Are we allowed to import/export certain goods (e.g. leather)?

Not all goods or products are subject to import and/or export control measures. All used goods, second-hand goods, waste and scrap are however subject to import control measures (certain minor exceptions). A list of goods subject to import control and export control measures is available on the ITAC website.

What is the policy with regard to issuing of permits, if required, for Importation or exportation?

The policy pertaining to the importation/exportation of goods differs from industry sector to industry sector. It should also be borne in mind that most new goods are exempted from import control measures. Therefore, it will be useful if details of the particular goods to be imported/exported can be provided to enable this office to provide you with policy information pertaining to the importation/exportation thereof.

What is the procedure to apply for permits?

Application forms must be completed and submitted. These forms are available in hard copy and can be collected from this office, be mailed, faxed, e-mailed or downloaded from the ITAC website.

Is the information available electronically?

Application forms are available on the website.

What is the period for the issuing of permits?

The average period for the issuing of an import permit is 5 days. The issuing of export permits may take up to 15 working days. Please consult the guidelines on the website or discuss with the responsible official.

What is the cost involved?

There is no cost involved for import or export permits. Permits are issued free of charge.

Can I do my own clearing or must a clearing/shipping agent be appointed?

Importers are allowed to conduct their own clearing. The process however involves various customs and harbour/airport formalities. As such, it is proposed that you also consult the SARS at Tel +27 (0) 12 422 4000 and/or the South African Association of Freight Forwarders at Tel +27 (0) 11 728 7240 regarding guidance in this regard.

What rebate provisions are available?

There are various rebate provisions available, for instance, for the importation of goods solely for manufacturing/finishing and re-export, etc. In this regard, please contact Ms Rika Theart or Ms Nomonde Somdaka regarding rebate provisions in terms of which ITAC approves rebate permits applications. The respective telephone numbers are +27 (0) 12 394 3674, +27 (0) 12 394 3695. The South African Revenue Service, Customs, administers certain rebate provisions. For more information in this regard, please consult Customs at Tel +27 (0) 12 422 4000.

To whom can I apply for a reduction in the rate of duty?

Applications for an increase in the rate of duty must be submitted to ITAC. Application forms are available on the website or from the Tariff Investigations Unit.

What is the rate of duty applicable in SA?

Different rates of duty are applicable to different goods or commodities. Once the goods/product to be imported has been identified, the particulars thereof can be provided to South African Revenue Service (Customs) at Tel: +27 (0) 12 422 4000, who will be able to advise on the relevant tariff heading and applicable duty (including VAT payable).

Is a trading license required for trading in SA?

Local authorities issue trading licenses. Trading licenses are however not in all instances required. For more information in this regard, it is proposed that you contact the local authority in the city or town from where you intend to conduct your business.

What assistance is available from Government to importers/exporters?

Various incentive schemes are available from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). You can reach the DTI helpdesk on telephone number 0861-843-384.

Where can trade statistics be obtained?

Trade statistics can be obtained from the South African Revenue Services, Customs, at Tel +27 (0) 12 422 6208 or +27 (0) 12 422 6217.

Can contact particulars of foreign suppliers be provided?

Contact particulars of foreign suppliers are not at the disposal of this office. It is proposed that the country from which imports are to take place be identified and that SA based Trade Missions be consulted regarding particulars of suppliers.

What assistance is available to proposed exhibitors abroad?

Various incentive schemes are available from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). You can reach the DTI helpdesk on telephone number 0861-843-384.

Does the importation of branded products create liability?

For more information, please contact the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission on www.cipc.co.za and the National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications on www.nrcs.org.za.