Trade Preferential Agreements

If Botswana has a trade preferential agreement with one country/region, it will allow you to pay less or have better conditions when exporting to that country/region.

The main Trade Agreements between Botswana and the rest of the world currently are: 


Type of Agreement

Countries Involved

Main Objective/Terms

Products Involved

Customs Union  

Southern African Customs Union (SACU)

Customs Union

South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland

Duty free movement of goods with a common external tariff on goods entering any of the countries from outside the SACU

All products

Free Trade Agreements (FTAs)

Southern African Development Community (SADC) FTA

Free Trade Agreement

Between 12 SADC Member States

A FTA, with 85% duty-free trade achieved in 2008. The 15% of trade, constituting the "sensitive list", is expected to be liberalised from 2009 to 2012 when SADC attains the status of a fully-fledged FTA with almost all tariff lines traded duty free.

Most products

EFTA-SACU Free Trade Agreement (FTA)

Free Trade Agreement

SACU and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) -Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland

Tariff reductions on selected goods

Industrial goods (including fish and other marine products) and processed agricultural products. Basic agricultural products are covered by bilateral agreements with individual EFTA States

Preferential Trade Agreements (PTAs)

SACU-Southern Common Market (Mercosur) PTA

Preferential Trade Agreement

SACU and Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay

Tariff reductions on selected goods. It is not expected to enter into force before some time in 2012

About 1,000 product lines on each side of the border

Non-reciprocal Trade Arrangements

Generalised System of Preferences (GSP)

Unilateral preferences granted under the enabling clause of the WTO that are not contractually binding upon the benefactors

Offered to Botswana as developing country by the EU, Norway, Switzerland, Russia, Turkey, the US, Canada and Japan

Products from developing countries qualify for preferential market access

Specified industrial and agricultural products

Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA)

Unilateral assistance measure

Granted by the US to 39 Sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries

Preferential access to the US market through lower tariffs or no tariffs on some products

Duty free access to the US market under the combined AGOA/GSP programme stands at approximately 7,000 product tariff lines.

Other Agreements

Trade, Investment and Development Cooperation Agreement (TIDCA)

Cooperative framework agreement


Makes provision for the parties to negotiate and sign agreements relating to sanitary and phyto-sanitary measures (SPS), customs cooperation and technical barriers to trade (TBT). It also establishes a forum of engagement of any matters of mutual interest, including capacity-building and trade and investment promotion.



Current Trade Negotiations


Preferential Trade Agreement

SACU and India

Tariff reductions on selected goods

SACU and India are in the process of exchanging tariff requests


Free Trade Agreement

26 countries with a combined GDP of US$860 billion and a combined population of approximately 590 million people

The Tripartite Framework derives its basis from the Lagos Plan of Action and the Abuja Treaty establishing the African Economic Community (AEC), which requires rationalisation of the continent's regional economic communities. The FTA will be negotiated over the next three years, with the possibility of an additional two years for completion.

The Tripartite initiative comprises three pillars that will be pursued concurrently, in order to ensure an equitable spread of the benefits of regional integration: market integration, infrastructure development and industrial development. The FTA will, as a first phase, cover only trade in goods; services and other trade-related areas will be covered in a second phase.


  • Please check the Botswana’s Ministry of Trade and Industry for further details on trade agreements negotiations affecting your country.
  • Botswana has entered into some Trade Agreements with other countries and economic communities(such as SADC or EU)  through which certain goods of Botswana origin are granted duty free and or quota free access in the markets of those countries or economic communities. If your product is exempted from payment of Customs duties, before exporting, you will need prior approval by BURS and a relevant Exemption Certificate.
  • Check the BURS for further information on taxation, customs and excise landscape in Botswana. Contact BURS offices here.