Perishable Products Export

We are blessed with an abundance of fruit in the Republic. We are the world’s largest exporter of oranges, sixth largest exporter of lemons, third largest exporter of grapefruit, ninth largest exporter of table grapes, and the seventh largest of peaches and nectarines.1 We are the fifth largest exporter of apples, fourth largest of pears and sixth of raisins.2

Fortunately, or unfortunately – depending on how you look at it – most of the best quality produce is exported. However, we locals can put up with second best when the export of (our top grade) fruit generates billions of rand, annually, in foreign currency.3 That’s big business.4

The title of the Perishable Products Export Control Act 19835 speaks for itself. These products, of course, list more than just fruit – the Act governs vegetables, flowers, butter, eggs, fish, meat, cheese and any by-product from these fresh foodstuffs, as well as deep frozen foods. It falls under the authority of the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, but – as will be seen – a large role is played by the Perishable Products Export Control Board.6

  1. It is an offence to export any perishable product if you are not registered with the Board as an exporter.7

  2. Any person who exports any perishable product will be guilty of an offence unless it is in terms of a contract (or other similar type of arrangement) made by, through or with the consent of the Board.8

  3. If you accept shipping space for the export of perishable products other than in terms of a contract (or arrangement) made by, through or with the consent of the Board you will commit an offence.9

  4. Any person who submits a false statement or representation to the Board, regarding any matter in connection with the export of perishable products, will be guilty of an offence.10

  5. The Board regularly calls for estimates of intended exports. It is an offence to disclose (except if required by law to do so, or unless the Board consents) any information obtained from such estimates or the particulars furnished in that regard.11

  1. – ‘South African Fruit Trade Flow January 2013’. This is a report from the National Agricultural Marketing Council. 

  2. See

  3. – ‘Farmers Confident Fruit Destined for EU will not be contaminated.’ 

  4. By comparison, the Republic is the 22nd largest exporter of beef and veal –

  5. As amended; the latest amendment was effected by Act 52 of 1991. 

  6. The Board has its head office at 45 Silwerboom Avenue, Plattekloof, Cape Town and can be contacted at 021 930 1134. 

  7. Section 24(1)(a). 

  8. Section 24(1)(b). 

  9. Section 24(1)(c). 

  10. Section 24(1)(d). 

  11. Section 24(1)(e) read with section 10(c).