For contact information regarding government custom authorities, please follow the link below:
[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.]
In the following table, state which of the following agreements and conventions apply to the country and if there are any other existing ones
Agreements / Conventions Description
Ratified by Country?
(Yes / No)
WCO (World Customs Organization) member
Annex J-5 Revised Kyoto Convention
OCHA Model Agreement
Tampere Convention (on the Provision of Telecommunication Resources for Disaster Mitigation and Relief Operations)
Regional Agreements (on emergency/disaster response, but also customs unions, regional integration)
[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 goods imported by NGOs or UN Agencies can have total or partial exemptions of duties and taxes according to agreements signed with Cameroonian government.
Without agreements, national Custom legislation is as follows:
Imported goods are submitted to 4 different regime :
Export Regime (EX8)
For all local purchase done in Cameroon and destined to Chad or CAR.
Temporary Admission Regime (IM5)
Applied for vehicles and others identifiable equipment imported in Cameroon for humanitarian purposes. Admission certificate is valid 1 or 2 years renewable.
Organizational Requirements to obtain Duty Free Status
United Nations Agencies
As per the agreement signed with the government of Cameroon, UN Agencies are exempted from all import/Export taxes, including the VAT. However, for each importation or exportation, a waiver should be obtained from both the Ministry of External Relations and the Customs headquarters in Yaoundé, the capital city of Cameroon.
Non Governmental Organizations
NGOs must sign an agreement with the Government of Cameroon to be allowed to work in the country. This agreement will also be needed to open a bank account in Cameroon.
Authorization to work in Cameroon:
Application file has to be sent to MINATD (Ministere de l’Administration Territoriale et de la Decentralisation) and copied to MINREX (Ministere des Relations Exterieures):
This application is validated by MINATD prior MINREX first agreement on the application. Application file can be sent directly and at the same time to both ministries to speed up the process.
Registration on the NGO directory:
When NGO has the authorization to work in the country, it can apply to be registered in the NGO directory, after 3 years of activity in the country. File has to be sent to the province governor by the canal of the MINREX or directly by the office of the NGO’s with the following documents :
Only this registration can allow NGO to be exempted from Customs duties and charges. The registration process made take time to be finalized.
A technical commission is created to follow up NGO activities. This commission is composed of National authorities and civil society members. Donors can also be part of the commission. The application file will be checked and transmitted to MINATD in a period of maximum 30 days.
MINATD has also a maximum of 75 days from the deposit date of the final file by the Commission, to give its decision. Beyond this period, agreement is automatically given to the NGO.
Agreement is renewable every 5 years.
More details are given in Law 99/014 of December 22nd, 1999, governing NGO in Cameroon.
Duties and Taxes Exemption Application Procedure
Generalities (include a list of necessary documentation)
The hereby under procedure remains the same since 2004 without any change.
To obtain the waiver/exemption, the UN country Office Agency or NGO’s should:
Send a ‘‘note verbale’’ to the Ministry of External Relations (MINREX).
An original copy of the bill of lading should be attached to the request.
Once the visa of the MINREX is granted, the waiver/exemption document is sent to the Customs Headquarters.
The visa of the MINREX is to attest, as per the agreement with the government of Cameroon, that the Agency is normally exempted from all taxes for its cargo imported or exported.
For the next stage, the waiver/exemption should be attached to shipping documents and sent to the forwarder at least ten days prior to the vessel’s ETA.
Shipping documents should include:
It should be noted that UN agencies are not exempted from taxes related to services provided, such as the computer tax or container parking fees.
Finally, it should be specified that for all goods imported to Cameroon, the importer must obtain a document called ‘BESC’ from the local representative/agent of the Cameroon National Shipper Council (CNSC) in the country of import. The cost of the BESC is 55 Euros per B/L and by trench of 10 TEUs. The number of the BESC should be mentioned on the bill of lading.
