Namibia - Country Commercial Guide
Trade Barriers

Includes the barriers (tariff and non-tariff) that U.S. companies face when exporting to this country.

Last published date: 2021-10-21

According to the World Bank’s 2019 Doing Business Report, Namibia ranked 118 out of 189 countries for Trading Across Borders.  The report notes that nine documents are required to export a product from Namibia, and seven documents to import a product into the country.  The average time to export is 25 days, while import require 20 days on average.            
Beyond customs delays, the government has imposed a number of import and export restrictions, mostly on agricultural products.  White maize, wheat, mahangu (pearl millet), and products derived from these three grains are controlled.  Controlled grain crops can only be imported or exported with permits issued by the Agronomic Board and the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform (MAWLR).  For each controlled grain there are specific restrictions, but restrictions do not include price controls.             
The government has also instituted an import substitution program for horticultural products requiring importers to source a designated percentage of produce from within Namibia before acquiring horticultural products from foreign markets.  Farmers of livestock must demonstrate that they have complied with export restrictions before they are entitled to export.  For example, for every live sheep exported, a farmer must have six sheep slaughtered within Namibia. 
As a member of SACU, Namibia is bound by certain tariff quotas that affect the import of food products, namely butter, cheese, milk powder, and wheat.


  • Ministry of Industrialization and Trade -
  • Ministry of Agriculture, Water, and Forestry -
  • Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources -
  • Ministry of Health and Social Services -
  • Ministry of Finance -
  • Namibian Standards Institute
  • Southern Africa Customs Union (SACU)
  • World Trade Organization Trade Policy Review (TPR) of SACU