Skip to end of metadata
Go to start of metadata


Burundi Customs Information

For information Burundi Customs Information contact details, please see the following links: 

4.2.2 Burundi Humanitarian Agency Contact List

4.2.1 Burundi Government Contact List

Emergency Response:

[Note: This section contains information which is related and applicable to ‘crisis’ times. These instruments can be applied when an emergency is officially declared by the Government.  When this occurs, there is usually a streamlined process to import goods duty and tax free.]

Agreements / Conventions Description

Ratified by Country?

(Yes / No)

WCO (World Customs Organization) member

Yes 20 Oct 1964

Annex J-5 Revised Kyoto Convention

n/a 

OCHA Model Agreement

n/a  

Tampere Convention (on the Provision of Telecommunication Resources for Disaster Mitigation and Relief Operations)

Yes

Regional Agreements (on emergency/disaster response, but also customs unions, regional integration)

n/a

Exemption Regular Regime (Non-Emergency Response)

[Note: This section should contain information on the usual duties & taxes exemption regime during non-emergency times, when there is no declared state of emergency and no streamlines process (e.g. regular importations/development/etc.).

Humanitarian aid imports can enter Burundi duty and tax free but there are certain limitations. The customs legislation in force in Burundi, governed by decree law No1/58 of 12/11/1971, does not include specific legal provisions for humanitarian aid imports.
Only in its Chapter 7, Article 89 is it stipulated: “Duties and taxes exemption is allowed, within the limits and in the conditions determined by the Minister for Finance, for the goods imported under diplomatic, consular or similar privileges [translated]”.
As such, under the current national legislation of Burundi, this importation concession is not absolute but under the discretion of the Minister of Finance through OBR, principal revenue collection body of the Government of Burundi.
The Department of the Customs is under the direct supervision OBR (Office Burundais des Recettes) of the Minister for Finance. It is the Minister for Finance who appoints the Director and the Executives of Customs.
The Minister of Finance also controls the budget and makes important ministerial decisions relating to their functioning.
Concerning the customs codes for release for free circulation, it varies according to the tariff classification of individual goods. It is necessary to know this for the nature of the goods, the composition, and the operation or the use of the goods.
The Customs department has made an official customs tariff guide in which the goods are classified in a nomenclature with all the information stated above.
Thus, the customs regimes and sub-regimes make it possible for automatic taxation through the information processing system SYDONIA (Automated Customs System).
As a side note, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Co-operation is the entity under the Government of Burundi to be the focal point of communication between the Government and international aid organizations in the general context and execution of operations.
Thus, any step to take goods out of customs bond is not possible without the approval of the aforesaid Ministry.

Organizational Requirements to obtain Duty Free Status

United Nations Agencies

The duty free status comes through the Memorandum of Understanding (Cooperation Agreement) that is signed between the UN agency and the Government of Burundi.

This is related to the activities and transactions of the Agency linked to the execution of its statutory objectives and the accomplishment of its remit.

There are two types of exemptions:

  1. Exemption from custom duties.
  2. Tax exemption.

Non Governmental Organizations

The Agency has to be officially registered in the country and this is done through the NGO Unit in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. (See Guide for International NGOs in Burundi).

The issue of a waiver on income tax, other taxes and customs duties is stated in the Customs law of the country: la loi no.1/011 of the 23 June 1999 for NGOs in articles 24, 25 and 26 as well as in the articles of the General Convention of cooperation between the Government and the NGO.

In principle, the exemption is granted even though there are certain reservations in the law that are conditional.

These reservations may serve as a basis for the concerned authorities to refuse exemption for items that do not correspond to the description of the project. For this reason the request for exemption is evaluated on a case by case basis.

The Memorandum of Understanding between the Government and INGOs states that tax and duty exemption could be awarded to the INGOs. In the case of UN agencies, the exemption is granted in the MOU.

Exemption Certificate Application Procedure

 

An annual purchase plan of equipment and supplies may be required from NGOs and this has to be sent to the NGO Unit in the Ministry of Foreign Affaires with a copy to the Ministry of Finance.
It will be useful as well to state the area of implementation of projects and the amount of beneficiaries targeted.
Article 22 of the law for NGOs defines the obligation of NGOs to give tax exempted imported equipments and supplies remaining after the implementation of the program to local groups, associations etc.
An acceptance for an exemption of duties and tax by the Office of Customs and Tax for imported project items or locally purchased is subjected to a cover letter from the Governor of the Province where the beneficiaries are located.
Personnel effects of NGO expatriate staff could also be exempted from duty and taxes provided they are imported within the first six months upon arrival.
The above could be different for UN Agencies that have a different agreement to that of the NGOs.
For Burundi Customs exemption certificate application procedure additional details, please see the following document:

 

Customs Clearance Document Requirements (by commodity)

 

Food

NFI

(Shelter, WASH, Education)

