Trade Data Analysis

Botswana: Intra-Africa trade and tariff profile

Botswana: Intra-Africa trade and tariff profile

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Intra-Africa trade profile for 2018

In 2018, Botswana exported and imported goods to and from the rest of Africa goods to the value of US$903 million and US$4.5 billion, respectively. Intra-Africa exports account for 14% of Botswana’s total exports and imports for 73% of total imports for 2018.

  • Between 2017 and 2018 Botswana’s intra-Africa exports increased by 19%, while intra-Africa imports increased by 17%.

  • All major export products from Botswana, except exports of tubes, pipes and fittings (a decline of 1%) increased between 2017 and 2018. Both imports and exports of diamonds increased.

  • Botswana’s main intra-Africa export products are diamonds (42%), insulated cable, carbonates and salts. The top 10 intra-Africa export products account for 76% of Botswana’s total exports to other African countries.

  • 18% of Botswana’s intra-Africa imports are diamonds, 17% petroleum oils (not crude), 3% goods vehicles and 2% passenger cars. Other top imports include vehicle parts, cement, fruit juice, and sugar each account for less than 1% of imports. The top 10 intra-Africa import products account for 48% of Botswana’s total imports from other African countries.

  • The vast majority of Botswana’s intra-Africa trade is with neighbouring South Africa; in 2018 83% of Botswana’s total intra-Africa trade (exports + imports) was with South Africa.

  • In terms of total trade, Botswana’s other main trading partner was Namibia, with 13% of total trade in 2018. Other African trade relationships are much smaller, with Zimbabwe and Zambia the next largest at 1.2% and 1.1% of Botswana’s total trade in 2018.

  • Botswana mainly exports to South Africa (67%) and Namibia (20%), with under 5% of intra-African exports going to each of Zambia and Zimbabwe. Tanzania accounts for 1.4% of intra-Africa exports. All of Botswana’s top 10 export destinations are part of SADC, although Angola – destination for 0.35% of Botswana’s exports – is not part of the SADC FTA. Outside of SACU/SADC, Kenya, South Sudan and Mauritania are the main export destinations, each accounting for less than 0.1% of Botswana’s total intra-Africa exports.

  • Botswana’s intra-Africa imports are also mainly sourced from South Africa, with 86% of intra-Africa imports coming from the neighbour in 2018. Namibia is the source for a further 11.4% of imports, while other African countries account for less than 1% of Botswana’s intra-African imports. Outside of SADC, only Morocco is in Botswana’s top 10 import sources, and imports from Morocco only make up 0.1% of Botswana’s imports.

Intra-Africa import tariffs

Most of the goods imported into Botswana from other SADC member states enter duty-free. The only exceptions are wheat flour, sugar, second-hand clothes and original equipment for vehicles. Although the applied duty for wheat flour imports from SADC member states is zero, there are currently no SADC Rules of Origin on wheat flour. This means that all wheat flour originating in SADC and imported into Botswana is levied the MFN applied duty of 73.61c/kg. Sugar imports, raw and refined face a specific duty of 401.79c/kg, while the duty on secondhand clothes varies depending on the tariff line (20% ad valorem, 35c/unit, 50c/unit and 60% or 2500c/kg). Original equipment components for various vehicles are listed under HS980100 and have a 20% duty.

African imports from outside SACU and SADC are levied the MFN applied duty. The MFN applied duty is the SACU Common External Tariff (CET). Botswana’s highest ad valorem import duties are levied on imports of whole frozen chicken (82%), prepared or preserved pineapples (55% duty), tobacco cigarettes (45%), tobacco substitute cigarettes and cigars (45%), water-pipe tobacco (45%) clothing items (40% and 45%), retreaded tyres (43%) and uncooked pasta not containing eggs (40%). At the HS8 level the SACU CET has 7927 tariff lines


Botswana: Intra-Africa trade and tariff profile | August 2019
Infographic: Botswana – Intra-Africa trade and tariff profile | August 2019
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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