The Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (dtic) has launched the Export Barriers Monitoring Mechanism (EBMM) that will provide the support needed to continuously improve the country’s export environment.

The Export Barriers Monitoring Mechanism (EBMM) was launched on Monday.

The department’s  Deputy Director-General of Export Development, Promotion and Outward Investments Lerato Mataboge said the fundamental aim of EBMM is to make the government’s support to exporters facing barriers more effective, flexible, and more accessible.

Mataboge said by creating a systematic approach to monitoring these barriers, the government can develop a long-term agenda to target the most important export barriers.

She said by addressing each individual barrier, the government can begin to manage each problem with the level of nuance and detail needed for these complex challenges.

Pilot project

“During an initial pilot project, 28 key export barriers were processed by the EBMM and during the initial phase of the national lockdown, the EBMM methodology was used to process 76 barriers related to COVID-19.

From today, the EBMM is open to any firm that encounters an export barrier of any kind, whether locally or in any foreign market. We strongly encourage you to tell us whenever you encounter a challenge, no matter how big or small,” she said.

Mataboge added that in 2018, South African exporters faced an estimated 154,571 unique customs requirements worldwide.

She said over the last ten years, 23 795 new or amended technical barriers to trade have been registered with the World Trade Organisation; while over the same period 13 364 sanitary and phytosanitary barriers were registered or amended.


“While our priority must be to work progressively to smooth these barriers, the experience of the last decade of trade has demonstrated that we need to be prepared to manage this growing complexity. Increasingly, a key component of global competitiveness will be how we manage a constantly changing global trading environment. Managing this environment will only be possible through a close working partnership between the government and the private sector,” she said.

Reducing barriers

Executive Director of the South African Electrotechnical Export Council Chiboni Evans, highlighted the importance of maximising content and projects in the African continent while also highlighting the role played by export barriers in reducing competitiveness in the region.

“Persistent logistics barriers meant that transporting goods by road took longer from all our major cities to mines in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region. It was then easy for these countries to import goods from Asia, Americas and Europe rather than waiting on South Africa,” said Evans.

Highlighting previous experiences of partnering with the dtic to resolve export barriers, Evans noted that a lot of the barriers to export can only be resolved by the private sector working together with the government.

She added that this new mechanism will assist greatly in opening up government support to a much broader spectrum of private sector individuals.

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