Medicines

Vehicles

&

Spare Parts

Staff

& Office Supplies

Telecoms Equipment

D&T Exemption Certificate

Yes, Original, 1 copy, applies to both UN and NGOs

Yes, Original, 1 copy, applies to both UN and NGOs

Yes, Original, 1 copy, applies to both UN and NGOs

Yes, Original, 1 copy,

applies to both UN and NGOs

Yes, Original, 1 copy,

applies to both UN and NGOs

Yes, Original, 1 copy,

applies to both UN and NGOs

Invoice

Yes, Original, 1 copy, applies to both UN and NGOs

Yes, Original, 1 copy, applies to both UN and NGOs

Yes, Original, 1 copy, applies to both UN and NGOs

Yes, Original, 1 copy,

applies to both UN and NGOs

Yes, Original, 1 copy,

applies to both UN and NGOs

Yes, Original, 1 copy,

applies to both UN and NGOs

AWB/BL/Other Transport Documents

Yes, Original, 1 copy, applies to both UN and NGOs

Yes, Original, 1 copy, applies to both UN and NGOs

Yes, Original, 1 copy, applies to both UN and NGOs

Yes, Original, 1 copy,

applies to both UN and NGOs

Yes, Original, 1 copy,

applies to both UN and NGOs

Yes, Original, 1 copy,

applies to both UN and NGOs

Donation/Non-Commercial Certificates

Yes, Original, 1 copy, applies to both UN and NGOs

Yes, Original, 1 copy, applies to both UN and NGOs

Yes, Original, 1 copy, applies to both UN and NGOs

Yes, Original, 1 copy,

applies to both UN and NGOs

Yes, Original, 1 copy,

applies to both UN and NGOs

Yes, Original, 1 copy,

applies to both UN and NGOs

Packing Lists

Yes, Original, 1 copy, applies to both UN and NGOs

Yes, Original, 1 copy, applies to both UN and NGOs

Yes, Original, 1 copy, applies to both UN and NGOs

Yes, Original, 1 copy,

applies to both UN and NGOs

Yes, Original, 1 copy,

applies to both UN and NGOs

Yes, Original, 1 copy,

applies to both UN and NGOs

Phytosanitary Certificate

Yes, Original, 1 copy, applies to both UN and NGOs

Yes, Original, 1 copy, applies to both UN and NGOs

Yes, Original, 1 copy, applies to both UN and NGOs

Yes, Original, 1 copy,

applies to both UN and NGOs

Yes, Original, 1 copy,

applies to both UN and NGOs

Yes, Original, 1 copy,

applies to both UN and NGOs

Other Documents

Yes, Original, 1 copy, applies to both UN and NGOs.

Cargo Manifest, Fumigation certificate, Certificate of weight and quality.

Ditto Cargo manifest

Ditto Certificate of Good manufacturing practice. Test certificates.

Cargo Manifest. Authorisation from the Ministry Of Health for the Importation.

Ditto Certificate of Origin, Cargo Manifest.

Ditto Cargo manifest.

Ditto Cargo manifest

Authorisation from ARCT for importation.

Additional Notes

NOTE: The copy here refers to one of the 3 copies submitted for the duty and tax exemption process.

All copies of the documents are to be signed at all approval, authorizing stages and a copy kept by each signatory of the documents.

 

Customs Clearance

For contact information regarding government custom authorities, please follow the link: 

4.2.1 Burundi Government Contact List

This is general information on the customs clearance of goods into Burundi. Please contact the customs authorities for more information. Operational clearing offices are located in Bujumbura, Kayanza, Gitega and Kobero border

General Information 

Customs Information

Document Requirements

Required Documents include:

ECTN/bill of lading/airway bill; commercial invoice; packing list; fumigation certificate; deed of donation; certificate of origin;

signed Memorandum of Understanding with Burundi (see the “Guide for International NGOs in Burundi”, May 2001 (Guide des ONG Internationales au Burundi

Embargoes

None

Prohibited Items

Goods which do not correspond to the goals of the projects, or which do not conform to the prescribed regulations (e.g. expired medications) are prohibited.

General Restrictions

Goods that have gone over the expiry dates are not permitted.

Transit Regime

  • Transit is one of the Customs declarations carried out for goods transiting the country.
  • A truck driver at the entry point into the country will submit the documents; 
  • T1 is applied on line is issued for  related to the cargo on board the vehicle against bond equal to cargo value issued by a customs clearing agent.
  • The truck will arrive in Bujumbura and proceeds straight to the ‘Bujumbura Port’.
  • The customs clearance will start with the sealed documents from the border post at the Customs Office for the transit of goods.
  • After completion of the formalities, the truck is escorted to the border point of exit where all the custom documents for the transit declaration are stamped.
  • The Escort from the Customs receives a copy of the documents and then returns to Bujumbura. The customs process for goods in transit could take 2 days.
  • Goods in transit can also be off-loaded in the Customs warehouse at the Port of Bujumbura. This warehouse is managed by Global Port Bujumbura. 

For further information, please refer to the Official site of ‘Office Burundais des Recettes’ (OBR):

Office Burundais des Recettes

 

The country is landlocked. Entry points for Customs issues are:

  • Border with Rwanda: Kanyaru haut, Gasenyi , RUHWA
  • Border with Tanzania:  Kobero, Mugina
  • Border with DRC: Gatumba
  • Lake Tanganyika : Bujumbura Port                         
  • Bujumbura Airport.

Border Entry Points Map

The Custom Officers at the border points are rotated regularly.


Updated information for customs and border entry procedure see following link:

Trade Market Information for Burundi