Trade Data Analysis

Burundi: Intra-Africa trade and tariff profile

Burundi: Intra-Africa trade and tariff profile

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Intra-Africa trade profile for 2018

In 2018, Burundi exported and imported goods to and from the rest of Africa to the value of US$49 million and US$195 million, respectively. Intra-Africa exports account for 29% of Burundi’s total exports and imports for 25% of total imports for 2018.

  • Between 2017 and 2018 intra-Africa exports and imports declined by 4% and 10% respectively. Exports of tea, beer and cigars declined; exports to the DRC declined by 29% and to Egypt by 7%. Imports from all the main source markets declined (Tanzania (-16%), Uganda (-4%), Kenya (-9%) and Zambia (-16%)).

  • 67% of Burundi’s intra-Africa exports for 2018 are wheat flour, coffee, tea, petroleum oils (excluding crude) and beer. Exports of petroleum oils and photographic or cinematographic laboratory equipment increased by US$4.85 million and US$1.73 million respectively. The top 10 export products account for 86% of Burundi’s intra-Africa exports.

  • 22% of intra-Africa imports are sugar and cement. Other main import products include flat-rolled products of iron or steel, maize, plastic packaging and palm oil. The top 10 import products account for 47% of Burundi’s intra-Africa imports for 2018.

  • In terms of total trade (exports + imports) Burundi mainly trades with fellow EAC member states; Tanzania (21% of total intra-Africa trade), Uganda (18%) and Kenya (18%). Other main trading partners are fellow COMESA member states including Zambia, DRC and Egypt.

  • Burundi mainly exports to countries in the EAC and COMESA; 34% of intra-Africa exports are to EAC member states and 60% to COMESA countries not also part of the EAC. The main destination markets are DRC, Egypt, Rwanda and Uganda.

  • 69% of intra-Africa imports are sourced from EAC member states (mainly Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya) and 21% from COMESA countries which are not also part of EAC (mainly Zambia and Egypt). South Africa is the only main African source market outside both these RECs.

Intra-Africa import tariffs

Goods imported into Burundi from other EAC countries and the majority of COMESA member states enter duty-free. In COMESA the exceptions are goods imported from 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 Burundi has been granted exceptions to the EAC CET by the EAC Council of Ministers for specific products. The EAC CET has seven tariff bands – duty-free, 10%, 20%, 25%, 30%, 35%, 50% and 60%. Specific duties apply to imports of rice, sugar, second-hand clothes and products of iron or non-alloy steel.

The DRC, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia and Tunisia are all in the process of acceding to the COMESA FTA. Imports from Somalia and Tunisia are currently levied Burundi’s MFN applied tariffs until tariff phase-down by these countries under COMESA has taken place. The preferential import tariff for goods from Eritrea vary 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. 


Burundi: Intra-Africa trade and tariff profile | November 2019
Infographic: Burundi – Intra-Africa trade and tariff profile | November 2019
Burundi: Intra-Africa trade and tariff profile | September 2018
Infographic: Burundi – Intra-Africa trade and tariff profile | September 2018

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