Trade dept amends COVID-19 regulations



The Department of Trade, Industry and Competition has effected changes to regulations and directions issued during the COVID-19 National State of Disaster.

The department said the changes come after consultations with the Department of Health and other key stakeholders in relevant fields.

“The amendments withdraw and effect changes to some earlier provisions issued since the start of the National State of Disaster to combat the destructive and other effects of the national disaster,” the department said.

The changes include, among others, directions on call centres providing essential services and the sale of cars and emergency automobile repairs.

On 4 June 2020, Employment and Labour Minister, Thulas Nxesi, issued the directions addressing health protocols applicable across sectors, including the need for sector guidelines.

The department said that the representatives of the industry have subsequently agreed to maintain the health and safety measures contained in the respective directions, and these directions have thus been withdrawn.

In addition, the department said, the directions issued relating to the sale of clothing, bedding and footwear, as published on Government Notice No. R. 523 12 May 2020, expired on 31 May 2020 and are therefore no longer applicable.

Categories of medication no longer require export permits

The regulations related to export controls, under section 6 of the International Trade Administration Act, 2002 (Act No. 71 of 2002), have also been amended and simplified.

“This means a number of categories of medication (set out at 8-digit level), will no longer require export permits under the COVID-19 Export Control regime. In addition, these medicines deemed critical in the fight against COVID-19 will no longer require export permits when exporting to Southern African Customs Union (SACU) or for clinical trials,” the department said.

Block exemption for retail property

Following consultations with the Competition Commission, the department said, the regulations pertaining to the COVID-19 Block Exemption for the Retail Property Sector have been amended to include the cinema exhibition industry.  

“The regulations are aimed at exempting certain conduct between designated retail tenants and the retail property sector to promote concerted conduct to prevent an escalation of the national disaster,” the department explained.

The gazette on new amendments can be accessed on