Trade Data Analysis

Zambia: Intra-Africa trade and tariff profile

Zambia: Intra-Africa trade and tariff profile

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Intra-Africa trade profile for 2018

In 2018, Zambia exported and imported goods to and from the rest of Africa to the value of US$1.81 billion and US$4.9 billion, respectively. Intra-Africa exports accounted for 20% of Zambia’s total exports and imports for 52.6% of total imports for 2018. Some highlights:

  • Between 2017 and 2018, Zambia’s world exports increased by 10%, while intra-Africa exports increased by 16%, mainly due to a 39% increase in exports to the DRC.

  • World imports increased by 8%, while intra-Africa imports declined by 3% between 2017 and 2018. The decrease in intra-Africa imports is attributable to a significant decrease (30%) in imports from the DRC and less so from Mauritius (5%). Other major source markets saw an increase, with imports from South Africa increasing by 10%, and imports from Tanzania by 9%.

  • Zambia’s exports to the rest of Africa are relatively diverse, including sulphuric acid (9%), sugar (6%), gold (5%) and electrical energy (5%). The top 10 intra-Africa export products (at HS4) account for 47% of total intra-Africa exports.

  • Ores and concentrates and petroleum oils (non-crude) are Zambia’s main intra-Africa import products, with copper ores at 22%, cobalt ores 4% and petroleum 9%%. The top 10 import products account for 51% of total intra-Africa import products. Other import products are fertilisers (6%) and carbonates, frozen fish and goods vehicles (each 2%).

  • South Africa and the DRC are Zambia’s main trading partners, accounting for 47% and 33% respectively of total intra-Africa trade (exports + imports), and together accounting for around 30% of Zambia’s total world trade. South Africa is the main source market for imports (55%), while the DRC is the main destination market for exports (48%).

Intra-Africa import tariffs

Most of the goods imported into Zambia from other SADC and COMESA member states enter duty-free. Preferential duties are applicable to imports from Angola and the DRC in accordance with the bilateral trade agreements in place. Exceptions are passenger vehicles (15% tariff) and wadding/gauze and bandages (5% tariff) from South Africa. From all SADC members: offal, citrus and melon and polymer sheets and strips are levied 25%, spectacle frames 15% and safety fuses 5%. While Eritrea and Ethiopia are still in the process of accession to the COMESA free trade area, imports from Ethiopia are levied at a preferential rate of 90% of the MFN tariff, and imports from Eritrea 20% of the MFN rate.


Zambia: Intra-Africa trade and tariff profile | June 2019
Infographic: Zambia – Intra-Africa trade and tariff profile | June 2019
Zambia: Intra-Africa trade and tariff profile | September 2018
Infographic: Zambia – Intra-Africa trade and tariff profile | September 2018

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