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A Guide to Importing, Exporting and Doing Business in South Africa

A Guide to Importing, Exporting and Doing Business in South Africa

South Africa is a busy, dynamic market, and the emerging market economy is of considerable proportions. A fair rate of growth is predicted, and many sectors of the economy are booming. Doing business in South Africa can bring in high returns on investment. The country’s rich natural resources and depth and range of opportunities make South Africa an excellent location for the establishment of a lucrative business. Bear in mind that the cultural and ethnic diversity of the country create marketing aspects that should be studied well, with a view to the achievement of business goals.

The South African business market is very unique as it has traits of both first world and third world economies. It is important, therefore, to have a clear picture of the trade environment in South Africa if you are considering importing or exporting goods to this country.

It is necessary for you to be knowledgeable about the various procedures involved in order for you to import or export goods into South Africa. The first step is to establish your business. For this, you will have to research the South African market, identify your opportunity and then decide on your trade partners. You must also make sure that your business has been legally registered and that you have complied with all applicable laws. Ensure that agreements with your suppliers include the terms of shipment.

To begin doing business with South Africa, you will need to posses a letter of credit. There are many types of letters of credit such as confirmed/unconfirmed, sight/usance and revocable/irrevocable. You will have to acquire the one that is best suited to your business. It is best to go in for an agreement that provides for an irrevocable, at sight letter of credit.
Other ways of payment while importing goods into South Africa include paying by open account, or paying by documents against acceptance.

You will also need an import permit that ensures compliance with South African import regulations. It is advisable that you be well informed about the paperwork required as you will need many import documents including the original commercial invoice, original bills of lading or airway bills and original packing lists.

If you are planning on exporting goods from South Africa, an understanding of South African international trade relations is a good place to start, as this will prove useful when you are negotiating. It is also advisable to have checklists of banned items to make sure that your goods do not break any laws. Should your goods not be on the approved checklist, specialised documentation will be needed, so make sure you have these if required. Conduct background checks for vendors and customers, to increase the chances of timely delivery and payment. Payment in advance is a wise thing to insist on.

For South African Freight services you can contact RSJ International Bristol or Cardiff below.

You might also be interested in business opportunities in Australia?

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