Tariffs and regulations

Tariffs and duty rates are constantly revised and are subject to change without notice.

Austrade strongly recommends you reconfirm these prior to selling to South Africa.

For further information please see the International Trade Administration of South Africa website.

Most goods can be imported into South Africa without a permit, with the exception of:

  • foodstuffs
  • petroleum
  • chemicals
  • second-hand goods
  • machinery
  • gold
  • automobile products.

Import permits are handled by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

Import controls fall under DTI and must be registered with the Director, Import and Export Control and with the Commissioner of the South African Revenue Service (SARS).

Tariffs and non-tariff barriers

Tariff

All import and export commercial transactions require commodities on custom declarations to be classified according to an appropriate tariff heading. The tariff classification code is directly linked to the rate of duty payable on that commodity. Classification operates as part of the international Harmonised Commodity and Coding System, under the World Customs Organisation (WCO) Harmonised System Convention.

Tariffs and duty rates are constantly revised and are subject to change without notice. Austrade strongly recommends you re-confirm these prior to selling to South Africa.

Non-tariff barriers

Import control is the responsibility of the Ministry of Trade and Industry. Import permits are valid from the date of issue until 31 December of that particular year. Import control will be removed on some of these goods in the future. Notice of changes will be published in the Government Gazette.

Importers must be registered with the Director, Import and Export Control and with the Commissioner, South African Revenue Services.

Foreign exchange allocation is subject to the prior approval of the Reserve Bank.

Documentary evidence of the transaction must be presented to authorised foreign exchange dealers.

Import permit application forms are available from:

The Director, Import and Export Control
Private Bag X192
Pretoria, 0001

Permits are required for the following:

  • consumer goods (foodstuffs, clothing, fabrics, footwear and books)
  • wood
  • paper products
  • motor and aviation fuels
  • refined petroleum products
  • specified chemicals
  • raw wool
  • specified rubber
  • minerals
  • firearms
  • gambling machines

Importation of all second-hand goods is subject to import control and an import permit is required.

The importation of used vehicles is strictly controlled and import permits are issued only in very specific and defined circumstances. An original certificate issued by the South African Bureau of Standards also needs to accompany clearance for home consumption.

The prevailing import control policy with regard to the different categories of vehicles/parts thereof, covers:

  • used motor vehicles for personal use
  • specially designed vehicles
  • used buses, trucks, taxis and coaches
  • used engines
  • used gearboxes
  • used differentials

Import quotas apply to a range of products, including:

  • meat and unprocessed primary products, including fresh produce
  • petroleum products
  • pesticides
  • selected plastic raw materials and resins
  • selected rubber items, including tyres and conveyor belts
  • paper board
  • certain apparel items
  • selected machinery items, including transformers, lathes, mechanical shovels and some agricultural equipment items
  • gold, silver and certain metal alloys

Insurance

One copy required by the importer (the original, if claims are to be paid in South Africa).

Weights and measures

The metric system.