Applying for an Import (ITAC) permit


ITAC – International Trade Administration Committee

If an ITAC permit is required, otherwise also known as an Import Permit, it generally means that the product being imported is “used” or “second-hand” goods. Even refurbished goods are considered second-hand and therefore subject to the production of an Import Permit. This information on whether the goods are used or second-hand or not is obtained either from the commercial invoice description or the waybill description.

With the exception of books and personal effects (if legitimately imported as personal effects where supporting documents such as passports with work permits or temporary or permanent residence certificates are produced), ALL used or second-hand goods require an Import Permit. If the commercial invoice incorrectly describes the product as used or second-hand, then the customer must provide an amended invoice together with a letter of explanation confirming that the goods are not used or second-hand. These documents must be scanned into the DHL imaging systems in the event of a query or audit by Customs at a later date.

As of 1 January 2015, all applications for an Import Permit for second-hand or refurbished goods must include a Registration Certificate from The South African Police Services. This registration allows the importer to deal in such goods. ITAC will not process the application (or under exceptional circumstances temporarily permit the application to be processed) without this certificate.

Some frequently asked questions with regards to applications for Import or Export Permits are as follows:

Contact information for ITAC can be obtained here

Applications can take from 14 days to be completed.

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. A list of goods subject to import control and export control is available and can on submission of your contact details be mailed, faxed, or e-mailed. This information is also 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. Please keep in mind that most new goods are exempt from import control measures. Therefore, it will be useful if details of the particular goods to be imported/exported can be provided which will 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.
Import Application Forms
Export Application Forms

What is the period for the issuing of permits?

The average period for the issuing of a permit is 3 days. On approval, ITAC will either e-mail or post the permit to the applicant. The permit must then be forwarded to DHL for the processing of the clearance.

What is the cost involved?

There is no cost involved. 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. DHL cannot complete the application on behalf of the importer or exporter.