Are Date Permits required if you bring Kajoor from out of country

Written by on June 22, 2011 in News


August 2011

Import of Dates Permit

After correspondence from an MRU member with Jeremiah Manyuma from Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Please see below

Please be advised that an import permit is not required for processed and packaged dates.
Received by Jeremiah Manyuma from Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.

Please visit MRU  Download, share, print for yourself if you are going to visit a foreign country and coming back with dates keep the letter with you.

Direct link to letter of a letter head from the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries received via email –Download

Muslim Response Unit

June 2011

Sheereen Mohammed

Dear SirProcessed dates can be imported with no permit; however unprocessed dates (raw seeds) must be accompanied by the relevant import permitFor assistance on obtaining an import permit, the Agricultural Permit Office can be contacted at 012 – 319 6201 for assistance. Each permit is valid for a one year and costs R75.00.Should you require further assistance please do not hesitate to contact me.Warm regards


Abdhia Moosa

Client Manager: Customer Care

King Shaka International Airport

Airports Company South Africa


23 June 2011

I am not sure about this but it sounds like if you bringing dates or any plant product from out of South Africa, you need a permit. Reason being that if you bring a pest from another country into the country it could affect the whole eco system. I am not sure how this works exactly but this is some info i found. All this damaal started when one guyz dates were confiscated in King Shaka airport. I think the best way forward is for us to engage instead of enrage the situation. Sit down and discuss with all the relevant parties the best way forward regarding this issue. My biggest issue is not getting the permit but I am sure it will be a bureaucratic nightmare to deal with to get these permits, time, effort. Also when you go for Umrah, you don’t come back with Kajoor for Africa, you might come back with little to give as gifts etc cos the weight usually is an issue. If they can make the process, quick, easy and painless, m sure most of us will be happy to comply.


According to CII news

According to, Mr. Ernest Phoku, Deputy Director at the Directorate for Inspections Services in the Department of Agriculture, the importation of plant and plant products are regulated by the Agricultural Pests Act, number 36 of 1983.

“In terms of dates in particular, when an individual intends to import it into South Africa, they need to apply and obtain a permit that authorises such imports.”

The application needs to be made while the produce is in the country of origin and not when it lands at a South African port of entry. Information on the application can be found here.

As of 1 April 2011, the application fee for the process was set at R75.00 and once issued it is valid for one year. Proof of payment needs to be submitted along with the application. This is then administered and the permit is issued in approximately 30 days time according to Phoku.

Produce imported without a permit stands the risk of being confiscated at the airport. A phyto-sanitary document, issued by the country of origin of the produce, is also required.

According to Phoku, “This is a plant health certificate which attests that the dates that you are in possession of are in a good health condition. That is, they do not have pests and diseases.”

There is however no issue with the quantity of produce intended to be brought in.

“In terms of bio-security risks, we do not forecast on the quantity,” said Phoku.

South African Muslims were never before asked to present any documentation for their dates which particularly come from the Saudi Arabian kingdom.



Importation of agricultural commodities into South Africa

South Africa is a signatory member of the World Trade Organization-Agreement on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (WTO-SPS) as well as the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC). As a contracting party of the Convention, South Africa has the sovereign right to regulate the entry of plants and plan products and any other regulated articles (Article VII of the New Revised Text of the IPPC ) into its territory.
The Directorates Plant Health (DPH) and Agricultural Product Inspection services (APIS) of the national Department of Agriculture (DoA) constitutes the National Plant Protect Organization of South Africa (NPPOZA) and is mandated by the Agricultural Pest Act of 1983 (Act #No 36 ) to regulate imports and exports of plants, plants products and other regulated articles between South Africa and other countries. In terms of the provisions of Act No 36 of 1983, no person is allowed to import into South Africa any controlled goods except under the authority of  a permit  and in compliance with the relevant import requirements. Its scope covers plants, plant products and their pathogens including biological control agents, insects and exotic animals as defined, as well as honey, beeswax and used apiary equipment.
Travellers are requested to apply well in advance for an import permit from the NPPOZA should they wish to carry agricultural products in to South Africa. Upon entering South Africa, travellers will be required to declare any agricultural products that they may be in possession of. Any undeclared products, or products without the necessary documentation will be confiscated and destroyed.
Applications for a plant health import permit should be submitted to the Plant Health Import Permit Office at:
Directorate Plant Health
Private Bag X14
Gezina 0031 OR
Fax 27-12 -319-6370
Tel 27- 12 -319-6102/6396

Clients may also find further regulatory information on the DoA website at
Any questions that arise or requests for further assistance may be directed to:
SA NPPO contact:
Director: Plant Health
Directorate Plant Health
Department of Agriculture
Private Bag X14
Gezina 0031
Tel: ++   2712 319-6114/6091
Fax: ++   2712 319-6580/6101 or or
Applications for phytosanitary inspection and certification for imports of plants and plant products should be addressed to APIS:
Director: APIS
Private Bag X258
Pretoria, 0001
Tel: ++ 2712 319-63212/6100
Fax: ++2712 319-6350
E-mail: or
APIS Regional offices:
Cape Town: ++2721 809-1641
Gauteng: ++2711   390-2580/12
Kwazulu Natal: ++2733 37-2756
Eastern Cape: ++ 2741 484-2725
Land border post: ++2712 319-6313/6451
Airports: ++ 2712 319-6688
Seaports: ++2721 934-6824


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  1. anon says:

    Dates have been confiscated initially from ORTIA-Johannesburg International, hence the question arose as to wht the process. It is advisable to contact the Department of Agriculture to confirm.