterinary in transit permit.


Veterinary Health Certificate


A veterinary health certificate, which is in compliance with the conditions stipulated by the South African veterinary import permit, must be obtained from the veterinary authorities in the country of origin before the product is shipped. Imports via third countries are generally not accepted.


Ports of Entry


The original veterinary import permit and the original veterinary health certificate must be presented to the relevant authorities at the port of entry. Meat must be inspected at the following inspection sites:



tel no

031 337 4346/7

Cape Town:

tel no

021 551 2050

City Deep Abattoir (only from neighbouring countries):

tel no

011 613 1636

Port Elizabeth (special permission):

tel no

041 585 8907


Listing of Additional Establishments (in countries already exporting casings to South Africa)


Depending on the disease situation and our agreement with the veterinary authorities in the country of origin one of the following procedures will be followed:

1.   EU or USDA approval will be accepted.

2.   The owner or manager of the establishment must contact the veterinary authorities in the country where the plant is situated. The relevant veterinary authorities will then inspect the establishment on our behalf. If the establishment complies with our requirements, the veterinary authorities will send us confirmation thereof.

3.   Under certain circumstances an inspection by one of our officials would be necessary.


Importation from countries not exporting casings to South Africa at present


An application to import animal products from countries not exporting casings to South Africa at present is evaluated in terms of the relevant legislation, international standards and other requirements.


Some of the factors taken into consideration are:


      Animal disease status of the country (Rinderpest, Foot-and-Mouth Disease, BSE, Scrapie, etc)

      Whether we had previous contact with the veterinary authorities in that country

      Whether fresh meat is accepted from that country

      Other risk factors and mitigation measures


The following procedure should be followed:


      The owner or manager of the plant must contact the central/national veterinary authorities in the country where the plant is situated. We do not accept correspondence from the provincial or local veterinary authorities.


      The veterinary authorities must then contact us directly supplying the following information:


a)     Approval number of plant, name of company and physical address

b)     Is the plant under official veterinary supervision (full time/part time) and if so, which regulations do they enforce?

c)      The auditing processes at the plant. For example, who performs these audits, and how often are they done?

d)     The processes the plant use to prepare the final product

e)     The official control measures to ensure the true (and certified) origin of the product. For example, how do they manage to keep sheep casings originating from Scrapie free countries separate from casings originating from other countries?

f)        The official control measures to ensure the food safety requirements of the establishment are met.

g)     Do they deal in casings derived from other species as well, and if so, how do they separate the different products?

h)      Any other relevant information


Should we find it necessary to carry out an inspection visit, the applicant will be notified. Inspection visits are planned and budgeted for, each financial year (starting 1 April). It is usually very difficult to deviate from this schedule.


Before planning an inspection visit our Directorate requires the following:

1.      An official invitation from the prospective exporting country

2.      A day by day itinerary.


The date of the visit will be set only after receiving the documents mentioned in paragraphs 1 to 2 and will not be sooner than 4 months after having received the above-mentioned documents.




Enquiries can be directed to:

The Director Veterinary Services

Attention: Dr. Michelle Lewis

Private Bag X138



Tel No

(012) 319 7648 (Int. +27 12 319 7648)

Dr M Lewis

Fax No

012 319 7529 e-mail:






Import Export Policy Unit contacts list