However, UN agencies have been exempted from this procedure, which is also not applicable for goods in transit to Chad and the Central African Republic (CEMAC convention).
Cameroon is signatory to the UN Convention on privileges and immunity. This means that UN agencies cannot be prosecuted in Cameroonian courts. It is advisable to make sure that this clause is always clearly mentioned in all contracts in order to avoid any misunderstanding.
As well, the clause on arbitration should also be added in all contracts, clearly be mentioning that eventual disputes should be solved according to the rules and regulations of UNCITRAL.
As to the sanitary, phyto-sanitary, health and quality checks applicable in importation, pursuant to current Cameroonian legislation, operators and/or their representatives are required to fulfil formalities, to be submitted to the competent service “the One-Stop Shop Phyto-sanitary Unit” (Bureau Unique).
To avoid any delays and prior to the handing operations, the Phyto-sanitary inspection report should be discharged to the Customs service.
As for a number of products defined by the law and which appear on a list posted at the Phyto-sanitary Unit, it is important to initially check the possibility of importing such items via a phyto-sanitary inspection sanctioned by a phyto-sanitary inspection report.
This precaution is of prime importance as joint inspections may be conducted (pursuant to the Minister of Agriculture’s Memo N° 00917 of 13th September 1999) by the Customs, the Representative and the Phyto-sanitary services.
Several scenarios are worthy depending on whether the goods fall within the scope of the Customs Revenue Security Programme (Programme de Sécurisation des Recettes Douanières – PSRD) sets up by Presidential Ordinance N° 95/004 of 7th December 1995 (see Article 3, paragraph 2). There are 3 scenarios:
Goods with a FOB value less than CFAF 1 million: not subject to inspection;
Goods with a FOB value equal to or more than CFAF 1 million, but less than CFAF 2 million: subject to a mild inspection procedure;
Goods with a FOB value more than CFAF 2 million: subject to inspection prior to loading or shipment;
The first two scenarios are merged hereunder, while the more specific third option is subject to a particular procedure.
IMPORT TRANSACTIONS on goods not subject to inspection (FOB value less than CFAF 1 million or between CFAF 1 and 2 million) :
2. The operators or their representatives shall report to the Douala Port Authority (PAD) Unit at the One-Stop Shop to pay the port charges of the goods. The operator shall provide the PAD staff with the following documents :
3. Thereafter the operator or representative shall pay the required port charges drawn by the PAD staff at the One-Stop Shop Bank Unit, designated by the PAD, which issues a receipt to the operator or representative and proceed to transfer the money collected to the PAD account.
4. The forwarding agent/authorised customs broker designated by the operator shall establish the Customs Declaration from his/her own terminal linked to the SIDONIA IT system or one of the system terminals installed at the Customs Clearance Unit (Unité Banalisée de Dédouanement - UDB) of the One-Stop Shop (Guichet Unic). He/she then prints out the Customs Declaration using the printer in his/her office or the printer of the UDB.
5. The operator or representative shall now move on to the One-Stop Shop Treasury to settle the taxes and duties (if exempted, only Computer tax must be paid: 15.000 XFA).
The unit staff issues a receipt immediately upon payment of taxes and duties, and updating of the Customs Declaration data on the SIDONIA system.
6. The printout or hard copy of the Customs Declaration shall be submitted to the service in charge of admissibility at the Customs unit with the following documents attached :
The supplier’s final invoice;
It made have an exception where the “containerised” cargo (in a FLC container inspected prior to loading at the country of shipment and affixed with a safety seal, the integrity of which had been confirmed upon arrival) falls within the scope of Ministerial Directive N°060/CF/MINEFI/DD of 1st November 1999 to set up the “Green Channel” (Canal Vert) at the Douala Port.
7. Depending on the control criteria managed by the SIDONIA information system and the appraisal of the Customs services, the Delivery Order (Bon à Enlever – BAE) is issued immediately and the operator and/or their representative notified immediately.
