How to extend a Carnet de Passages in South Africa

When we found out that our booked RoRo shipping from Port Elizabeth was cancelled due to a strange decision of the South African government, we had to find a new way to ship our car. Another difficulty that we now had was that our carnet would expire on the 5th August, less than two months later ... our time to organise a new shipping was very limited, especially so as one populat shipping method was impossible.

Obviously, one of the very first things we had to try to do was to extend the period of time in which our Land Rover could still legally be here in South Africa.


As our Carnet was issued by the German automobile association "ADAC", they were the first people we contacted. We were absolutely surprised when we got a reply from Germany within 18 minutes (absolutely impressive for German circumstances!). The lady from the ADAC who replied to my mail (contact details:, Hansastraße 19, 80686 München, phone: +49 (0)89/ 7676 3149, mail: , web: told me that via the South African automobile association "AASA", it is possible to ask for a "Letter of Grace" from the South African Customs to extend the validity of the Carnet by up to three months. To get that "Letter of Grace", one has to send an informal email to the AASA which explains why the Carnet has to be extended and why exactly one will not be able to leave South Africa before the Carnet expires including all relevant personal details. Attached to the email has to be a copy of the Carnet (we sent the first page and the page that was stamped in when we entered Botswana and thus the customs and revenue union of Southern Africa and included) a scan of the Carnet holders' passport.

Here are the contact details of the people at AASA that can help with this procedure:
Odette Pombo:
Cleodene Sauls
Tel.: 0027 – 11 – 799 1042; Fax: -1040

After the AASA had informed us that the "Letter of Grace" had been approved by customs (within less than 24 hours), the AASA asked us to pay a fee of 650,00ZAR (at the moment around 38 €) via credit card.

After the AASA had received the payment we were then forwarded the "Letter of Grace" via email.

The complete procedure from contacting the ADAC in Germany until receiving the "Letter of Grace" via mail took less than 24 hours - for both European and African circumstances a very fast period of time!

If the "Letter of Grace" has to be used, a copy has to be forwarded to the issuing organisation of the Carnet de Passages (in our case the ADAC).

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