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Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MoFAIC)
Procedure For Tax Refund

The Minister may authorize the granting of relief, by way of refund of VAT paid or borne to

  • Any person enyoying fulll or limited immunity, rights or privileges under section 3 of the Diplomatic Immunities and Privileges Act.
  • Any Diplomatic or Consular Mission of a foreign country established in the Republic of Botswana, relating to transactions concluded for purposes of such Mission.

It has to be noted that the application of the abovementioned provisions are not dependent on whether similar or equivalent relief is granted a Botswana diplomat who is stationed in the government of that person.


Firstly an application for registration must be done;

  • An application Form VAT 005.1 must be completed in duplicate to register for the refund system for Diplomatic Missions, International Organisations certain Technical Assistance Organisations or Privileged persons. This form should be submitted through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (Protocol Department), which will submit it to the VAT office. This form is available from the VAT office in Gaborone.
  • A list of all accredited agencies/personnel eligible for VAT privileges should be prepared by each Mission yearly and submitted to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. This list will be forwarded to the VAT office.
    Names of all newly eligible persons should be communicated to the Director of VAT through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
  • Names of all outgoing eligible persons should be made known to the Director of VAT through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs so that records may be accordingly updated. The Department to that effect should receive information at least one month prior to the person leaving Botswana.

Goods imported for official use by diplomatic Missions accredited to Botswana will not be subjected to VAT. A CERTIFICATE A must be authorized by the Botswana Unified Revenue Service prior to importation and presented to the Customs Officer at the time of clearance.

It should be noted that VAT refunds will apply to all locally acquired goods and services for the official use of the Missions or the personal use of the diplomats and his/her family members living with him/her under the same roof and in his/her charge. However, purchases and services of an investment/capital nature or where there is indication that the purchase is totally unconnected with the official diplomatic duties will not be eligible for VAT refund.

  • VAT refunds will be made to tax invoices of a minimum amount of P200.00.
  • VAT refund applications should be submitted to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Protocol Department, on a quarterly basis, in January, April, July, and October. Submissions should reach the Ministry by the 15th of the stipulated months. The effective time period allowed for VAT claims is four months failing which the VAT will be forfeited.
  • Applications should be accompanied by a detailed form VAT 007.1 for each month, for the Mission and for each employee with all supporting Tax invoices (originals) and proof of payment. Please click for the details of a Tax Invoice. Thereafter, the VAT office will return the Tax invoices and proof of payment to the Missions.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and international Cooperation will accordingly process the forms and recommend appropriate action to the internal Revenue Office of BURS. Refunds will be paid directly to the Missions within a month of submission.

A summary record of refunded claims for each Mission will be forwarded to the Department of Protocol by the VAT office.Tax Exemption forms, like Customs Duty forms and Application for Refund Claim form (VAT 008.1), should be authorized/signed by the Head of Mission. The Head of Mission can delegate powers to sign to a maximum of three diplomatic staff members. A form with details of the officers and their signatures should be submitted to the Department of Protocol at the beginning of the year.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will communicate any rejection of refund application to the relevant Mission.


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