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1.1/ - Formalities for obtaining export status

In Benin, the performance of the export business is not subject to any prior procedure. Any natural or legal person of any nationality can export freely the products authorized for export.

However, the export of gold, diamonds and all other precious metals is subject to the prior opinion of the Minister of Finance. 

In Benin, the exercise of the import business is subject to:

- First obtaining the importer's card;
- Establishment of the import file.

1.2/- Formalities for obtaining an importer in Benin

These procedures include two (2) steps:

- registration in the commercial register;
- Establishment of the importer's card.

1.2.1/- Registration at Beninese commercial register
    For commercial companies or companies For individuals  
Place :   Formalities center of Companies (Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Benin, Tel (229) 21 31 20 81 ; 01 BP 31 Cotonou)   
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    - 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 (judicial ruling birth certificate, valid identification card).     


- 10,000 for domestic companies

- 7000 for foreign companies   

- 5000 for national

- 7000 for foreign          

1.2.2/- Establishment of the Importer map

Place: General Manager of Foreign Trade, Promotion Directorate of Foreign Trade (01 BP 363 Cotonou;. Phone (229) 21 30 70 10)

Documents to be submitted The list of documents required for obtaining the importer's card is as follows:

- 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 issued by the Ministry of the Interior, Security and Territorial Administration (MISAT)

- The receipt of down payment under the tax BIC of the year;

- The receipt of payment of the license of importer of the current year (Tax Office);

- The receipt of payment of dues to the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Benin (CCIB) for the current year;

- The receipt of payment of contributions to the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) or certificate of registration to the CNSS;

Cost :

- Revenue stamp francs (1,000 FCFA) paid to the Service Areas;

- Fixed right of establishment of the Importer card: thirty thousand francs (30,000 CFA francs)

Merchandise exports made from the territory of the Republic of Benin are made upon approval of the Directorate for Foreign Trade of the issuance of the origin or export title certificate.

Obtaining the certificate of origin or export title is subject to the submission of the following documents:

- The certificate of origin Form duly completed

- Export authorization request

- Customs Title

- Currency Commitment to export

- Photocopy of the customs declaration signed by Customs

- EUR1 Movement Certificate and the Generalized System of form preference for products to Europe

Exports are not being controlled boarding. 

IMPORTANT: The certificate of origin or export document is issued free of charge.


The import process in Benin has three (3) main steps:

- Establishment of the import intention;

- Obtaining the certificate of origin;

- Quality control of imported goods;

- Domiciliation of imports.

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 certificate of origin accompanying the imported goods must be presented to customs to have the CEMAC originating goods benefit from exemption from duties and taxes on imports.

3.3/ - Quality control of imported goods

To control the various imports to Benin, is hereby established a system of verification before shipment of the goods. This check is performed by the company BIVAC (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:

- Informing the seller by the importer of the inspection decision;

- Information from the inspection company by the seller;

- Presentation of the goods to the controller 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), 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:

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

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

- Issuing of the certificate on Intelligence Price whereby the customs department decides on the nature of the goods (tariff heading and description of the products), FOB value or currency reference, origin and provenance and exchange rate. CRP is a compulsory incorporation of a customs declaration.

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

3.4/ - Import domiciliation

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).


4.1/ - Export customs clearance

The collection of duties and taxes (SDR) is suspended since. February 1993. However, the suspension does not apply to the export of precious metals, crude oil and cocoa beans.

4.2/ - clearance procedure for the import of Benin

The import clearance procedure is done by six (6) major steps:
- presentation of goods at Customs
- submission of the detailed declaration
- registration of the declaration
- Verification
- Payment of fees
- removal of the goods

4.2.1/ - Customs of goods conveyed

When goods arrive at a border (maritime, land or air), they are put in stores and clearance areas by agents of the companies responsible for the operation of these sites.

At land borders, the goods are directly routed through legal channels to Customs Office nearest you. These goods are covered by a summary declaration for their treatment by Customs.

4.2.2/ - Filing of the detailed declartion (written or verbal)

All goods going through customs (including those enjoying exemption from customs duties and taxes) should be subject to a detailed declaration to assign them a customs procedure.

Persons entitled to declare to customs: Pursuant to Article 80 of the Customs Code of the Economic and Monetary Union of West Africa (UEMOA) and Article 97 of the Benin Customs Code are skills to declare in detail the imported goods:
- The Owner ;
- The holder of a commission approval by Customs;
- Transport companies.

Documents necessary for the detailed declaration are:

- The manifest, bill of lading (sea), the Air Waybill (Airway), the consignment note (land);

- Invoices (suppliers, freight and insurance and other documents to determine the value WTO);

- The packing list

- The importer card;

- The certificate of origin required;

- Certificate of Information on Prices formerly Customs Valuation Certificate (issued by BIVAC for goods whose FOB value is greater than or equal to three (03) million) and the Goods Inspection Certificate;

- Receipt CIPAF (issued by the Tax Service)

- The phytosanitary certificate for certain products (meat, offal, frozen fish, etc.).

4.2.3/ - Recording

Registration includes the following activities:

- Admissibility by controlling the presence of mandatory documents (documents necessary for detailed declaration;

- The computer data;

- The clearance priori manifest.

The recording of the detailed declaration is done by the Automated System Customs Data (ASYCUDA).

4.2.4/ - Verification

Verification concerns:

- Control of declarative elements (tariff classification, origin, value, number, weight of goods etc.) and attachments for detailed declaration;

- Determination of the liquidation and assessment of duties and taxes;

- Visit of the physical commodity as appropriate (red circuit)

4.2.5/ - Liquidation and Payment of Duties

The payment of duties and taxes liquidated enables:

- Issuing receipts;

- Issuing of Goods To Remove (BAE).

4.2.6/ - The transport of goods

The removal of the goods is performed under the control of the Customs Brigade. It includes several phases:

- Checking the authenticity of customs documents (declaration, removal voucher, receipt);

- The unloading;

- The issuance of the output good;

The removal of the goods with or without ecor.
It should be noted at land borders, ecor is through the management of goods.