DTI: first stop for exporters

The main government body tasked with assisting exporters is the Department of Trade and industry (DTI).

Go to the Department of Trade and Industry

As a crucial enabler of South Africa’s economic strategy in providing an environment that is conducive to investment, trade and enterprise development, the DTI enjoys direct access at the highest levels to South African business sectors and trading partners. The DTI is positioned as the essential point of contact for anyone involved in trade and investment in South Africa.

The DTI works to build equitable and strong trade links with key economies, with a special focus on supporting African regional economic integration and co- operation. South Africa has trading relationships with more than 200 countries and territories.

  • Visit the DTI’s website for the latest information on trade agreements: www.dti.gov.za

Sector specific

The export process is sector-specific, and sector strategies offer the framework within which exports are encouraged and incentivised. The DTI focuses on promoting sectors of the economy that have shown the greatest growth potential and marketability.

The DTI’s sector specialists have a clear understanding of, and access to, the various industries, and are able to provide advice on all current export processes and procedures.

Enquiries are channelled through the DTI Customer Care Centre on:

  • 0861 843 384 (local callers)
  • +27 (12) 394 9500 (international callers)


In partnership with Provincial Investment Promotion Agencies (PIPAs), the DTI promotes investment and export activities in targeted markets. It has teams operating from regional offices around the world providing market intelligence and identifying opportunities for South African companies, as well as sector specialists offering advice on export processes and procedures.

  • Visit the DTI’s website for the PIPA director as well as information on export opportunities: www.dti.gov.za

Export councils

Export-oriented companies have, in partnership with the DTI, organised themselves into so-called Export Councils, which target specific markets. These assist exporters in reaching their targets, and specifically enable small businesses in any sector to access DTI support structures.


The DTI also provides incentives to exporters – with a special focus on small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) and black economic empowerment (BEE) exporters – through the Export Marketing and Investment Assistance (EMIA) scheme.

Export advice

The International Trade Administration Commission of South Africa (Itac) is responsible for import and export controls and for the issuing of permits. It can also advise you on trade regulations.

The DTI’s website also carries information on learning to export, including how to do an export readiness assessment, export order case studies, and the the four-step export order process.

To register as an exporter, you need to contact the South African Revenue Service. SARS also has up to date information on export tariffs.

SouthAfrica.info reporter

Reviewed: November 2013


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