Otherwise, further information is requested from the forwarding agent/authorised customs broker (documents and forms/printouts related to the file) and/or (in restricted proportions and upon suspicion of fraud) a customs inspection of the goods conducted at the Douala Port.
IMPORT TRANSACTIONS on goods with a FOB value equal to or more than CFAF 2 million (within the scope of the Customs Revenue Security Programme (Programme de Sécurisation de Recettes douanières - PSRD):
c. The staff of the licensed institution’s unit shall access the Import Declaration file (previously constituted and domiciled) on the screen of his/her workstation (connected to the licensed institution’s information system), carry out crosschecks and key in the following additional data:
d. In the event of disagreement on the price classification or customs value of the goods, the operator or representative may request a sampling permit (D 41 model) from the Customs Service and an inspection of the goods. The inspection shall be jointly conducted by the licensed institution and the Customs Service (pursuant to Section I, Paragraph 2 of Ministerial Directive N°00268 of 15th December 1995 to set up the Customs Revenue Security Programme (PSRD). The outcome of the joint inspection may lead to an amendment of the Temporary Taxation Slip (TTS). Thereafter, a new printout of the document is produced at the licensed institution’s One-Stop Shop unit and the corrected TTS submitted for approval and signature to the operator or representative.
e. The operator or representative shall validate the TTS by indicating approval to the licensed institution’s unit staff (by appending his/her signature to the TTS).\
2. Import Formalities
a. On the basis of the Forwarding Instructions Slip previously received from the importer, the forwarding agent/authorised customs broker shall report to the licensed institution’s One-Stop Shop unit to obtain the final Taxation Slip. There, he/she shall submit the Temporary Taxation Slip obtained in the course of the initial formalities. He/she ought to have ensured that the document is duly validated.
b. On the basis of the duly validated Temporary Taxation Slip, the licensed institution shall print out the seven (7) copies of the final Taxation Slip on secured paper.
c.The staff of the licensed institution shall forward to the One-Stop shop bank units, directly and at given intervals (at least four times daily), copies of the final Taxation Slip. Twice a day, they shall forward copies of the final Taxation Slip to banking institutions with no unit at the One-Stop Shop.
d. To inform operators or their representatives of the Taxation Slips issued, the licensed institutions shall print out four times daily a list of final Taxation Slip numbers issued and sent to the bank units. For several days, the list is posted up on the premises of the licensed institution’s One-Stop Shop unit and/or at a place agreed upon with the One-Stop Shop executive management.
e. The operator or representative shall pay to the One-Stop Shop bank unit all taxes and duties indicated on the final Taxation Slip. The bank staff shall immediately issue a receipt and the paid Taxation Slip.
f. The operator shall then proceed to the Douala Port Authority (PAD) One-Stop Shop unit to settle the port charges on the goods and hand the following documents to the PAD staff :
e. The operator or operator’s representative shall pay the port charges due at the One-Stop Shop bank unit designated by the PAD. The bank shall issue a Receipt to the operator and transfer the funds collected to the PAD account.
i. The hard copy or printout of the Customs Declaration shall then be submitted to the Declarations admissibility service at the One-Stop Shop customs unit with the following documents attached :
j. On the basis of the control criteria managed by the SIDONIA system and the appraisal of the Customs Service, the Delivery Order is issued or not issued immediately. In the latter case, further information is requested from the forwarding agent (provision of documents and forms to complete the file) and/or a customs inspection of the goods at the Port.
k. In the event of compensation or exemption, the operator shall obtain the Settlement Form from the Customs Unit.
l. Thereafter, the operator or operator’s representative shall take the Settlement Form to the One-Stop Shop Treasury Unit. Upon cross-checking and, where necessary, an additional payment, the Treasury shall issue a Receipt.
m. The operator or operator’s representative shall hand the original copy of the Receipt to the licensed institution of the One-Stop Shop. Once the licensed institution’s staff have cross-checked and ascertained that the various elements tally with one another, the Taxation Slip is given to the operator and a copy forwarded by the licensed institution to the Treasury.
