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FRANC ZONE COUNTRIES EXPORTATION GUIDE

FRANC ZONE COUNTRIES EXPORTATION GUIDE

GABON EXPORTATION GUIDE

 

1/ - FORMALITIES FOR OBTAINING THE EXPORTER / IMPORTER STATUS IN GABON

Obtaining the exporter / importer status in Gabon is a three (3) stages process:

(i)            registration in the registry of trade and personal property credit;

(ii)           tax registration ;

(iii)          circuit sheet establishment

1.1/ - Trade and morgage registry registration

Place : Registry of the Court of First Instance

 

For commercial companies or firms

For individual businesses

Documents needed

-       Two (2) copies of the recorded Statutes ;

-       A copy of the legal advertisements newspaper of the Registry ;

-       Payment receipt of the registration fee to the Registry;;

-       A copy of the legal advertisement newspaper confirming registration in the trade register ;

-       Receipt of taxes paid.

Foreigners also have to provide :

-        A photocopy of the residence permit for foreigners ;

-        A certificate of non conviction.

-       One (1) criminal record dating less than three months (for individuals) ;

-       Receipt of the license (to be paid to the taxes service) ;

-       Civil status document (ruling supplementing a birth certificate, valid identification card).

Foreigners also have to provide :

-        A photocopy of the residence permit for foreigners ;

-        A certificate of non conviction.

 

1.2/- Tax Registration in Gabon

Place : Directorate General for Taxation

 

For legal entities

For individuals

Documents needed

-          A copy of the statutes ;

-          A copy of the extract from the Commercial Registry ;

-          A copy of the criminal record dating less than three (3) months (Tribunal) ;

-          The receipts and tax certificates with the BIC (Tax on Industrial and Commercial Profits) of the current year (Tax Office) ;

-          Receipts of contributions to the Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Agriculture and Mining (CCIAM) of Gabon;

-          Two (2) recent passport photos.

-          A corporate location card to obtain from the Directorate of Internal Trade (INN) ;

-          Approval for activities subject to specific regulations issued by the Competent Authority of the relevant sector.

-          A valid residence permit for foreigners

-          A copy of the extract from the Commercial Registry ;

-          A copy of the criminal record dating less than three (3) months (Tribunal);

-          The receipts and tax certificates for the BIC and License or the TPU of the current year (Tax Office);

-          Receipts of contributions to the CCIB ;

-          Two (2) recent passport photos;

-          An information sheet to obtain from the Directorate of Internal Trade;

-          A corporate location card to obtain from the Directorate of Internal Trade (INN);;

-          Approval for activities subject to specific regulations issued by the Competent Authority of the relevant sector ;

-          A valid residence permit for foreigners.

1.3/ - Establishment of the circuit sheet in Gabon

The circuit sheet is set at the Service Stop Shop for Private Investment Promotion Agency (PIPA), BP 13740 Libreville GABON; Phone: (241) 7. 87 66.

Withdrawal may be performed on Thursdays from 8:00 to 1. a.m. and 3:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

The list of required documents includes :

-       A copy of the firm's statutes;

-       A copy of the extract from the Commercial Registry ;

-       Extract from the criminal record of the country of origin of the manager or director of the company;

-       A photocopy of the residence permit for foreigners ;

-       A supporting document from a commercial checking account at a local bank;

-       The receipt of payment of tax on the BIC of the current year (payments) ;

-       The receipt of payment of dues to the Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Agriculture and the Gabon Mines for the current year ;

-       Three (03) passport photos of the Manager or Director of the Company;

-       Two fact sheets to obtain from the Directorate of Foreign Trade;


 

2/ - EXPORTATION PROCEDURE IN GABON

The export procedure includes three (3) stages: :

(i)            the import declaration ;

(ii)           the establishment of the certificate of origin ;

(iii)          pre-shipment inspection

2.1/ - Export Declaration

The export of any good or service is subject to obtaining the export declaration from the Directorate of Foreign Trade.

Documents attesting to the exporter status are :

-       The registration number in the Registry of trade and personal property credit;

-       Valid circuit sheet ;

-       The tax registration number.

