Export And Import Licence

An Import and an Export License is simply an assigned code that informs the government what kind of goods you’re importing and/or exporting. This code is also sometimes referred to as a customs code or a CNN number.

You get an Import Licensee or an Export License when you register as an Importer or an Exporter.

Almost all goods that leave or enter South Africa are checked and taxed, that’s why they first need to be evaluated at customs. Customs are designated points, at points of entry (like post offices or airports) that are used to check goods and to determine appropriate tax for them before they enter or exit the country.

You use a CNN number or a customs code to clear goods through customs or to make and receive international payments for goods.

All importers and exporters in South Africa are required to register with customs at the South African Revenue Service (SARS).

Please note that certain goods will require an import permit, which must be produced at the time of clearance. Application for import permits must be made to the International Trade Administration Commission (ITAC).

Importers must be registered and their clearing agents licensed in terms of SC-CF-19. For more information please call the SARS call centre on 0860-121 218.

To download the import and export forms refer to the following SARS link: www.sars.gov.za.

Applicants must submit the relevant completed forms to their nearest SARS customs and excise branch office.

What you should do

  1. Register as an importer at Sars.
  2. Go to ITAC or download the applicable form
  3. Fill in the forms
  4. Submit the forms to the Directorate: Import and Export Control at ITAC.


  1. You can have a list of goods that are subject to import control measures posted, faxed or e-mailed to you if you provide ITAC with your contact details.
  2. If you need policy information on the importation of specific goods, provide the particulars of goods to be imported to ITAC’s import and export control office.

How long does it take

In most instances import permits are issued within five working days.

How much does it cost

Itac does not charge service fees but you will have to pay customs duty to Sars. Customs duty is calculated as a percentage of the value of the goods (set in the schedules to the Customs and Excise Act). For more information on Sars customs duty, visit the Sars website.

Forms to complete

Who to contact

ITAC national office – Import and Export Control

Tel: 0861 834 384, 012 394 3590, 012 394 3591
City/town: Pretora
Province: Gauteng
Physical address: International Trade Administration Commission, 77 Meintjies Street, Block D, Sunnyside, Pretoria, 0001
Postal address: Private Bag X753 Pretoria, 0001
Web address: http://www.itac.org.za