Permits and Procedures:

Registration, Permits and Authorisations

As contemplated in Section 13 of the Act, the Minister of Trade and Industry publishes, by Notices in the Government Gazette, lists of goods, and dual-use goods that are controlled.  Activities related to these goods, i.e. transfers, require a permit issued by the NPC.  Permits authorise specified activities by persons registered with the NPC in accordance with the conditions prescribed in a duly authorised permit.

Any person who is involved in any activity with regard to controlled goods or who has in his possession or custody or under his control controlled goods shall:

  • Register with the Council in the prescribed manner;
  • Be in compliance with Legislation controlling the handling of dangerous goods;
  • Be in possession of a current and duly authorised permit(s) and authorisations from the NPC and other relevant authorities for the specified activity; and.
  • If the NPC so requests, make a declaration furnishing all information requested by the NPC.

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Any person who is control of any activity with regard to controlled goods, or who has in his possession, or custody, or under his control, controlled goods must register with the NPC.  Please note that registration does not grant a person authorisation to become involved in controlled activities related to the manufacturing, trade and transfer processes or with possession and use of controlled goods.

Registered persons who intend to become involved in or are involved in any controlled activity, which includes import, export, re-export, transit and transhipment of controlled goods, must need to apply for one of the following types of permits as stipulated in Section 13 of the Act:
  • Import permit; and
  • Export and re-export permit;
  • Transit permit

Permits authorise specified activities by persons registered with the NPC in accordance with the conditions prescribed in a duly authorised permit.

Individual Export / Import Permit.
  An Individual permit is issued with the following conditions:

  • One or more fixed items;
  • Single source / supplier;
  • Single destination / end-user or consignor/consignee;
  • Single exit / entry point; and
  • Validity period of three months.

Individual Export / Import Permit (Issued on Request).
  An Individual permit is issued with the following conditions:

  • The NPC approves a total quantity but the total quantity is divided into different consignments. Therefore, separate permits are issued on request for each consignment;
  • One or more fixed items;
  • Single source / supplier;
  • Single destination / end-user or consignor/consignee;
  • Single exit / entry point; and
  • Validity period of three months for each permit issued.

Open Multiple Export / Import Permit.
  An Open Multiple Permit is issued with the following conditions:

  • Multiple transactions of one or more fixed items;
  • Single source / supplier;
  • Single destination / end-user or consignor/consignee;
  • Single exit / entry point; and
  • Validity period of one year;

Note: A table is included on the permit for Customs to record the quantities of each item transferred per consignment.  A new application must be submitted to the NPS for the renewal of an Open Multiple Permit. 

Note: The actual quantaties imported and exported, as well as the sources and destinations have to be declared to the NPC at the end of the validity period.

General Rules Applicable to Permits.

  • All incoming applications is registered and numbered to confirm receipt;
  • All applications are submitted to the Control Committee of NPC (CC), which considers applications on a fortnightly basis and makes recommendations to NPC for final approval;
  • The NPC meets every six to eight weeks to consider applications;
  • The NPS informs applicants of Council’s decision within 5 working days after date of approval;
  • Permits can be collected from the NPS after notification is received;
  • The pink original permit must be returned to the NPS within 30 days after the expiry of the permit;
  • The above permits may be issued as either import or export permits. Both an import and export permit is issued in the authorisation of transit transactions;
  • Each application is considered on a case-by-case basis. The type of permit is awarded taking the proliferation risk of the circumstances of the specific transaction into account;
  • Normal applications may take from six to eight weeks. Depending on the sensitivity of the transaction and items, longer periods may be required to investigate the implications of the application;
  • In cases where the approval was given for a limited quantity and the permits are to be issued on request of the exporter, the permits will be issued within 5 working days from receipt of the request;
  • Extension of permits may be considered and approved by the Chairperson of the NPC on recommendation by the NPS. Extensions will only be considered if the application is received on or before the expiry date of the permit. Deviations of up to 15% on quantities on all permits / approvals may be considered by the Chairperson of the NPC based on a recommendation by the CC. Extension of validity dates for a valid permit can be dealt with within 5 working days from receipt of the request;
  • The NPC delegates the approval of certain permits such as temporary exports and imports for demonstrations and maintenance to the Chairperson of the NPC or his alternate.  The following principles apply when special approval procedures (inter-sessional handling) are considered:
    • Special written motivation is required from the managing director of the applicant;
    • The CC must consider the situation and make a recommendation to the Chairperson of the NPC;
    • The validity of the permit is limited only until shortly after the next NPC meeting;
    • No extensions are granted for permits approved according to the inter-sessional handling procedures;
    • Inter-sessional handling of permits is only considered under exceptional circumstances; and
    • Applications processed according to inter-sessional handling procedures may take one to two weeks;
  • Original permits must be returned within seven days after it was used for the last time or on expiry of the permit validity;
  • A company (sub-contractor) receiving and order or enquiry from another company for the manufacturing and/or supplying of controlled goods or activities, should obtain a copy of the permit/authorisation from the contracting party.  If his/her subcontracted work entails controlled activities or goods, a permit application must be made for that specific subcontracted activity, stating the NPC Permit number of the permit that authorizes the higher level activity (i.e. that of the contractor); and
  • In order to facilitate and address enquiries from the NPS, companies are required to keep the endorsed Bill of Entry/Export every time it is used for transfers on an Open Multiple Export/Import Permit.

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Procedures Applicable to all Applications

Guiding Principles and Criteria for the Granting of Permits

When considering applications by entities for permits or authorisation, the NPC should:
  • Assess each application on a case-by-case basis;
  • Consider whether activities or transactions are prohibited or allowed under certain conditions depending on the intended use or the risk of the intended activity contributing to WMD programmes.
  • Consider the competency and intention of the applicant to become involved in controlled activities;
  • Assess and evaluate the right of persons to participate in normal commercial activities versus the possibility that their actions and activities may contribute to WMD programmes;
  • Assess the ultimate end-use of the controlled goods and activities;
  • Consider the impact of the application on South Africa’s national interests;
  • Asses adherence to international law, norms and practices, especially against South Africa’s commitments in respect of international Treaties, Conventions and Control Regimes, including United Nations Security Council Resolutions;
  • Consider the non-proliferation control system of the recipient country, its ability to implement and enforce international non-proliferation and arms control measures and its record of compliance with end-user certificate undertakings;
  • Consider the likelihood of the diversion within the recipient country or re-export by the recipient country contrary to end use requirements;
  • Consider the likelihood of diversion during transportation, including transit or transhipment, contrary to the conditions of the permit;
  • Consider the capabilities and objectives of the relevant programmes of the recipient country for which the transfer is intended; and
  • Consider the significance of the transfer in terms of the potential development of weapons of mass destruction.

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  • All applications must be hand delivered, couriered or sent by registered mail to (no faxed applications will be considered)- Contact details
  • Information Security. Information processed within the control system contains various categories of confidential information, such as commercial confidential issues, end-user identities as well as defence related information. Special measures are taken within the control authority to maintain and preserve the required confidentiality.

Import and Export Permit Applications

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