::: IMPORT TO CAMEROON:::
Our aim here is to present the measures introduced by public authorities to encourage importation and exportation. We also want to place at the disposal of users of Customs services some pieces of information on the importation and exportation of goods, namely:
- import formalities;
- specific authorisations;
- import and export procedures;
- post-clearance checks;
I - Measures to encourage imports and exports
A- The Investment Charter of the Republic of Cameroon, law n° 2002/004 of April 19, 2002 in Section IV entitled “Tax and Customs Incentives” outlines measures to encourage imports and exports, namely:
B - The Memorandum of Understanding between the Customs Department and Licensed Customs Brokers is a platform for consultation on the practical measures necessary to improve efficiency through which the Customs Department undertakes to notably:
- Simplification of procedures.
- The State reaffirms its willingness to ensure the recognition and respect of the rights of taxpayers by the Administration.
- The implementation of economic and suspensive customs procedures provided for by Government.
- Government guarantees the application of moderate customs duties and accepts the principle of their reduction, within the framework of the policy defined by CEMAC and in accordance with WTO provisions.
- The cancellation of the VAT on exports and the reimbursement of that paid on investments and export expenses of exporting companies in order to guarantee their competitiveness on international markets.
- Encouragement through tax and customs incentives specific to the research and development sector, as well as that of vocational training and environmental protection.
- apply the transaction value;
- end harassment and abuses by putting in place a real-time dispute resolution system (telephone directory in emergencies and the response of hierarchy to find solutions, etc.);
- The respect of the period for the processing of declarations without problems, i.e. six hours for importation and two hours for exportation;
- The simplification of procedures for the clearance and removal of goods in order to reduce transit time; and
- The continuity of Public Service through the total availability of staff during clearance and removal operations, etc; (See memorandum).
1) Importation of goods
- Who can import ?
- From where can one import ?
- What can we import ?
- How to import ?
A)Who can import ?
Generally, any individual or corporate entity can import goods. However, depending on their nature, certain goods may require an authorisation, a licence, quality or packaging regulations, or specific formalities in accordance with article 51 of the CEMAC Customs Code.
1- Cases requiring special authorisation
- Medicines: Ministry for Public Health + initial of the Provincial Delegation for Public Health;
- Arms and munitions: the authorisation to carry a weapon and buy munitions issued by the Ministry for Territorial Administration;
2- Cases requiring certificates of conformity to standards
In accordance with the provisions of memo N° 107/MINEFI/DD6 on import standards, the importation of products is subject to the presentation, prior to removal, to the Customs Office of a certificate of conformity. The following products are concerned:
The non conformity of such goods to the related standards gives rise to re-exportation or destruction paid for by the importer.
- wheat Flour;
- gas bottles;
- condensed milk;
- galvanised steel sheets;
- aluminium alloy sheets;
3- Stamping and labelling
Appendix n°________ to Mincom/MINEFI order n°______ November 14, 2005 instituted the stamping and labelling of certain products, namely:
- fancy print loincloth,
- wax loincloth,
- Turkish towelling cloth,
- Portland cement,
- wheat Flour,
- jute bags,
- R20, R14, R6 electric batteries,
- insecticides in spiral or spray form,
- books, registers, note books, duplicate books, folders with straps, etc.,
- mineral water.
B) Where can one import from ?
From CEMAC: Advantage: exemption of import duties for products from the CEMAC zone.
Out of CEMAC: Asia: new markets
Europe, America, etc.
C) What can be imported ?
Principle: All types of goods
Exceptions: Goods absolutely prohibited, art 5 (b) CD stipulates that: any foreign products, natural or manufactured, bearing on themselves, their packaging, cases, wrapping or label a trade mark or brand name, a name, sign or any information likely to make everyone believe that they were manufactured in a country with which an agreement had been signed or are from the said country shall be denied entry, access to the warehouse, transit and circulation.
- Foreign products, manufactured or natural, neither bearing the name of the region where they were manufactured nor the country of origin and marked “IMPORTED” in bold letters.
- All counterfeit goods.
D)How to import ?
Clearance procedures are specified in Ministerial Instruction N°0246/MINEFI/DD of July 30, 2001 on the implementation of the WTO agreement on customs valuation in Cameroon.
MGoods under the programme to secure customs revenue, the FOB of which is > or = to 2 000 000.
A) Preliminary import formalities
1) The importer or his agent opens a declaration with SGS on the same conditions spelt out by Ministerial Instruction N° 060/MINEFI/CAB of December 15, 1995 on the programme to secure customs revenue.
2) The SGS checks goods in the country of exportation.
