There is duty-free trade between South Africa and the other four countries (Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, and Swaziland) that compromise the Southern African Customs Union (SACU).
The Southern African Development Community (SADC) Free Trade Agreement should allow duty-free trade among the 14 countries of the region when it comes into full effect. The European Union-South African Trade and Development Cooperation Agreement, which came into effect in 2000, will result in substantially free trade between South Africa and the European Union by 2008. South Africa has also negotiated agreements with the European Free Trade Association and Mercosur.
The South African Reserve Bank approves currency exchanges. The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is empowered to regulate, prohibit or ration imports to South Africa in the national interests, but most goods may be imported into South Africa without any restrictions. As a matter of government policy, the South African Government is aiming to open its market further in order to increase trade and to develop more competitive domestic industries. However, in 2006, the South African Government made exceptions to this approach in order to protect the labor-intensive garment industry.