Home / Services / Region / Africa / Botswana

Limark in Botswana

Navigating Botswana’s landlocked challenges

As a landlocked nation in Southern Africa, Botswana presents unique logistics challenges for businesses engaged in international trade. Being distant from major seaports necessitates a seamless integration of multimodal transportation to facilitate efficient cargo movements.

At Limark, we specialize in overcoming such geographical barriers through our expertise in inland logistics and global network capabilities. Our comprehensive solution for shipping to and from Botswana ensures your goods traverse borders seamlessly, reaching their destination cost-effectively and without delays.

Shipping to and from Botswana

Import regulations and licensing requirements

Navigating the import process can be complex. Simplify the experience by getting up-to-date local information on procedures, restrictions, demurrage, detention, container pick-ups, and and more.

The importation process in Botswana is overseen by various authorities depending on the nature of the goods. The Botswana Unified Revenue Service (BURS) manages customs duties and enforcement, while specific products are regulated by ministries such as Agriculture, Health, and Trade.

Special cargoes

No restrictions on the movement of containers to inland points and are subject to rates supplied by Limark.

Efficient customs clearance requires thorough documentation. Essential documents include:

  • Commercial invoice: Must include detailed information like seller and buyer details, description of goods, terms of sale, and exact value
  • Packing list: This document should match the commercial invoice and detail the contents of each package, including types, quantities, and weights
  • Bill of Lading/Air Waybill: Necessary for tracking and legal purposes; must be accurate and correspond to other shipping documents.
  • Certificates of Origin: Required for all goods eligible under trade agreements to determine tariff treatments.

Additional certificates such as sanitary and phytosanitary certificates may be required for food and agricultural products, outlined in detail per commodity

Customs clearance in Botswana is a multi-step process

  • Declaration process: Detailed instructions on declaring goods, including electronic filing systems and required data elements
  • Calculation of duties and taxes: Methodology for assessing customs duties and taxes based on the Harmonized System (HS) of tariff classification
  • Inspection and compliance: Guidelines on customs inspections, including random checks, risk-based inspections, and necessary compliance for passing these checks

Customs documents (Cargo Dues + Bill of entry) are mandatory for Bill of Lading issue.

Given Botswana’s landlocked position, understanding logistics through transit countries is crucial:

  • Major ports of entry: Detailed overview of main transit ports like Walvis Bay, Namibia, and Durban, South Africa
  • Logistical considerations: Transit times, documentation cut-off times, and specifics on container management
  • Inland transport: Coordination between seaports and inland transport by road or rail to final destinations in Botswana

Export regulations and licensing requirements

Navigating the export process can be complex. Simplify the experience by getting up-to-date local information on procedures, restrictions, demurrage, detention, container pick-ups, and and more.

Regulated goods and export permits

Certain products require specific export permits or licenses due to their nature or destination regulations. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Agricultural products: Such as beef, seeds, and live plants. Exporters must obtain relevant permits from the Ministry of Agriculture
  • Minerals and precious stones: Including diamonds, require certification and permits from the Ministry of Minerals, Energy, and Water Resources

Outright export bans

Botswana imposes export bans on products of environmental or cultural importance to protect biodiversity and heritage. These include:

  • Artifacts and heritage items: Any cultural artifacts require clearances from the Department of National Museum and Monuments
  • Endangered species: Flora and fauna protected under CITES require specific permits to ensure their export does not threaten their survival in the wild

CITES permits

Procedure: Exporters of wildlife or products derived from fauna must apply for CITES permits through the Department of Wildlife and National Parks, providing proof that the export will not adversely affect the species’ survival.

Export taxes and duties

Commodities taxation: Certain commodities may be subject to export taxes or duties. Details on applicable rates and exceptions can be found on the Botswana Unified Revenue Service website.

System overview

Botswana has implemented the Automated System for Customs Data (ASYCUDA), a UN-developed system designed to streamline trade processes through electronic submissions.

Registration and usage: Exporters must register to use ASYCUDA for submitting export declarations and other customs documents

Document submission: Required documents, including commercial invoices and packing lists, must be uploaded to the ASYCUDA system to comply with export regulations.

Customs clearance process: ASYCUDA speeds up the customs clearance process by automating calculations and validations, reducing human error, and expediting cargo release

Benefits and accreditation

The AEO program recognizes reliable traders, offering them benefits that streamline their exporting processes.

  • Benefits: These include faster customs clearance times, fewer physical and document-based inspections, and priority treatment in cargo clearance
  • Criteria and application: Exporters must demonstrate a history of compliance with customs regulations and possess a robust system of managing records to qualify for AEO status

Pre-shipment inspections


Certain exports from Botswana require pre-shipment inspections to verify that the goods match the declared specifications and comply with both Botswana and destination country regulations.

Neutralizing export shipments

Procedures to ensure that shipments meet the importing country’s standards, including fumigation or sanitization where necessary.

Bonded warehousing


Exporters can utilize bonded warehouses to store goods intended for export without paying duties and taxes until the cargo is re-exported or legally entered into the domestic market.

Shipping to and from Botswana

Seamless cross-border shipping to and from Botswana

Experience end-to-end shipping with Limark. Our dedicated team and state-of-the-art technology simplify import and export shipping to and from Botswana, navigating regulatory complexities effortlessly.

Whether you’re a seasoned importer/exporter or new to the Botswana market, our integrated shipping services to and from Botswana ensure your goods reach their destination promptly and hassle-free.

With our expansive network and innovative logistics technology, no destination is beyond your reach. Let us be your trusted partner in connecting your business to global markets, leveraging our expertise and global reach to elevate your trade journey.

Get Expert Guidance

Contact our regional experts

Partner with experienced freight forwarders and customs brokers for seamless shipping to and from Botswana. Ensure full documentation compliance with the guidance and logistics services of our team.