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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 exceptional service. 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 our clients love our forex service

Great rates

We transfer your money at excellent rates.

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Fully regulated

We are fully compliant with the 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 complimentary 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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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, bank-beating exchange rates. 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.

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 rate. 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.

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Frequently asked questions about online money transfers

It’s only natural to have questions when you’re choosing a forex provider. Here are the answers to some of the most common questions we receive about our online international money transfer service.

1. How long does it take to activate my account once I’ve registered?

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 transfer exceeds £20,000, we will request a few additional documents.

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2. How are your exchange rates determined

To get you the best rates, we canvass the market on your behalf, add a small margin to the rates we obtain and pass that rate on to you. The exchange rates we offer fall between the interbank rate (the truest exchange rate) and the rate offered by high street banks and bureaux de change.

The rates on our site are updated throughout the day, they must be viewed as indicative only.

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3. Between which countries can I send funds?

We can transfer funds to just about any worldwide destination. Our most popular destinations are Australia, New Zealand, the UK, Poland, South Africa, Canada, the United States and the Eurozone. If your country is not specifically listed as an option on our website, please give us a call and we’ll help you out with your transfer.

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4. What are the transfer fees?

Our fees are dependent on the size and destination of your transfer. Any transfer above £2,000 is automatically processed free of charge. If you are transferring less than £2,000, the table below will provide you with general information on the fees for some of our most popular destinations.

Fees to transfer from the UK

UK to Australia

£2.00

UK to Eurozone destination

£5.00

UK to New Zealand

£1.00

UK to Poland

£0.90

UK to South Africa

£10.00

UK to UAE, USA and Canada

£10.00

Australia to the UK

$5.00

Eurozone destinations to the UK

€5.00

New Zealand to the UK

$5.00

Poland to the UK

zł5.00

South Africa to the UK

R250.00

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5. Can I send money to a credit card?

We can send money to South African credit cards only. At present, we cannot transfer money to Australian, New Zealand or UK credit cards.

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6. What is the processing time for a transfer?

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.

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

There is no minimum or maximum amount when you transfer money with us. There are, however, certain benefits to sending larger amounts.

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

We accept GBP denominated UK debit card and 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 in order for us to allocate your funds for transfer.

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9. What happens when I use a debit card as my preferred payment method?

The easiest way to transfer money with us is to use your UK debit card on our website.

First, enter in the amount that you wish to transfer as well as your debit card details. Then enter in the overseas recipient bank account details of the destination to which you wish the money to be transferred. This process is completely under your control and you don’t need to set foot in a bank or log on to an internet banking portal.

As soon as you submit your request online, your money is transferred from your account into ours. As the funds are transferred out of your account, the exchange rate will be secured for your transfer. This is how we ensure the rate you see when you request the transfer is the rate you get.

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

If you have chosen internet banking as your preferred payment method, you will need to complete two stages to affect 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.

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11. 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 forex@sableinternational.com, informing us as to what name the funds should clear under. Following these guidelines will decrease the likelihood of a delay.

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12. 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.

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13. 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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