Most Expensive Countries To Receive Imports Into

Lacking seaports and mountainous, most of Tajikistan's imports, such as this Russian petroleum, arrive by train or truck.
Lacking seaports and mountainous, most of Tajikistan's imports, such as this Russian petroleum, arrive by train or truck.

Imports are considered a drag on most economies especially economies with more import value than export value. When the import is higher than export, the economy is likely to be an imbalance because the country is spending more than it is generating on goods and products leading to deficit trade balance. To ensure a balance of trade and reduce imports, some countries have made it more expensive to import than to export. Restrictions on imports mainly take two forms. These are imposing tariffs on imports and restricting the quantities imported. Tariffs are simple taxes that are imposed on goods imported into the country, always a percentage of the value of goods. A country may discourage imports by charge up to 30% tariff raising the overall cost of the product and therefore making it expensive. Some of the countries where it is very costly to receive imports are discussed below.


Tajikistan charges custom duty on most of the imported goods into the country. Customs duty is levied on the value of the chargeable good. Tajikistan levies custom duty totaling to 0-15% of the value of imports. An 18% value-added tax (VAT) and a customs fee ranging from $10 to $900 are also charged on the imported goods depending on the value. Also, a custom support fee of $3 per 10 kilograms of goods and a storage fee of $1 per 50 kilograms of goods per day. These charges put together plus the cost of shipping the goods into Tajikistan raises the cost of imports significantly. Overall, it will cost $10,620 to import a standard 20-foot container into Tajikistan.

South Sudan

South Sudan being a landlocked country continues to face several economic challenges. Years of civil war, lack of democracy and poor governance has contributed significantly to South Sudan’s dwindling economy. Businesses in the country are threatened by uncertainty and hostile militia groups. The scarcity of dollar and the sharp fall in the value of Sudanese pound are the major factors affecting import cost into South Sudan. The low value of the dollar makes it more expensive to import goods into South Sudan. It will cost $9,285 to import a standard 20-foot container into South Sudan, relatively expensive compared to countries around South Sudan, including Kenya, Uganda, and Ethiopia.


Chad mainly imports machinery, industrial goods, foodstuff and industrial equipment from Japan, the United States of America, and China. Chad also imports large scale textile material to the European Union. The geographic remoteness and the country being landlocked raise the cost of import into the country significantly. Chad imports goods through other nations near the port and as such it has to pay import tariffs of the country through which it imports. The double tariffs paid by importers consequently raise the import cost. A 20-foot standard container that will cost $5,680 to import in Afghanistan will cost $9,025 to import in Chad.

Positive And Negative Effects of High Import Costs

Importers in other countries such as the Republic of Congo, Zambia, Uzbekistan, the Central African Republic, and Afghanistan will spend more than $5,500 to import a standard 20-foot container into their countries. High import cost is meant to discourage import and promote local production. High import cost also eliminates the black market and the existence of cartels in the country. However, high import cost also hinders international trade and limits a country’s access to some goods or products.

Most Expensive Countries To Receive Imports Into

RankCountryFees Levied on the Import of a Standard 20-foot Container (USD)
2South Sudan$9,285
4Republic of the Congo$7,590
7Central African Republic$6,335

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