Customs regulations for your trip to Botswana

Last modified: July 24, 2023
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Customs regulations

Documents Required

  • Original customs form CE 101 (2 copies)
  • Copy of passport, including page entry date into Botswana
  • Long term permit or permanent work / residence permit
  • Letter of employment (stating that duration of contract is greater than 2 years)
  • Commercial invoices – see ‘Specific Information’ (3 copies)
  • Detailed, valued inventory
  • Original bill of lading (OBL) / air waybill (AWB)
  • Diplomatic clearance (diplomats)
  • Certificate “A” from relevant embassy in Botswana, signed by Botswana Department of Foreign Affairs (diplomats)

Specific Information

  • Pre-clearance is recommended, but new residents may have goods go into bond until final Customs clearance.
  • Duty-free entry is only permitted for 6 months after the date of the work permit being issued.
  • New furniture, household items, presents, souvenirs, works of art, and antiques are subject to payment of VAT at 10% of declared CIF value.
  • Commercial invoices are required for the following household goods, including but not limited to:
    • New furniture, gifts, souvenirs, works of art, antiques, etc.
      • Check with agent for details.
    • Holders of passports, except those from South Africa, may claim back RSA VAT paid in RSA at the border.
    • Returning citizens must state the reason and provide proof of time period abroad.

Drug taking and smuggling is a serious offence. The punishments can be severe.

Taking photographs or using video equipment near military and government installations is prohibited. Always ask permission before taking photographs of people in Botswana.

Although homosexuality is no longer prohibited by law, public attitudes are less tolerant than in the UK and public displays of affection may attract negative attention. See our information and advice page for the LGBT community before you travel.

You should carry some form of identification with you at all times. A photocopy of your passport is sufficient.

It’s illegal to buy, sell, kill or capture any protected wild animal or trade its parts. Those caught hunting, purchasing or trafficking such goods will be prosecuted and sentences if found guilty can be severe.

Botswana residence and work permits are only valid when held with a valid passport. Do not allow your passport to expire whilst staying in Botswana. If you send your British passport for renewal, make sure you have a certified copy that you can present if needed.

Dutiable Items

  • Subject to the payment of VAT at 12% of CIF value:Wine and spirits (2 L)
  • Beer (1 case)
  • An alcohol levy is also applied (subject to quantity)
  • Firearms, hunting material and ammunitions (permit required)
  • Boars, mokoro or aquatic apparatus (permit required)
  • Plants, seeds, and other plant products (permit required)

Prohibited Items

  • Narcotic, habit-forming drugs and related substances in any form
  • Military firearms, ammunition and explosives
  • Knives and deadly weapons
  • Semi-precious stones (e.g., agate, amethyst, Botswana pink, jade, rose quartz, etc.)
  • Contact agent for more information)
  • Radioactive or hazardous materials
  • Counterfeit items
  • Pornographic materials
  • Indecent and obscene material such as pornographic books, magazines, films, videos, DVDs and software

Click here to view : Customs

Miscellaneous (Pets, Motors, and others.)


Documents Required

  • Veterinary health certificate
  • Rabies vaccination record

Motor Vehicles

Documents Required

  • Original customs form CE101 (2 copies)
  • Vehicle registration documents
  • Evaluation of motorized vehicle from accredited dealer
  • Police clearance report
  • Original purchase invoice
  • Insurance certificate
  • Document showing that the vehicle has been in the owner of the goods’ possession abroad for more than 12 months before the importation of the vehicle:
    • Original purchase invoice
    • Insurance certificate

IAM Note: All documents required for the import of household goods, such as Passport, Work and Residence Permits, letter of appointment, etc. are also required for the import of motor vehicles.

Specific Information

  • Duty-free entry is only permissible if done within 6 months of the date of issue of the work permit; thereafter, a VAT of 10% applies.
  • Duty-free entry is permitted if :
    • The vehicle (cars, motorcycle, or moped) cannot be sold or otherwise disposed of for 2 years from date of importation.
    • Value added tax (VAT) at current rate is assessed on the imported value of the vehicle.
    • Only one vehicle per family is duty free.
    • Subsequent entries are subject to 12% VAT of CIF Value / extra duties applicable if car is from outside CCA.
  • If VAT is payable, it must be paid in Botswana Pula.
  • Returning citizens are permitted duty-free entry, provided that they have been abroad for more than 2 years.
  • Foreign diplomats pay no duties or taxes, subject to the provision of the Diplomatic Clearance Certificate and proof of value.
  • Botswana registration and driver’s license must be changed within 6 months of arrival in the country.
  • Caravans and trailers are subject to the payment of duties.
  • If towed in with a car on the initial entry into the country, caravans and trailers are duty free; otherwise, they are subject to 2% VAT of the CIF value.

Specific Information

  • Documents issued in Lesotho, Malawi, South Africa, Swaziland, Namibia or Zimbabwe will be accepted at the time of importation into Botswana.

Click here to view : Airport tax regulations details

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