Incentives for exporters

The government provides various incentives to South African firms to export their products internationally.

Export Marketing and Investment Assistance

The Export Marketing and Investment Assistance (EMIA) scheme compensates exporters for the costs involved in developing export markets for South African products and services.

Set up by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), EMIA aims to develop an export market in South Africa and to assist South African exporters gain access to this market. By encouraging individual manufacturers and exporters, the DTI hopes to recruit new foreign direct investment. The scheme is administered by Trade and Investment South Africa’s (TISA) export promotion unit.

Under this scheme, the DIT offers exporters incentives and financial assistance with market research, trade missions, showcasing products and services at international exhibitions, among other things. Costs covered can include exhibition fees, stand construction, travel and daily allowances.

Who qualifies for EMIA assistance?

  • South African manufactures and exporters;
  • South African export trading houses representing at least three SMMEs or businesses owned by Historical Disadvantaged Individuals (HDIs);
  • South African commission agents representing at least three SMMEs or HDI- owned businesses; and
  • South African exports councils, industry associations and joint action groups (JAGs) representing at least five South African entities.

Assistance is divided between individual and group offerings; and each scheme has its own defined criteria.

Capital Projects Feasibility Programme

The Capital Projects Feasibility Programme (CPFP) is a cost-sharing programme that contributes to the cost of feasibility studies likely to lead to projects outside South Africa that will increase local exports and stimulate the market for South African capital goods and services. All South African enterprises are eligible, as long as the study is undertaken by local companies.

Sector Specific Assistance Scheme

The Sector Specific Assistance Scheme (SSAS) is a reimbursable 80:20 cost-sharing grant offering financial support to export councils, joint action groups and industry associations. The scheme has a subprogramme specially designed to assist emerging exporters. Eligible enterprises are non-profit business organisations in sectors and sub- sectors of the industry prioritised by the DTI.

The Industrial Development Corporation

The IDC makes financing available at reduced rates for selected expansion schemes that are expected to result in increased foreign exchange earnings.

Financing of credit for exporters of capital goods is also available through the IDC or private sector merchant banks at reduced rates.

The Export Credit Insurance Corporation

The ECIC provides export credit and foreign investment insurance cover on behalf of the government.

The ECIC, an agency of the Department of Trade and Industry, aims to facilitate and encourage South African export trade by underwriting export credit loans and investments outside the country to enable South African contractors to win capital goods and services’ contracts in other countries.

Credit Guarantee Insurance Corporation

Offers exporters insurance covering domestic or international debtors, which means exporters are protected against non-payment. IDC is a shareholder of the company.

Customs and Excise duty refunds

Provision is made in the Customs and Excise Act for general refunds, as well as a large number of specific drawbacks and refunds of customs and excise duties, to exporters. These concessions are available to manufacturers as well as to merchants who import goods for re-export.

VAT Export Incentive Scheme

Exporters may zero-rate VAT on exports regarded as a direct export. Applicable to exporters registered as VAT vendors in South Africa. You must be registered with the South African Revenue Service (SARS) to export commercial goods from South Africa.

SA.info reporter

Reviewed: 5 August 2012

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