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International Monetary Fund
The Southern African Customs Union (SACU), the oldest customs union in the world, comprises Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, Swaziland (known as the BLNS countries), and South Africa. This Selected Issues paper analyzes how policy has responded to the positive SACU revenue shock. It discusses the background and structure of SACU, and examines the fiscal responses of the BLNS countries to the SACU revenue surge. The paper also discusses useful international experience and a framework for fiscal response in these countries.
International Monetary Fund

I. S outhern A frican C ustoms U nion R evenue S urge and F iscal R esponse in B otswana , L esotho , N amibia, and S waziland 1 A. Introduction 1. The Southern African Customs Union (SACU), the oldest customs union in the world, comprises Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, and Swaziland (known as the BLNS countries) and South Africa . The increase in annual average SACU revenue collected by BLNS countries from about 12.7 percent of GDP in the early 2000s to 20.7 percent in 2008 has had major macroeconomic and fiscal implications. The revenue surge