Gabon flag Gabon: Buying and Selling

International convention and customs procedures of Gabon

International Conventions
Member of the World Trade Organization (WTO)
International Economic Cooperation
Member of World Trade Organization (WTO)
Member of Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa (CEMAC)
Member of African Union (AU)
Member of Organisation for the Harmonization of Corporate Law in Africa (OHADA)
Non Tariff Barriers
As of 2018, according to the WTO, Gabon had two nontariff measures in force.
Several factors can hinder imports, such as overtaxing of goods; random checkpoints along corridors; highway robbers; and the poor state of major highways and infrastructure.
Customs Duties and Taxes on Imports
As a member of the Customs Union of CEMAC, Gabon adopts the common external tariff (CET), whose most favoured nation simple average is estimated at 18.1% by the WTO. However, the CET is difficult to be applied because members invoke country-specific exceptions and "safeguard" measures. Gabon applies the exceptions to a varied range of product and therefore its average tariff rate is lower than the CET by being 16.9% (Heritage Foundation).
Other import duties and taxes are imposed on the c.i.f. customs value of imported goods. These are the 1% Community integration tax (TCI) collected on behalf of CEMAC, which is applicable to imports originating in non-CEMAC countries; the 0.4% ECCAS Community integration contribution (CCI), applicable to imports originating in non-ECCAS countries; the fee for use of the customs ADP system (RUSID), which is proportional to the amount of time actually spent on the system; and the 0.05% OHADA levy. A scanning fee may also apply.
Customs Classification
Gabon is a member of the World Customs Organisation and does comply with the harmonised customs system.
Import Procedures
All importers must obtain a "fiche circuit" (trader's card) issued by the Single Window Service in the Enterprise Development Centre (CDE).
When importing in Gabon, an import declaration (DPI) issued by the Directorate responsible for external trade is required. In addition, payments in respect of imports with a FOB value of XOF 5,000,000 or more must be domiciled with an approved bank.
All imports must be the subject of a "detailed declaration" accompanied by:

  • the original invoice;
  • the bill of lading;
  • the packing list (including a full description of the contents of the shipment);
  • the insurance certificate;
  • the cargo identification note (BIC) issued by the Gabonese Shippers' Council (with fees varying according to the origin of the imports;
  • the certificate of origin (the EUR 1 form for products of European Union origin)

Further certificates may be required: for agrifood products, a certificate stating that they are free of radioactive contamination; a phytosanitary certificate for products of plant origin; and a sanitary certificate for products of animal origin.
The duties and taxes are paid either by means of a clearing credit or by direct payment (in cash or by certified bank cheque).
The average clearance time is estimated in 24 hours after the customs declaration, accompanied by all the required documentation, has been submitted.

With regards to its Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) issue, Gabon is following the standard set by the World Health Organization, the FAO/WHO Codex Alimentarius Commission, the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) and several other African and global conventions. Gabon does not address SPS as a barrier to trade, as it applies the same sanitary rules to all food products, whether produced domestically, imported from abroad, or intended for export.
For reasons of sanitary protection, a sanitary or phytosanitary certificate, as appropriate, must be obtained for imports of a list of food and pharmaceutical products
All perishable foodstuffs, cosmetics and pharmaceutical products sold must also bear a label in French showing their origin, their use-by date and the specification of the substances used.

Importing Samples
Samples can generally be imported duty-free. After their use, they must be re-exported or destroyed, with the process being certified by a custom agent.

To go further, check out our service Import controls and Export controls.

For Further Information
Gabon Customs
Ministry of Commerce
Business Portal for Africa

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Latest Update: April 2024