The Eswatini Trade Information Portal (ETIP) is a one-stop shop for all information relating to import and export to and from Eswatini. The portal is in line with Article 10 of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement which requires all WTO member states to publish procedures for importation, exportation, and transit required forms and documents and other necessary information. The ETIP is aimed at facilitating trade and reducing the cost of trade. The ETIP is hosted by the International Trade Department under the Ministry of Commerce Industry and Trade. The Portal will provide traders will all information relating to trade, including regulatory requirements, forms, procedures, and fees that are traders will be required to pay. This information should enable traders to swiftly carry out cross border transactions. Click on the following sections below view information about the agencies that are involved in the Portal.
The Ministry of Commerce Industry and Trade (MCIT), is the Ministry responsible for formulating policies and promulgation through the International Trade Department is responsible for the implementation of the Trade Policy. The MCIT is also responsible for formulating policies and promulgation of laws and regulations that ensure fair trading a competitive environment in the economy of Eswatini. The Ministry of Commerce Industry and Trade is also responsibly developing a Regulatory and Quality Infrastructure to enhance and / or enable Eswatini products to compete favorably in the domestic and global market by demonstrating with set national and international standards and regulatory requirement. Additionally, MCIT is responsible for attracting, encouraging, facilitating and promoting local and foreign investment in Eswatini, while creating an enabling environment through streamlined and focused policies and legal instruments that will complement Government’s effort to growth of Small and Medium enterprises.
The International Trade Department (ITD) is a department under the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Trade and it is responsible for the implementation of the trade policy in the country. The ITD is also charged with the responsibility of coordinating all trade related issues for Government, and is the focal point for the country’s external trade relations. As part of its core functions the ITD serves as a negotiator, coordinator and focal point for Eswatini’s regional and multilateral trade relations. The ITD is further responsible for providing advise, in terms of the documents required and the process, to companies that are interested in exporting. Through the Customs and Excise Act of 1971, the Value Added Tax Act of 2011, and then Value Added Tax Regulations of 2012, the ITD is responsible for issuing out import rebates.
Website: The International Trade Department
The Commerce Department under the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Trade is responsible for the issuing of trading and liquor licences as well as coordinating licensing related issues. The department is also working closely with other organizations to assist small enterprises by providing organized programmes on business establishment and management. The Commerce Department is responsible for ensuring compliance to the Companies Act 2009, as well as the Price Control Order of 1973, the Companies Act of 2009, and the Trading Licences Order of 1975, amongst other legislations.
The Eswatini Revenue Authority (SRA) is a semi-autonomous revenue administration agency, established through the Revenue Authority Act No. 1 of 2008. It operates within the broad framework of Government but outside of the civil service. SRA is responsible for the administration of Customs and Excise in the country, in accordance with the Customs and Excise Act of 1971. The Department is further responsible for revenue collection, which includes Customs revenue. SRA is also responsible for implementing prohibitions, restrictions and regulatory (for example, narcotics, unlicensed medicines, arms and ammunitions, pornography etc.). SRA is also entrusted with the responsibility of identifying and interdicting illegitimate trade (for example counterfeit or substandard goods; trade in endangered species - CITES obligations). As, the border agency, SRA is responsible for the trade facilitation in the country, as well as providing general export and import rules, as well as cross border procedures.
Website: Eswatini Revenue Authority
The Department of Veterinary and Livestock Services (DVLS) under the Ministry of Agriculture is mandated to equip livestock producers with adequate knowledge, skill and technical expertise on the efficient management of all resources that will ensure profitable returns and an efficient and sustainable livestock industry. Through the Animal Diseases Act of 1939 and the Stock Disease Regulations of 1993 the DVLS responsible for the prevention of the spread of animal diseases and zoonoses. As such, DVLS is the agency responsible for regulation the importation of animals and animal products. It further ensures that there is full compliance to the regulations regarding the importation animal and animal products.
The Department of Agricultural Research and Specialists Services (DARSS) is responsible for for phytosanitary services, safe-guarding food safety measures and conservation of national plant genetic resources heritage. The Department is also responsible for the development and identification of applied and adaptive agricultural production technologies that ensure household and national food security, sustainable growth of the agro-business sector. The DARSS is further responsible for the identification of adaptable crop varieties that can be grown successfully in the different agro-ecological zones of the country. More importantly through the Seeds and Plant Varieties Act of 2000, the Seeds Regulations of 2003, and the Plant Health Protion Act of 2013, the DARSS is responsible for the implementation of phytosanitary, quarantine and food safety measures, as well as monitoring of plant health and risk surveillance. The DARSS is the agency responsible for the issuing of phyto-sanitary certificates and import permits for plants and plant products.
The Ministry of Finance through the Fiscal and Monetary Division is responsible for ensuring sustainable revenue sources to finance government operations. This includes expanding the existing revenue base and improving the efficiency revenue collection. The Fiscal and Monetary Division is responsible for coordinating maters related to the Southern African Customs Union (SACU). Through the Import Order of 1976 the Fiscal and Monetary Division is responsible for issuing import permits for schedule 3 and 4 goods from outside SACU member states.
