How to Apply for a Wholesale License In South Africa

Applying for a petroleum wholesale licence

If you want to sell petroleum products to consumers for end use, you must apply for a wholesale licence from the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy.

The licence allows you to buy petroleum products in bulk (1 500 litres or more, per transaction of petroleum products) from a licensed manufacturer, and to sell it to end users.

The licence is valid for as long as your business operates.

What you should do

  1. Complete the form Application for wholesale licence, DMRE 38.
  2. Send the application form to the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy regional office.
  3. The Department will send you a letter stipulating that you must publish a notice of application in four newspapers.
  4. You must provide proof of the publication of the notice of application to the department.
  5. Once you have a licence, you must submit information on your business annually using the Wholesale licence annual information (Submission Form), DMRE 30.

How long does it take

You should receive a response within 90 days from the date when the Department received proof of publication of the notice of application.

How much does it cost

  • R1 000
  • R500 annual licence fee.

Forms to complete

Liquor Wholesale License Application

Just as the operation of a wholesale business in South Africa is fundamentally different to the operation of a retail business in South Africa, so too are the two types of Licences or Registrations that govern the legal sale of alcohol by both of these types of businesses.

They are so different in fact, that the South African governmental bodies which issue the two types of certificates are completely different too.
The Regional Liquor Board will be responsible for the management, issuing and renewal of Retail Liquor Licences.

The National Liquor Authority is responsible for the management, issuing and renewal of Wholesale Liquor Registrations.

A Wholesale Liquor Registration is issued to a person or a company that intends to sell and distribute liquor products within the Republic as a wholesaler or manufacturer. This Liquor Licence Registration DOES NOT allow the holder to sell liquor to retail customers. For this, the company would have to make a separate Retail Liquor Licence application to the Regional Liquor Board.

As with a retail Liquor Licence, the person or company that is applying for a Wholesale Registration will need to prove to the National Liquor Authority that they are responsible and reliable entities who can be trusted to supply their products legally into the South African market.

During the application, they will also need to provide the National Liquor Authority with information about their premise where they intend to store their liquor and operate their business from.

As with a Retail Liquor Licence, a Wholesale Liquor Registration also needs to be kept up to date and renewed once a year. This can be a complicated process in the hands of the wrong consultant, so we advise you seek expert help in all matters relating to the wholesale distribution of Liquor in South Africa.

What happens if I already operate a wholesaling business?

If you are already operating a wholesaling business at the commencement of the Act, which is the 17th March 2006, you will be deemed to hold a wholesale licence. However, you must apply for a wholesale license within a period of six months from the commencement of the Act.

Who may apply for a wholesale license?

Any person who wants to sell prescribed petroleum products in bulk to other licensed wholesalers, retailers and end consumers (for own consumption) including those who are currently buying and selling prescribed petroleum products in bulk must apply for a wholesale licence.