Trade Data Analysis

Tunisia: Intra-Africa trade and tariff profile

Tunisia: Intra-Africa trade and tariff profile

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This Trade Data Update provides an overview of Tunisia’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

Tunisia’s trade composition with Africa is relatively diversified for exports, while imports are concentrated on relatively few products. In 2017, intra-Africa exports were valued at about US$ 1.5 billion while Tunisia imported over US$ 1.3 billion worth of goods. Intra-Africa exports account for 10% of Tunisia’s global exports while intra-Africa imports account for 6% of Tunisia’s global imports.

Given that AMU and CEN-SAD do not have preferential arrangements in place, this has meant that Tunisia has been trading on an MFN basis with most of Africa. However, the bulk of exports were destined to the AMU with Algeria; Libya and Morocco accounting for 72% of Tunisia’s intra-Africa exports. Senegal; Ethiopia and Egypt accounted for an additional 11% share in 2017. Top 10 export destinations accounted for 89% of Tunisia’s total intra-Africa exports. There were no Southern African countries in the top 10 export destinations for Tunisia’s exports in 2017.

In terms of import sources, 91% of Tunisia’s intra-Africa imports originated from the AMU states of Algeria (56%); Libya (26%) and Egypt (9%) in 2017 showing strong trading ties amongst the Arab states. Other countries which featured in the top 10 import sources included Uganda; Ghana; South Africa; Kenya; Zimbabwe and Ivory Coast albeit accounting for a combined 7% of Tunisia’s imports in 2017.

Intra-Africa tariff analysis

The AMU and CEN-SAD preferential arrangements are not yet in force and thus no preferential access to the Tunisia market. Furthermore, while Tunisia recently joined COMESA, going forward, countries that are members of COMESA will enjoy preferential access into Tunisia once it becomes part of the COMESA FTA. Important to note that COMESA intends to become a fully-fledged customs union.

With the exclusion of COMESA, Tunisia’s total intra-Africa imports were valued at US$ 917 million in 2017 which is equivalent to about 63% of Tunisia’s total intra-Africa imports. Of all products imported, the average tariff rate was about 11%. Given that most trade if not all was under MFN rates, the products imported are similar which include Petroleum; gas and oil; woven fabrics; coffee; motor vehicles among others.


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

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