B) Import formalities
1) The importer or his agent submits to SGS (Company charged with verification, testing and certification) an application for import verification attestation seventy-two (72) hours before the arrival of the ship. This application must contain the following documents :
2) SGS issues the original and four (4) copies of AVI to the importer.
- A Copy of ID,
- A copy of the bill of lading or of AWB,
- The final invoice,
- A packing list if necessary,
- A freight note,
- A local insurance certificate,
- The clearance procedure,
- A phytosanitary certificate and those from other technical services,
- A proof of exemption, along with the temporary D3,
- The number of the cargo manifest.
3)The importer deposits the customs declaration with the competent Customs Services. To this declaration are obligatorily attached the DI, AVI and the DSV, commercial invoice, local insurance, bill of lading, packing list, phytosanitary certificate or those from other technical services, proof of exemption, etc.
Goods whose FOB value is between CFAF 1 000 000 and 2 000 000 are not subjected to the programme to secure customs revenue.
A) Preliminary import formalities
- The importer or his agent opens a declaration on the same conditions as those spelt out by Ministerial Instruction N° 060/MINEFI/CAB of December 15, 1995 on the programme to secure customs revenue.
- At the time of opening the ID, SGS issues the importer a non verification attestation number. The number must be typed on customs declaration when goods are cleared (ANV).
B) Import formalities
- After validation, the importer deposits the customs declaration with the competent Customs Services. Attached to declaration are copies of ID, the DSV as well as all other required documents.
- After verification, the inspector gives back the copy to the user who presents it to the Treasury in order to pay customs duties.
- Upon examining the receipt, the inspector issues the importer the release warrant.
II- Goods whose FOB value is below CFAF 1 000 000
For this type of goods, only import formalities under IIB are applicable.
Goods admitted duty free, exempted and compensated.
- Where this type of goods is under the programme to secure customs revenue the formalities outlined in subsections IA and IB1 to IB4 remain applicable.
- Where this type of goods is not under the programme to secure customs revenue (FOB value between CFAF 1 000 000 and 2 000 000), points IIA1, IIA2 and IIB1 remain applicable.
A - Who can clear goods?
n accordance with article 5 of the 1999 Finance Law, goods may be cleared by persons with the status of Licensed Customers Broker only. Exceptions: The following may clear goods on their personal behalves: Public services, Embassies, International organisations, vehicle owners.
B - Where ?
In the competent Customs office.
C – Duty assessment basis
- The primary basis for the assessment of the customs value is the transaction value as defined under article 26 interpreted jointly with article 27 of the CC which provides for certain adjustments of the price actually paid or payable.
- Where the customs value cannot be assessed by applying the provisions of article 26, the Customs Department and the importer should normally confer with each other to work out a basis for the value by applying the provisions of articles 28 and 29.
- The freight of the goods and insurance are added to the basis. The value is: Cost-Insurance-Freight
- The customs duties and taxes levied on the goods:
- During importation, customs duties depend on the category of goods
- 1st category: raw materials: 5%
- 2nd category: raw materials: 10%
- 3rd category: semi–finished goods: 20%
- 4th category: finished goods: 30%
- Others taxes
- VAT of 17.5%.
- Additional Council Taxes of 10% of VAT.
- Computer fees of 0.45% for imports domiciliated in the Computer Offices.
- Deduction of 1 to 5% depending on the presentation or not of the taxpayer’s card.
- Excise duties (solely for goods covered by the 2006 Finance Law) of 25%.
- Community integration tax of 1% for imports from outside the CEMAC zone.
- Veterinary inspection tax (ISV) of 3% per head.
- Phytosanitary tax (TPS) of CFAF 50 per head.
D – Goods with reference prices and used goods
Market price lists:
After the removal of goods
- Order n° 03685/MINEFI/CAB of 06/11/2004 on certain textiles products.
- Order n° 654/MINEFI/CAB of 28/12/2004 on meat and offal, biscuits
- Order n° 0655/MINEFI/CAB of 28/12/2004 on meat, offal, biscuits and salt.
- Order n° 658/MINEFI/CAB of 29/12/2004 on imported sugar.
- Order n° 659/MINEFI/CAB of 29/12/2004 on alcoholic beverages.
- Order n° 660/MINEFI/CAB of 29/12/2004 on cigarettes.
- Memo n° 110/MINEFI/DD of 14/04/05 on imports from Asia and certain goods (used spare tyres, used articles, second-hand goods dealing, and imports from Asia).
- See circular N° 4/455/MINEFI/DD of August 12, 2004 on the right of discovery reserved for the Customs Department and on customs inspection after the removal of goods.
- Circular N° 4/454/MINEFI/DD of August 12, 2004 spelling out practical details for carrying out customs inspections after the removal of goods.