Restricted or banned products list

Restricted goods

Special Formalities

Mining product

-       Exploitation or concession license for mining products;

-       Export authorization issued by the Ministry of Mines

Precious substances

Certificate of origin issued against payment of 50 000F CFA for diamonds and 2. 000 CFA for other precious substances and a visa from the customs administration

Common game spoils and trophies

Hunting licence

Processed wood

A minimum quota of transformation, which the level of is determined annually by order of the Minister of Water and Forests

Fishing products landed in Gabon and subsequently exported

Health certificate

2.2/ - Establishment of the certificate of origin

Certificates of origin for goods for export are issued by the chamber of commerce, industry, agriculture and mining against presentation of the export declaration accompanied by a list of products to be exported and possibly special formalities;

2.3/ - Controlling the quality of goods to be exported from Gabon

In Gabon, the pre-shipment inspection regime, entrusted to BIVAC, applies to both import and export. The inspection of the goods is as follows:

-       Information from the inspection company by the exporter;

-       Presentation by the exporter of the goods to be controlled to the officials responsible for the inspection;

-       Delivery of a copy of the final invoice with the appropriate bill of lading or airway bill (AWB) and the packing list;

-       Payment of merchandise presentation fee (unpacking, repacking, handling, testing, waste of time, etc.);

The outcome of the inspection is followed by:

-       Attachment of the "Security Label" on a copy of the final invoice;

-       Delivery of a notice of inspection results (ARI) to the importer.

2.4/- Export Payment

The proceeds from the export of goods from Gabon must be domiciled with an intermediary bank when its value exceeds five million francs (5,000,000 FCFA). The intermediary must open a case on behalf of the exporter comprising of the following:

-       Exchange engagement ;

-       A copy of the export contract ;

-       A copy of the export certificate corresponding to the payment of export domiciled; (This certificate is presented to the customs services along with the commodity) ;

-       A copy of the export declaration ;

-       the notice of debiting of the foreign correspondent ;

-       The notice of transfer received via the BEAC.

The export is considered effective when the goods have been declared for export and customs has verified the consistency of the information on the export certificate and the invoice (nature, purpose, quantity, value ).


 

3/ - IMPORT PROCEDURES IN GABON

The import procedure in Gabon has four (4) main steps:

(i)            establishment of the import intention;

(ii)           production of the certificate of origin;

(iii)          quality control of imported goods;

(iv)         clearance of import payments.

3.1/ - Establishment of the import intention (DPI)

It is established automatically on request by the Directorate of Foreign Trade services, without restriction of quantity and value. It has a term of six (6) months, renewable once for three months.

3.2/ - Obtaining the certificate of origin

The original certificate accompanying the imported merchandise must be presented to customs in order to benefit from the goods of exemptions from import duties and taxes resulting from agreements.

3.3/ - Quality control of imported goods

To control the various imports to Gabon, there shall be a pre-shipment verification system of the goods by the BIVAC company (Veritas Group).

There are some exemptions, including personal items, perishable foods, drugs, goods imported with total exemption from duties and taxes or goods worth less than five hundred thousand francs (500,000 CFA francs).

The following documents are required:

-       The import intention

-       Two copies of the invoice;

-       Debit transaction with a recognized bank as an intermediary authorized in accordance with the exchange regulations.

The inspection comprises of the following steps:

-       The importer letting the seller know of the inspection decision;

-       The seller letting the inspection firm know ;

-       Presentation of the goods to the control by the seller to the agents responsible for the inspection;

-       Delivery of a copy of the final invoice with the appropriate bill of lading or airway bill (AWB) and the packing list;

-       Payment by the importer of the customs service fee of 1% of the FOB value declared;

-       Payment of the merchandise presentation fees (unpacking, repacking, handling, testing, waste of time, etc.);

The outcome of the inspection is endorsed by:

-       Attachment of the "Security Label" on a copy of the final invoice;

-       Delivery of a notice of inspection results (ARI) to the importer;

-       The issuance of a certificate of verification (AV) or "a notice of certificate refusal" on security paper in which the customs authority shall decide on the nature of the goods (tariff heading and description of the products), the FOB value or currency reference, origin and provenance and exchange rates.

An import inspection tax (TVI) at the rate of 1% of the customs value is levied on imports subject to PVI.

List of products subject to restrictions or prohibitions

The importation of any goods in Gabon is free, except for those that may affect the security of the state, public health or morals or of a strategic nature.

Restricted goods

Necessary authorization or approval

Sugar

Licensing regime with a share of 90% reserved until 2008 to the only national domestic producer SUCAF Gabon

Rough diamonds

Certification and Marketing: Kimberley Process

Fist weapons

President of the Republic's authorization

Weapons and hunting ammunition

Interior Ministry's authorization

Pharmaceuticals

Operating authorization issued by the Ministry of Health

Cell phones and other communication devices

Approved by the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority

Meat, animal slaughter and fishery products

health certificates

Plants and packaging used for their transportation

Phytosanitary certificate

Bird food, porcine origins and derivatives

Prior import declaration

Eggs

Require labeling

Cosmetic or pharmaceutical products

an informative label in French, which indicates the origin, use-by date, and the qualities of the substances used

3.4/ - Debit payment of imports

The goods imported from countries other than those in the franc zone and of an FOB equal or superior to five million francs (5,000,000 FCFA) must be domiciled with an approved intermediary bank and its payment depends on the visa of an import certificate. The intermediary bank must open a domiciliation file with two (2) copies of the invoice or the commercial contract of which an endorsed copy is given to the importer.

