Trade Data Analysis

Lesotho: Intra-Africa trade and tariff profile

Lesotho: Intra-Africa trade and tariff profile

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This Trade Data Update provides an overview of Lesotho’s intra-African trade relationships, both within the Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and with other individual African countries; the top import and export products traded; and applicable tariffs.

Intra-Africa trade

In 2017, intra-Africa exports and imports were valued at about US$ 348 million and US$ 1.5 billion, respectively. Intra-Africa exports account for 52% of Lesotho’s global exports while intra-Africa imports account for 72% of Lesotho’s global imports.

The bulk of exports (98%) were destined to SACU with South Africa accounting for 95% and Eswatini 3% of total exports. Other exports were destined to SADC with Zimbabwe and Mauritius although at a low value base. Top 10 export destinations accounted for 99% of Lesotho’s total intra-Africa exports.

In terms of import sources, again SACU members dominated as suppliers with South Africa accounting for 98% share of total intra-Africa imports. SADC members Zambia and Zimbabwe also feature as top suppliers of Lesotho albeit at low base.

Intra-Africa tariff analysis

The bulk of goods imported by Lesotho originate from SACU and SADC. Goods originating from SACU enter Lesotho 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.

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%.

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.


Lesotho: Intra-Africa trade and tariff profile | December 2018
Infographic: Lesotho – Intra-Africa trade and tariff profile | December 2018
Lesotho: Intra-Africa trade data spreadsheet | December 2018

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