International Trade Administration Commission of South Africa


About the Department


The aim of ITAC, as stated in the Act, is to foster economic growth and development in order to raise incomes and promote investment and employment in South Africa and within the Common Customs Union Area by establishing an efficient and effective system for the administration of international trade subject to this Act and the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) Agreement. The core functions are: customs tariff investigations; trade remedies; and import and export control.

Background to the establishment of ITAC

From the middle 1920s, South Africa adopted a trade strategy based on import substitution as a means to pursue industrialisation. The import substitution strategy required relatively high tariff walls and a complex tariff structure with various kinds of duties (ad-valorem; specific; compound; and formula duties) to develop, protect, and nurture domestic industries. In 1924, a permanent Board on Trade and Industries (BTI) was established and assigned the function of advising government on the implementation of this strategy.

Although the tariff policy adopted in 1924 also applied to agricultural products, the government support to the agricultural sector was driven through the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1937 and the Co-operatives Act of 1939. The government intervention in terms of these measures virtually eliminated foreign competition through the application of import and price controls.

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