LESOTHO

Logistic and forwarding services in Lesotho

Lesotho

Capital City
Maseru

Population
2.1 Mio.

National languages
Sesotho, English, Zulu, Xhosa

Currency
Loti (LSL) / Rand (ZAR)

Gross national product (GNP)
USD 2.114 Mrd.

GNP per person
USD 1103

Financial exports to Switzerland
CHF 0 Mio.

Financial imports from Switzerland
0.38 Mio.

Bilateral relations Switzerland–Lesotho

Lesotho is a small, landlocked, mountainous kingdom completely surrounded by South Africa. The Swiss Agency for Cooperation and Development (SDC) is active in Lesotho within the framework of its Regional Programme for Southern Africa, which focuses on food security and HIV/AIDS. The country is proud to call itself the “Switzerland of southern Africa”, and highlights its potential as a tourist destination. For this reason, Switzerland has a good reputation, one that goes beyond the impact of official relations.

Economic cooperation

Direct trade between the two countries is modest because Swiss products consumed in Lesotho are imported via South Africa. A free-trade agreement between the European Free Trade Association and the Southern African Customs Union, which is made up of Lesotho, Botswana, Namibia, Swaziland and South Africa, entered into force in 2008.

 

Business language

English.

Dimensions and weights

Metric system.

Currency

National currency 1 Loti = 100 Lisente.
ISO code: LSL

Customs tariff

Harmonised system.

Import control

Import is divided into goods which are only permitted with an import licence and those which can be imported in unlimited quantities without an import licence. Unless the recipient communicates otherwise, the South African import provisions currently apply.
There is a customs union and currency agreement between South Africa and Lesotho.
Hazardous waste, used clothing, army clothing including coats, shoes and duffel bags and offensive publications are currently subject to an import ban. The issuance of authorisations which are required for the import of various goods is the responsibility of different ministries: alcohol (Ministry of Tourism and the Environment), agricultural products (Ministry of Agriculture), medications (Ministry of Health) and consulate invoices Z, tyres, used textiles, tiles (Ministry of Commerce).
The foreign currency market is largely free.
Standard VAT rate: 14%.

Terms of payment and tenders

An irrevocable, confirmed letter of credit including where applicable documents against payment are standard. Invoices in EUR, prices FOB European ports.

Designations of origin

No special regulations. In the case of any doubt, label with the country of origin. “Made in …” is recommended for all goods.
Indication of the country of origin on the commercial invoice.

Marking/labelling

Standard markings with the addition of “Made in …” required.
Special marking regulations apply to cosmetics, among other things. The Ministry of Trade and Industry can provide more information on this (Tel: +266 22325272).

Packaging

Use of the IPPC standard ISPM no. 15 for wooden packaging.
Avoid hay and straw. Weatherproof, robust packaging required.

Product samples

Duty free if they have no retail value. See the information under “Republic of South Africa”.

Shipping and accompanying documents

a) Commercial invoices, 4 copies in English

b) Packing list recommended

c) Certificates of origin only on request.

d) Possible additional documents: veterinary of physosanitary certificates, cost declaration from the freight forwarder, copy of the purchase contract.