What is an Exporter?

 Any person (local or foreign) who wishes to export goods from South Africa must register as an exporter, including for the exportation of continuous transmission commodities (CTC).

Any foreign exporter (e.g. individual or juristic person) who wishes to export goods from South Africa must register as an exporter and nominate a registered agent located in South Africa before such foreign exporter will be register to export goods from South Africa.

Such nominated ‘registered agent’ must assume full liability for the acts of a foreign principal in relation to any business activity with Customs. To see how exports work, click here.

If the applicant is a foreign entity:

  • He / she must nominate a registered agent using a DA 185 D;
  • Not represented by a registered agent located in South Africa, the application must be entertained but suspended until an approved registered agent is nominated by the foreign entity; and
  • Which is a juristic entity, a certified copy of the founding document or any certificate issued in terms of the laws of the country where the foreign licensee or registered person is incorporated, registered or recognised certifying such incorporation must be submitted at time of application.

Foreign entities clearing cargo for international transit through South Africa are not required to register with Customs.

No security is required at time of registration. However, Customs reserves the right to impose a security based on the risk status of the applicant.

A Registered Agent nominated by a foreign principal must assume full liability for the acts of a foreign principal in relation to any business activity with Customs.

Registered exporters must also register as an EDI user if he / she will be submitting his / her own CCD to Customs. If he/she make use of a licensed Customs Clearing agent or Registered Agent, an importer or exporter does not need to register as an EDI user. 

What is the procedure to register as an exporter?

The prospective exporter must complete forms A185 and DA185.4A2 Application for registering as an Exporter – and forward it to the relevant Customs Offices where a Customs and Excise code will be allocated to the client.

While the exporter is awaiting approval from the Customs Office, he may attach a copy of the application form to the Customs Export declarations. Click here to download the application form. There are two types of exporters; local exporter and foreign exporter.

Documents that must accompany the application:

  • Proof of address i.e. your municipal water and electricity account;
  • Certified copy of your identity document.

 From the Registrar of Companies a certified copy of either of the following:

  • Close Corporation registration;
  • Company registration.

Certified copies of the following documents:

  • VAT, IT, PAYE, SDL, UIF letters from SARS to confirm revenue registration details;
  • Resolution/consent or other authority as applicable.
  • Telkom and/or cellphone account not older than 3 months to confirm contact details;

One of the following to prove bank details:

  • A cancelled cheque;
  • A legible certified copy or original bank statement which confirms the account holders name, account number and branch code;
  • An original letter from the bank on a letterhead; or
  • An original auto bank statement.

Indicate that the applicant must be older than 21 years and have a permanent address in the RSA.  

How to register as a Local Exporter

  • Complete the required application form and relevant annexure(s).
  • Submit all supporting documents as prescribed on the application forms.

Which forms are required for registration as a Local Exporter?

Forms to complete to apply for Exporter registration under Preferential Trade Agreements:




These are the forms needed to be an approved Exporter in TDCA & SACU-EFTA:

Where do we send  the forms?

Application forms must be submitted to the nearest Customs and Excise office.  

How to register as a Foreign Exporter

  • Fill in the application forms and relevant annexure(s) as prescribed by the Customs and Excise Act.
  • Submit certified supporting documents as listed on the relevant application forms.
  • Nominate a registered agent by completing and sending the relevant form to Customs.

Which forms need to be completed for registration as a Foreign Exporter?

Where are the exporter registration forms available?

Application forms are available on this website or from any Customs office.

Where do you send the forms?

Application forms must be sent to the nearest Customs office.

To access this page in different languages click on the links below:

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