The Medicines and Regulatory Unit under the Ministry of Health is responsible for regulating the importation and exportation of pharmaceuticals in the country, as well as the retail of pharmaceuticals in the country. The Medicines and Regulatory Unit is also responsible for granting import permits to importers of pharmaceutical products. The Medicines and Regulatory Unit is responsible for implementing the Pharmaceutical Act of 1929.
The Forestry Department and the Plant Protection Unit under the Ministry of Tourism and Environmental Affairs is responsible for the maintenance of a coherent and contemporary forest policy and legal framework, with due consideration to the cross-sectoral nature of forestry. As such, the Forestry Department is responsible for the implementation of the Flora Protection Act of 2009 as well as the Environmental Management Act of 2002. The same department is also responsible for the movement timber around the country, as well as the importation and exportation of timber. As the Department responsible for the movement of trees, including the importation and exportation of trees, the Forestry Department is responsible for the issues import and export permits for plants under the Flora Protection Act.
The Road Transportation Department under the Ministry of Works is responsible for the administration and regulation of the road transport industry through the permit issuance system. The Department is further responsible for the enforcement of the Road transportation Act of 2007, which strongly touches on the transportation of goods in and out of the country. The Department regulates the transportation industry through the issuing of permits. The Department is further responsible for the registration of transportation operators, including cross border, transport operators, the identification of non-tariff measures and inspecting transport to see if it up-to the required standard.
The Geological Survey and Mines Department under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Energy is responsible for the administration of the mining and minerals industry in the Kingdom of Eswatini. The Geological Survey and Mines Department is responsible implementation and enforcement of the Mines and Minerals Act of 2011, Diamond Act of 2011, Explosives Act, Mines, Works and Machinery Regulations, Mines and Quarries (Safety) Regulations. The Department is also responsible for the implementation of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme which provide for the control of import and export of diamonds. The Department’s mandate also includes an enforcement of the terms and conditions of mineral rights leases or licences issued through the Minerals Management Board for reconnaissance, prospecting and mining. Through the different regulatory framework, the Department also provides for the control of production, processing, possession, purchase, sale and conveyance of diamonds and other precious stones. The Geological Survey and Mines Department is also responsible for the importation and exportation of minerals including coal in and out of the country.
Royal Eswatini Police Services (REPS) is responsible for keeping peace and stability in the country as well as preventing crime. As part of its mandate REPS is the agency responsible for issuing out import permits and licenses for firearms as well as ammunition under the Arms and Ammunitions Act of 1963. Also, REPS is responsible for the clearance for the importation and exportation of motor vehicles under the Theft of Motor Vehicle No. 16 of 1991.
Website: Royal Eswatini Police Services
The National Agriculture Marketing Board (NAMBoard) was established by Government through the NAMBoard of 1985. NAMBoard facilitates markets for farmers in and outside the country and assist these farmers with production, processing, storage, transportation, distribution of the produce the sale of scheduled products. Adding on to that, NAMBoard apart from being a Government advisor on the availability and demand of scheduled products, it also registers whole sale distributors, importers, and exporters of scheduled products. Through the NAMBoard Act NAMBoard regulates the importation of scheduled agricultural products by means of charging levies. As part of regulating the importation and exportation of scheduled goods, NAMBoard, through the NAMBoard Act, is responsible for the issuing import and export permits.
Eswatini Dairy Board is a quasi-government agency that was established in 1971 under the Dairy Act No. 28 of 1968 to regulate and develop the dairy industry. Dairy Board is the agency that has been mandated with the responsibility of implementing and charging import levies on dairy, and the issuance of dairy import and export permits, as per section 25 of the Dairy Board Act. Dairy Board is also the agency mandated with implementing prohibition of import and exports of milk and milk products.
Website: Dairy Board
The Eswatini Environmental Authority (EEA) is a quasi-Government entity that was formed to ensure that the environment in the Kingdom of Eswatini is treated in a proper way now and in the future. The EEA is responsible for ensuring that the atmosphere, water, soil, living resources, living conditions in human settlements, flora and energy sources amongst other things are not polluted. The EEA is responsible for the implementation of a number of legislations that affect cross border movement of goods including the Environmental Act of 2002, the Waste Regulations of 2000, the Genetically Modified Organisms Act and the Ozon Depleting Substances Regulations of 2003, amongst others. Through various legal instruments, the EEA is also responsible for issuing import and export permits for a number of goods including genetically modified goods, waste and waste products, and toxic substances, amongst others.
Website: Eswatini Environmental Authority
The Eswatini Investment Promotion Authority (EIPA) was created through an Act of Parliament, the Eswatini Investment Promotion Act of 1998. EIPA is a quasi-government institution under the Ministry of Commerce Industry and Trade (MCIT) and it is responsible for attracting and promoting local and foreign direct investments. It is also responsible for promoting local trade as well as exports by providing training to local producers to make sure that they are ready to export, as well as that they have access to markets. EIPA also provides a one-stop-information and support facility for business. EIPA further assist businesses through the identification and dissemination of investment and trade opportunities.
