Trade Data Analysis

South Africa: Intra-Africa trade and tariff profile

South Africa: Intra-Africa trade and tariff profile

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This Trade Data Update provides an overview of South Africa’s intra-African trade relationships, both within the Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and with other individual African countries; the top import and export products traded; and applicable tariffs.

Data is sourced from the International Trade Centre (ITC) TradeMap database and the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Tariff Database. The update is accompanied by a visual representation of key data and trends in an infographic.

Regional Economic Communities

South Africa is a member state of both the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) and the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC). SACU is a customs union with duty-free intra-SACU trade and a common external tariff (CET) applicable to all goods entering from outside the Union, which includes the territories of South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Swaziland and Lesotho. SADC is a Regional Economic Community (REC) which includes 16 member states, including all SACU countries, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Mauritius, Mozambique and Malawi. 13 SADC member states are in a Free Trade Arrangement (FTA); Comoros, Angola and DRC are yet to join.

Intra-Africa trade

In 2017 South Africa exported and imported goods to the value of US$ 23.3 billion and US$ 8.5 billion, respectively to and from the rest of Africa. Intra-Africa exports account for 26% of South Africa’s total exports and imports for 10% of total imports for 2017.

Intra-Africa import tariffs

Most of the goods imported into South Africa from other SADC member states enter duty-free. The only exceptions are wheat flour, sugar, second-hand clothes and tyres. Although the applied duty for wheat flour imports from SADC is zero-rated, there are currently no SADC Rules of Origin on wheat flour. This means that all wheat flour originating in SADC and imported into South Africa is levied the MFN applied duty of 65.59c/kg. Sugar imports, raw and refined face a specific duty of 31.98c/kg, while the duty on second-hand clothes varies depending on the tariff line (20% ad valorem, 35c/unit, 50c/unit and 60% or 2500c/kg). Tyre imports under HS980100 has a 20% duty.


South Africa: Intra-Africa trade and tariff profile | June 2018
Infographic: South Africa – Intra-Africa trade and tariff profile | June 2018

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