Trade Data Analysis

Botswana: Intra-Africa trade and tariff profile

Botswana: Intra-Africa trade and tariff profile

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This trade update provides a country analysis of Botswana’s trade relations with Africa, including tariff analysis. All data is sourced from the United Nations (UN) International Trade Centre (ITC) TradeMap and the World Bank World Integrated Trade Solution (WITS) databases. We use the most recent data available from these databases and we are cognizant of the challenges to access of reliable and quality data. Therefore, this analysis at best provides an indicative picture of Botswana’s Africa trade profile.

Intra-Africa trade

Botswana’s trade composition with Africa is relatively concentrated in a few products for exports and diversified for imports. In 2017, intra-Africa exports and imports were valued at about US$757 million and US$3.9 billion, respectively. Intra-Africa exports account for 13% of Botswana’s global exports while intra-Africa imports account for 73% of Botswana’s global imports.

The bulk of exports (90%) were destined to SACU with South Africa accounting for 71% and Namibia 19% of total exports. Other exports were destined to SADC with Zimbabwe Zambia and Malawi as top destinations. Top 10 export destinations accounted for 97% of Botswana’s total intra-Africa exports.

In terms of import sources, again SACU members dominated as suppliers with South Africa accounting for 88% share and Namibia another 9% share of total intra-Africa imports. SADC members Mozambique; Zambia and Zimbabwe also feature as top suppliers of Botswana albeit at low base.

Top export products included Diamonds; Precious metal powders; Insulated wire/cables; Carbonates and Frozen bovine meat among others. Top 10 products accounted for 74% of Botswana’s total intra-Africa exports. Top imports on the other hand included Diamonds; Passenger vehicles; Transport vehicles; Vehicle parts, among others. Botswana’s top 10 intra-Africa imports accounted for 42% of its total intra-Africa imports.

Intra-Africa tariff analysis

As highlighted above, the bulk of goods imported by Botswana originate from SACU and SADC. Goods originating from SACU enter Botswana duty free, while the bulk of goods from SADC also enter duty free with a few exceptions with include sugar, second-hand clothes and tyres. 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.

Beyond SACU and SADC, other African countries’ products are levied at Most Favoured Nation (MFN) rates. Clothing and Textiles attract duties ranging from 26%-45%; while tobacco attracts 38% duty and leather products as well as carpets attracting duties of about 27%.

Goods that are imported duty free include live animals, base metals (e.g. tungsten; titanium); clocks and watches; fertilisers among others.

Due to the common external tariff (CET) amongst SACU members, the tariffs applied to non-members are similar and highest tariffs are levied on imports of prepared or preserved pineapples (55% duty), tobacco cigarettes (45%), tobacco substitute cigarettes and cigars (45%), water-pipe tobacco (45%) clothing items (40% and 45%), retreated tyres (43%) and uncooked pasta not containing eggs (40%).

Specific duties also exist on Dairy products; Unmanufactured tobacco; Black fermented tea; Garlic; Ethyl alcohol; and Wheat and meslin flour.

Top imports from non-SACU and non-SADC states include, diamonds; machinery parts; electrical equipment; medicaments and insulated wire/cable among others. Average MFN tariff applied is 7% and total intra-Africa imports from non-member states accounted for less than 1% (US$6.7 million) of total intra-Africa imports in 2017.


Botswana: Intra-Africa trade and tariff profile | August 2018
Infographic: Botswana – Intra-Africa trade and tariff profile | August 2018
Botswana: Intra-Africa trade data spreadsheet | August 2018

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