Entrepreneurs: Imports and exports

By Drum Digital
23 November 2016

I would like know more about exporting and importing



Joshua Maluleke answers:

No country is an island; all nations in the world need to trade with others in order to achieve higher levels of success. Businesses, therefore, have an important role to play because international trade is at the heart of the global economy, and is responsible for much of the development and prosperity of the modern industrialised world.

While international trade is important for every country in the world, countries don’t trade for its own sake. All countries strive to achieve a favourable balance of payment (BOP) account in their trade. A BOP is the method countries use to monitor all international monetary transactions over a specific period of time (that is, mainly imports and exports). A BOP is said to be favourable when a country’s exports exceed its imports (for example, the country receives more income from trade with other countries than it pays them).

You must have a permit ensuring that you comply with export control measures to export certain goods. Export policies differ from sector to sector. If you require help and policy information, please approach the Import and Export Control office at the International Trade Administration Commission (Itac), and provide details of the particular goods you want to export. In order to import goods into the country, you first need to register as an importer with the South African Revenue Service (Sars) and then apply to Itac for an import permit.

Follow this process if you wish to register as both an importer and exporter:


Call the Import and Export Control office at 0861-843- 384 or write to the Senior Manager: Import and Export Control, Private Bag X192, Pretoria, 0001 and provide your contact details so that Itac can forward the forms to you. You may also download and complete the application forms for your proposed business and submit them to the Directorate: Import and Export Control at Itac.


Register as an importer at Sars. Go to Itac or download the applicable forms. Fill in the forms and submit them to the Directorate: Import and Export Control at Itac.

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