The control of goods leaving the Republic is considered one of the core functions of Customs. Key economic decisions are based on trade statistics and it is therefore imperative that SARS accurately records export performance.

The export declaration is processed by Customs and kept for record and trade statistics purposes. Any other documents about the goods exported, including the transport documents, should be produced if required by Customs.

Current legislation and policy require specific documents to be endorsed, which could entail the completion of required fields on a form such as findings of an examination, date stamping and signing.

Availability of examination facilities
Examination facilities are available at most international ports of entry / exit as well as at the transit sheds and container depots. Subject to the rules of the Customs and Excise Act, including conditions about security, application may also be made (at the discretion of the Customs Branch Manager) for examinations to be conducted on the premises of clients.

Restrictions and Prohibitions
The exportation of a variety of goods is either totally prohibited or may be subject to inspection by other authorities ie. P&R goods. Special permits / licenses / certificates may also be required. Customs officers read these documents in order to ensure compliance with the various laws, regulations and rules. It must be noted that certain goods will require an export permit, which must be produced at the time of clearance. Application for Export Permits must be made to The Department of Trade and Industry (Contact Telephone Number 012-428 7000).

Can I remove goods which are being removed in bond through a non-designated port?

No removals in bond (RIBs) or removals in transit (RITs) are allowed through non-designated ports.
Proof of export for acquittal purposes must be obtained from the port of exit on the required forms.

Where must the declaration for export of unpolished diamonds be sent?

A declaration for export  of unpolished diamond(s) may be delivered:
  1. In the case of a direct levy payer, to the office of the Controller/ Branch Manager: Johannesburg or OR Tambo International Airport;
  2. In the case of a return levy payer for exports
    • To BLNS countries: to the office of the Controller/ Branch Manager of Customs at the places listed in the Schedule to the Rules, i.e. Johannesburg, Kimberley, Kopfontein, OR Tambo International Airport, Oshoek, Van Rooyens Hek and Vioolsdrift; and
    • To countries other than the BLNS countries: to the office of the Controller/ Branch Manager: Kimberley, OR Tambo International Airport, Johannesburg or Cape Town.

Export Control Requirements

To export certain goods out of South Africa, you must have a permit ensuring that you comply with applicable export control measures. The export of some goods may be restricted to support strategies of beneficiation or to assist local manufacturers to obtain raw materials before they are exported.

An export permit is required to ensure that goods exported by an individual or organisation comply with the provisions of international agreements. Export permits also help to control the outflow of goods of a strategic nature or of smuggled and stolen goods.

The policy that applies to the export of goods differs from sector to sector. Policy information regarding the export of specific goods can be obtained from the Import and Export Control Unit at ITAC. Though as indicated, not all goods or products are subject to export control measures.

Some of the products subject to export control measures include:

  • Tiger’s Eye and Sugulite
    The exportation of precious stones, such as Tiger’s Eye and Sugulite is controlled to assist the Department of Mineral Resources with strategies of domestic beneficiation.
  • Raw materials for manufacturing
    The exportation of ferrous and non-ferrous waste and scrap, for example, inter alia, is controlled to assist the local foundries in acquiring ferrous and non-ferrous waste and scrap prior to its exportation.
  • Assisting strategies for crime prevention
    The exportation of used motor vehicles is controlled to assist law enforcement agencies in curtailing the exportation of used, stolen motor vehicles.
  • Control in terms of international agreements
    Export control measures are also exercised to comply with the provisions of the international agreements outlined above.


The following legislation and provisions applies to an importer or exporter only in cases where an import and export permit is required: International Trade Administration Act, 2002, (Act 71 of 2002).

Customs and Excise Act, 1964, (Act 91 of 1964).
Promotion to Administrative Justice Act, 2000, (Act 3 of 2000).
Promotion to Access to Information Act, 2000, (Act 2 of 2000).

How to apply and the processing procedures

Export Permits

The application forms for Export Permits are found below. The forms may be faxed to (012) 394 0517 or delivered directly to the office. The office address is found below.

The turnaround time for processing an application is two working days on average, with an exception of Export Permits for scrap metals, which take 10 working days for circulation, plus time for processing and issuing.

In some instances, the applications require support documentation from other departments (DEA, Mineral Resources Energy, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, NRCS and SAPS), depending on the product in question.

Application Forms

Price Preference System

Government Gazette Notices