Botswana flag Botswana: Buying and Selling

International convention and customs procedures of Botswana

International Conventions
Member of the World Trade Organization (WTO)
International Economic Cooperation
Member of Southern Africa Customs Union (SACU)

Member of Southern African Development Committee (SADC)

Member of African Union

Member of Commonwealth of Nations

Member of the African Economic Community

Member of the Cotonou Agreement

Non Tariff Barriers
Importers will be required to obtain an import permit from the relevant Ministry or Department. Other non-tariff barriers include import permit requirements for a variety of food products, seasonal trade bans on selected agricultural goods, a state monopoly on beef exports, difficulties in obtaining work and resident permits and increasing local procurement preferences.
Customs Duties and Taxes on Imports
Customs and excise duties are charged on importation of goods (including currencies) into or exported out of Botswana. The import duties may also include anti-dumping and countervailing duties. The customs duty average rate is 18,74% (as of 2017).
Customs Classification
The Republic of Botswana is a member of the World Customs organisation and does comply with the harmonised customs system.
Import Procedures

Importations between SACU countries are free of Customs and Excise duty with all importations to the Union being at a Common Customs external tariff. The revenue collected from those duties is pooled and shared under an agreed mechanism. With the exception of goods coming from Malawi, import permits are required for goods entering Botswana directly from outside the  SACU and are obtainable from the Department of International Trade, at the Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry. These permits are not transferable. All imported goods are subject to a 12% Value Added Tax. Customs duty is payable on imported goods as a percentage of their declared value. The rate of duty payable on goods imported in Botswana varies according to the commodity and the country of origin. Importers are required to be registered with BURS for a TIN (Trader Information Number). Documents required for importation of goods are: 

  • Inland bill of lading
  • Commercial Invoice
  • Packing list
  • Customs Import Declaration
  • VAT Deferral form
Importing Samples
There are no specific procedures for sample shipments. Sample shipments require the same set of documents as a normal shipment.
The value of goods should still appear on the commercial invoice indicating "for customs clearance purpose only'' on the invoice.
Zero value invoices are not acceptable.

To go further, check out our service Import controls and Export controls.

For Further Information
Botswana Unified Revenue Service
Government Portal - Republic of Botswana
Business Portal for Africa

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Latest Update: April 2024