|Import and Export Control measures are applied to enforce health, environmental, security and safety, and technical standards that arise from domestic laws and International Agreements such as the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal, and the 1988 UN Convention Against the Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances. The import and export control measures or restrictions are limited to those allowed under the relevant World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreements.
Out of approximately 6 650 tariff lines in the South African version of the International Harmonised Commodity Description and Coding System, there are 276 tariff lines under import control and 177 tariff lines that are under export control. However, for the importation of all used or second-hand goods, an import permit is required.
The list of goods that are subject to import control are available here.
The role of the Import and Export Control Unit
As mentioned above, the key role of Import and Export Control is essentially to enforce health, environmental, security and safety, and technical standards that arise from domestic laws and International Agreements.
Enforcement and inspections are conducted to ensure effective compliance with the conditions contained in permits, compliance with provision of the Regulations and for detection of contraventions of the Act.
If you want to import controlled or used and second-hand personal or individual goods into South Africa, you need permission from ITAC.
To import such goods, you have to apply to ITAC for an import permit.
Some of the products subject to import control include:
Radioactive chemical elements
New pneumatic tyres
Chemicals listed in the 1988 Convention
Arms and ammunition
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).
How to apply and the processing procedures
The application forms for Import Permits are found here. Applications can be emailed to the respective officials as per the contact list or delivered directly to the office, the office address is found here.
The turnaround time for processing applications is, on average, three to five working days. 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.