South Africa - Country Commercial Guide
Trade Barriers
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Tariffs & NTB’s

Tariffs & NTB’s U.S. companies have cited protective tariffs as a barrier to trade in South Africa. Non-tariff barriers (NTBs) to trade include port congestion, technical standards, customs valuation above invoice prices, theft of goods, import permits, antidumping measures, foreign worker visa permitting. violations of intellectual property rights (IPR), an inefficient bureaucracy, and excessive regulation, and requirements to localize supply chains. 

Chicken restrictions In 2015, South Africa agreed to a Tariff-Rate Quota (TRQ) with the United States to allow the import of 65,000 tons per year of bone-in chicken leg quarters free of the anti-dumping duties.  Half of the quota is reserved for historically disadvantaged importers (HDIs). All imports of U.S. chicken require a health certificate from the Department of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries, and bone-in leg quarters require a quota permit from the International Trade Administration Commission (ITAC). South Africa increased the tariff from 37 percent to 62 percent on bone-in chicken portions.  It also increased tariffs on frozen boneless chicken cuts from 12 percent to 42 percent.  The increased duty will apply to poultry imports from all countries excluding European Union and Southern African Development Community members.  In 2019, the South African Government, poultry industry, unions, and importers signed a Poultry Sector Master Plan (PMP) and created a PMP Council to monitor its implementation. 

SACU For additional information on trade barriers for the Southern Africa Customs Union that includes South Africa, please see the National Trade Estimate Report on Foreign Trade Barriers published by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative at:

ITAC The International Trade Administration Commission of South Africa (ITAC)

is tasked with administering South African trade laws and therefore receives requests for tariff protection from several local industries. For additional information on ITAC’s responsibilities (tariff administration, trade remedies, and import and export controls) please visit its website at: