SACU is the acronym for the Southern African Customs Union


The Union consists of the Governments of the –

  • Republic of Botswana
  • Kingdom of Lesotho
  • Republic of Namibia
  • Republic of South Africa
  • Kingdom of Swaziland

The SACU Agreement that is currently in place, was published in Notice R.800 in Government Gazette 26537 of 2 July 2004 and came into operation from 15 July 2004.

The effect of the SACU Agreement is that a Common Customs Area has been created within which goods that are grown, produced or manufactured therein, on importation from one of the member states to another, shall be free of customs duties and quantitative restrictions (see Article 18.1). This does not include that the restrictions on imports or exports in accordance with any national laws for the protection of the local industries or products in the relevant member state are not being enforced.

This Common Customs Area also has a Common Revenue Pool (see Article 19 of the 1969 Agreement), in terms of which all customs, excise and additional duties collected by the different member states, are paid into this pool within three months of the end of the quarter of a particular financial year (see Articles 32 and 33 of the current Agreement).  SACU Member States are then paid from this pool and the share of each member state is calculated from the different components according to a specific formula (see Annex A).




Customs and Excise Act, 1964


​Schedule No. 10

Part 4

​Southern African Customs Union Agreement between the Governments of the Republic of Botswana, the Kingdom of Lesotho, the Republic of Namibia, the Republic of South Africa and the Kingdom of Swaziland

Background Documents

SACU Agreement 

Published in Notice R.800 in GG 26537 of 2 July 2004

Annex A to SACU Agreement - Revenue Sharing Formula

Published in Notice R.800 in GG 26537 of 2 July 2004

​ ​
The current SACU Agreement replaced the 1969 SACU Agreement, which was concluded on 11 December 1969 between the Governments of Botswana, Lesotho, South Africa and Swaziland, and was later acceded to by Namibia. The 1969 Agreement was published in Notice R.3914 in Government Gazette 2584 of 12 December 1969 and came into operation on 1 March 1970, but was terminated in terms of Article 51 of the current SACU Agreement, for the reasons mentioned in the preamble thereof.

​The 1969 SACU Agreement

(Published in GG 2584 of 12 December 1969)

​Agreement between the Governments of Botswana, Lesotho, South Africa and Swaziland - effective from 1 March 1970.


This 1969 Agreement was terminated from 15 July 2004 when the current SACU Agreement came into force (see Article 51)


The 1969 SACU Agreement replaced the very first even earlier 1910 SACU Agreement.​ This agreement was signed in June 1910 and the members consisted of the then Union of South Africa, which included South West Africa (now Namibia) and the then British High Commission Territories which are now Lesotho, Botswana and Swaziland.


For further reading about the different SACU Agreements you may visit the official SACU website on​ ​













Last Updated: 27/09/2017 8:46 AM     print this page
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