Eswatini Standards Authority (ESWASA) was formed by the Government of Eswatini through the Quality and Standards Act (10) 2003, which gives SWASA the mandate of promoting standards and quality in local industry, commerce and the public sector and also empowers the Authority to be the sole custodian of all issues regarding standards and quality in Eswatini. The move to establish SWASA was in-line with regional and international trends brought about by World Trade Organisation (WTO) initiatives aimed at eliminating tariff and non-tariff barriers to trade, and creating a neutral platform that will promote trade of quality goods and services across countries and economic blocks. Besides opening up global opportunities for trade, standardisation also ensures that imported and locally manufactured goods are not harmful to human and animal lives and the environment.
Website: Eswatini Standards Authority
The Royal Science and Technology Park (RSTP), was created through the vision of, His Majesty, King Mswati III. The Vision is well enshrined in the Royal Science and Technology Park Act of 2012. The Vision is the first comprehensive effort, to promote science; technology; and innovation, in the Kingdom of Eswatini. The aim of the RSTP, is to provide steadfast support for basic research and innovation. In doing so, we provide a coherent approach to maximising the innovation dividend. The Special Economic Zones Act of 2011 mandates the RSPT with the implementation of special economic zones, as well as the approval of companies that can be allocated space within the special economic zones.
The Eswatini Communications Commission (ESCCOM) is the regulatory body responsible for regulating the communications sector in Eswatini, constituting of telecommunication services and networks, broadcasting services, postal services and the use and allocation of radio spectrum. It derives its mandate from the Swaziland Communications Commission Act 2013, the Electronic Communications Act 2009 and the Electronic Communications (Importation, Type Approval and Distribution of Communications Equipment) Regulations. Through the various legal documents ESCCOM is responsible for issuing the Permit for Re- Exportation of Communications Equipment, The Electronic Communications License, as well as the issuing the approval Electronic Communications Equipment Approval Certificate, amongst other things.
Website: Eswatini Communications Commission
Business Eswatini is a voluntary, non-profit making member-based organisation representing employers and businesses in all sectors of the Eswatini economy to promote trade and harmonious labour relations. Business Eswatini is the main voice of the private sector in Swaziland, representing more than 80% of big businesses in Eswatini. As a member of the International Organisation of Employers (IOE), the SADC Private Sector Forum and the COMESA Business Council, Business Eswatini protects the economic interests of the business community through continuous advocacy, engagement and dialogue on legislative and policy issues.
Website: Business Eswatini
The Federation of the Swazi Business Community is non-government organization (NGO) that established in 2002 to Providing quality business advice, coaching and training to local businesspeople. FESBC further aims to create an enabling, networking and sharing of business ideas amongst local businesspeople. Additionally, FESBC intends to provide support to businesses and entrepreneurs with specific needs, such as youth, women and the informal sector.
The Ministry of Home Affairs in the Ministry that is responsible for immigration, citizenship personal identity numbers and the issuance of National Identification Card in the country. Below are the various services that are provided by the Ministry of Home Affairs, as well as process steps and requirements on how to access these services.
Website: Ministry of Home Affairs
The Eswatini Civil Aviation Authority (ESWACAA) is a statutory body that was established by the Government of the Kingdom of Eswatini through an Act of Parliament. The Civil Aviation Authority is an administrative and commercial body corporate mandated to provide, in an economically viable manner, air transport services and regulation of civil aviation activities in Eswatini; in accordance with international standards. ESWACAA manages all airports in the Kingdom of Eswatini, namely King Mswati III International Airport and Matsapha International Airport. Through an eight point strategic plan, the Authority's focus has been on addressing the eight critical elements raised by an ICAO audit conducted in 2007 which audit resulted in a ban of Eswatini registered aircraft by the European Union. ESWACAA's immediate objective is to ensure that Eswatini complies with all laid down industry standards. The Authority is also busy with attracting air transport business into Eswatini for tourism, trade and investment.
The ESA is an umbrella organization bringing together all growers and millers of sugarcane. Its highest policy-making body is the Council, where growers and millers have equal representation. The day-to-day functions are run by the ESA office led by a Chief Executive Officer, with its head office located in Mbabane, Technical Services Department located at Simunye and Big Bend whilst there is also an ESA warehouse at Mlawula. ESA is responsible for providing the services necessary for the regulation and general development of the Swazi sugar industry as well as marketing of all the sugar and molasses produced in the country. ESA provides support services to the entire industry’s value chain which includes agricultural research and extension, cane testing, warehousing and distribution, marketing and policy advocacy. The ESA operations are based on the ISO 9001:2015 standard, with a supporting quality management system.
Website: Eswatini Sugar Association
The Investor Roadmap Unit undertook a benchmarking study in the Republic of China on Taiwan to explore best practise in improving ease of doing business in six target areas namely: enforcing contracts, starting a business, dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, registering property and protecting minority investors in Eswatini. The IRMU also attended the Ease of Doing Business Initiative, where African countries meet to share experiences on best approaches in doing business. The Special Economic Zones Act of 2018 was appointed in The Investor Roadmap Unit. The committee whose responsibility is to receive and scrutinize applications by investors seeking to operate within the zones and recommend to the Minister for Commerce who shall approve applications in consultation within Cabinet.