The import is considered effective and the transfer may take place when the import certificate has been verified and endorsed by the Customs Service who will ensure the consistency of the information on the certificate of importation and invoice (nature, country of origin, quantity, value).


 

4/- CLEARANCE PROCEDURE IN GABON

In Gabon customs offices:

-       Libreville               : 4 (Port Owendo, Port Mole, airport and postal sorting center) ;

-       Port-Gentil                        : 2 (Port and Airport) ;

-       Mayumba             : 1 (harbor) ;

-       Oyem                   : 1 (road border customs) ;

-       Bitam                    : 1 (road border customs) ;

-       Moanda                : 1 (road border customs) ;

-       Coco beach           : 1 (maritime border customs) ;

-       Mvengué              : 1 (airport customs).

4.1/ - Clearance procedure for export in Gabon

Export of goods from Gabonese territory includes the following steps :

        i.            registration of detailed declaration documents; ;

      ii.            documentary verification ;

    iii.            possible physical audit;

    iv.            liquidation and payment of duties and taxes;

      v.            removal of the goods.

4.1.1/ - Recording of detailed declaration

In Gabon, all goods exported shall be subject to a detailed declaration assigning them a customs procedure. The detailed declaration is made either in writing or by computer (ASYCUDA) or orally. This requires four (4) steps:

(i)            establishment of the single customs declaration (DDU) made by a certified customs officer;

(ii)           submission of the detailed declaration to the clerical division;

(iii)          Reception of detailed declaration by controlling the presence of mandatory documents which are;

-          The invoice;

-          The certificate of origin;

-          the special export license if necessary;

-          the exchange commitment certificate ;

-          the export certificate;

-          the verification certificate.

(iv)         registration of the detailed declaration as received.

4.1.2/ - Examination of the goods

After registration of the detailed declaration, the Customs Administration proceeds to check documents. If it sees fit, it shall verify all or part of the goods declared.

The results of the verification through tests (weight, length, area, number or volume of goods) accepted by the declarant, as a basis to determine the quantities of goods to be considered for the clearance of goods.

The transport of goods on the premises of the audit, unpacking, repacking and any other handling required by the audit is carried out at the expense and under the responsibility of the registrant.

4.1.3/ - Liquidation and payment of tax duties

The duties and taxes to be collected are those in effect on the date of registration of the detailed declaration. The duties and taxes assessed by the Customs Administration are payable in cash, by cheque or any other legal means of payment.

4.1.4/ - Removal of goods

No goods may be removed from customs offices or places designated by the Customs Administration without the duties and taxes that have been previously paid, recorded or guaranteed.

Goods can not be removed without the permission of the Customs Administration.

4.2/ - Clearance procedure for import in Gabon

The import clearance procedure in Gabon has three (3) phases:

(i)            customs declaration ;

(ii)           establishing the voucher;

(iii)          assessment of duties and taxes.

4.2.1/ - Customs declaration

The accounting requires the following parts:

-          The original invoice;

-          Bill of lading, which is the contract between the shipper and the carrier;

-          A packing list that provides comprehensive description of the contents of the packages;

-          Insurance;

-          Bordeaux cargo identification (BIC) issued by the Gabonese Shippers Council;

-          Certificate of Origin (Form EUR. for products originating in the European Union);

-          Certificate of radioactive non-contamination for food products;

-          Phytosanitary certificates for plant products.

In addition, the simplified import declaration (DIS) or "green channel" allows the production of the removal of the goods at the time of filing. Access to this circuit is given by Customs on an annual renewable basis. The DIS final report must be completed within 15 days.

4.2.2/ - Establishing the right to remove goods

The removal of the goods voucher is issued on the basis of the following documents:

-          "Visits per test" (about 20% of declarations not eligible to the green channel);

-          Or after a full tour

In principle, the clearance time is two days after the deposit of the customs declaration with all the required documents.

4.2.2/ - Liquidation of taxes and duties

The goods imported for consumption regime in Gabon are subject to various fees and taxes on the CIF value.

Important : the tax base products:

-          Locally manufactured goods is the price at the factory gates before taxes, with a 30% allowance;

-          Imported goods is the customs value plus duties and taxes at customs, with the exception of VAT.