Botswana - Country Commercial Guide
Import Requirements & Documentation

Includes import documentation and other requirements for both the U.S. exporter and foreign importer.

Last published date: 2021-10-10

With the exception of goods originating in Malawi, import permits – issued by Department of International Trade, in the Ministry of Investment, Trade, and Industry – are required for goods entering Botswana directly from outside the SACU.  The import permits are not transferable.  Permits are usually granted upon request, and because Botswana does not have foreign exchange restrictions, it is not difficult to access foreign currency to cover transactions.

All imported goods are subject to a Value Added Tax (VAT) of 14%.  Goods exported from Botswana are not subject to VAT.  The SAD 500 is the only form required for external trade.  Many shippers report excessive delays in shipping times across SADC borders (particularly South Africa), with negative economic consequences.  Work has been done to improve transit procedures and simplify bonding requirements, but progress has been slow.