Moving to Botswana

Country Guide

Country Guide: Botswana

Due to the current coronavirus/COVID-19 situation and restrictions in various countries, the below information may not be accurate. This pandemic is a fluid situation. Check with authorities for local laws and restrictions concerning movements.

Updated: August 18, 2016

Used Household Goods and Personal Effects

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 the duration of the 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 the 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.
Motor Vehicles

Documents Required

  • Original customs form CE101 (2 copies)
  • Vehicle registration documents
  • Evaluation of motorized vehicle from an 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 the 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 the date of importation.
    • Value-added tax (VAT) at the 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 the 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.

Documents Required

  • Veterinary health certificate
  • Rabies vaccination record

Specific Information

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

Recommended: Contact the destination agent to ensure all requirements have been met prior to import, especially for differences regarding air/sea shipments.

Cultural and Other Information

CIA World Factbook Entry for Botswana

Wikipedia Entry for Botswana