Trade Data Analysis

Uganda: Intra-Africa trade and tariff profile

Uganda: Intra-Africa trade and tariff profile

Please login to access the files below.

Intra-Africa trade profile for 2018

In 2018, Uganda exported and imported goods to the value of US$1.6 billion and US$1.4 billion, respectively to and from the rest of Africa. Intra-Africa exports account for 52% of Uganda’s total exports and imports for 21% of total imports for 2018. Some highlights:

  • Between 2017 and 2018, intra-Africa exports increased by 6%. Uganda’s exports of all main export products, except coffee, increased. Coffee exports declined by 43%.

  • Uganda’s world imports increased by 20% between 2017 and 2018, while intra-Africa imports increased by 47%. This was mainly due to a significant increase in imports of semi-manufactured gold from Tanzania, Mali and Kenya. Gold imports increased by US$334 million during the time period.

  • Uganda mainly exports agricultural commodities to the rest of Africa, including tea, coffee, maize, legumes, sugar and tobacco. The only exception is cement. The top 10 intra-Africa export products account for 46% of Uganda’s total exports to other African countries.

  • 24% of Uganda’s intra-Africa imports for 2018 is semi-manufactured gold. Other import products include flat-rolled products of iron or non-alloy steel (10%), petroleum oils (not crude) (3%), sugar in solid form (2%) and rice (2%). Rice imports more than doubled between 2017 and 2018.

  • The top 10 intra-Africa import products account for 47% of Uganda’s total imports from other African countries.

  • Uganda mainly trades with EAC and COMESA member states. In terms of total trade (exports + imports) Uganda’s main intra-Africa trading partners are Kenya (37% of total intra-Africa trade), Sudan (14%) and Tanzania (11%).

  • 56% of Uganda’s intra-Africa exports are to other EAC and/or COMESA member states; most notably Kenya. Accordingly, the main intra-Africa destination markets are Kenya, Sudan, Rwanda and the DRC.

  • Morocco and South Africa are the only top destination markets which are not EAC and/or COMESA member states. However, only 2% of Uganda’s intra-Africa exports are to these two countries.

  • Uganda’s intra-Africa imports are mainly sourced from other EAC member states (57% of total intraAfrica imports). 37% of imports are from Kenya, 19% from Tanzania and 8% from Egypt. Outside the EAC and COMESA, South Africa and Mali account for 22% and 4%, respectively of Uganda’s total intra-Africa imports.

Intra-Africa tariff analysis

Goods imported into Uganda from other EAC countries and the majority of COMESA member states enter duty-free. In COMESA the exceptions are goods imported from the DRC, Eritrea, Ethiopia, eSwatini, Somalia and Tunisia. African imports from outside the EAC and COMESA are levied the MFN applied duty which is the EAC CET. However, for the period 1 July 2018 – 1 July 2019 Uganda has been granted exceptions to the EAC CET by the EAC Council of Ministers for specific products.

The DRC, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia and Tunisia are all in the process of acceding to the COMESA free trade area. Imports from the DRC, Somalia and Tunisia are currently levied Uganda’s MFN applied tariffs until tariff phase-down by these countries under COMESA has taken place. The preferential import tariff for goods from Eritrea varies between 2% and 12%; up to 20% of the EAC CET. Products imported from Ethiopia are levied preferential tariffs of 9%, 18%, 22.5%, 31.5%, 45% and 54%; up to 90% of the EAC CET. The EAC CET has seven tariff bands – duty-free, 10%, 20%, 25%, 30%, 35%, 50% and 60%. Specific duties are applicable to imports of rice, sugar, second-hand clothes and products of iron or non-alloy steel.

3% of Uganda’s intra-Africa exports are to countries outside the EAC and COMESA. 54% of exports are coffee, 7% light oils, 5% stripped tobacco and 4% water pipe tobacco. 40% of exports are to Morocco and 21% to South Africa. 29% of Uganda’s intra-Africa imports are from countries outside the EAC and COMESA, mainly South Africa. and Mali.

Of the US$408 million worth of imports from countries outside the EAC and COMESA 55% are duty-free imports and 33% are levied 25% import duties. Less than 1% of imports face high duties (35%-60%) or are levied specified tariffs. Of the top 20 import products 14 tariff lines are duty-free.


Uganda: Intra-Africa trade and tariff profile | July 2019
Infographic: Uganda – Intra-Africa trade and tariff profile | July 2019
Uganda: Intra-Africa trade and tariff profile | June 2018
Infographic: Uganda – Intra-Africa trade and tariff profile | June 2018

* Registration to the tralac website is required in order to download these files. Registration is free of charge and for monitoring purposes only.