5. The licensed institution’s One-Stop Shop unit shall use its information system to issue the Export Declaration (ED) in six (6) copies, of which the former shall hand four (4) copies to the operator or operator’s representative. The licensed institution shall forward a copy of the ED at regular intervals to the unit of the domiciliation bank opened at the One-Stop Shop.
6. The operator or operator’s representative shall submit six (6) copies of the «Form 1: Export Domiciliation» to the One-Stop Shop bank unit along with two (2) copies of the invoice. The bank unit shall proceed immediately to register the domiciliation by :
7. The operator shall report to the Exchange Service unit, which shall register the Form 1 and key in – at the SIDONIA system terminal – the data entries of the foreign financial transaction and finally append his/her signature to the “Form 1 : Export Domiciliation” copies. Four (4) copies of the Form 1 shall then be handed to the operator who shall forward them to the Domiciliation Bank and Customs.
8. The forwarding agent/authorised customs broker shall print out the Customs Declaration using the SIDONIA system terminal installed in his/her office or at one of the terminals of the One-Stop Shop Customs Clearance Unit (UDB).
9. The forwarding agent/authorised customs broker shall submit the customs Declaration to the admissibility staff of the Customs Service with the following supporting documents :
10. On the basis of the selection and systematic control criteria for declarations covered by the SIDONIA system and the appraisal of the Customs Service, the Customs agent shall grant the Delivery Order or request an in-depth document examination or inspection of the goods. Once the Delivery Order is issued from the SIDONIA system or inspector in charge, the operator is notified immediately at the One-Stop Shop Customs unit.
Process to be followed (step by step or flowchart)
Steps for Importation of goods not subject to inspection prior to shipment :
There is any amendment since its establishment
The domiciled formalities for external trade transactions at the One-Stop Shop are:
For the importation of goods with a FOB value less than CFAF 2 million, the operator will have to accomplish six formalities:
The forwarding agent / authorised customs broker shall move to the PAD unit in order to pay the port charges related to goods and shall receive a receipt.
The forwarding agent / authorised customs broker shall pay the port charges to the bank which shall issue a receipt.
The forwarding agent / authorised customs broker shall establish and validate the Customs declaration. In case the value of the goods is between CFAF 1 and 2 million, the domiciled declaration is attached to the file.
The forwarding agent / authorised customs broker shall pay duties and taxes to the Treasury and receive a receipt (if not exempted).
The hard copy of the Customs Declaration shall be submitted to the service in charge of admissibility at the customs unit.
The customs agent shall immediately issue the Delivery Order (BAE) or request an inspection of the document and /or undertake a timely inspection of the goods.
Steps for Importation of goods subject to inspection prior to shipment (< CFAF 2 million) :
(inspection is not mandatory when the organization is exempted of customs duties and taxes)
The forwarding agent / authorised customs broker shall hand the Temporary Taxation Slip (Temporary TTS) to the SGS unit.
The SGS unit agent shall undertake further cross-checks and print out the Temporary Taxation slip.
Eventually, the forwarding agent/authorised customs broker can request from the customs headquarters a sampling permit (model D41) as well as an inspection of the goods.
The forwarding agent/authorised customs broker shall validate the temporary TTS by granting his/her approval to the SGS unit staff who shall print the 7 copies of the final TTS.
The SGS staff shall forward to the banking institution units copies of the final TTS.
The forwarding agent/authorised customs broker consults the list of the final TTS numbers issued by SGS to the bank units.
The forwarding agent/authorised customs broker shall pay to the bank the duties and taxes of the final TTS. The bank shall issue a receipt to the latter.
The forwarding agent/authorised customs broker shall proceed to the PAD unit to establish the invoice of the port charges on the goods.
The forwarding agent/authorised customs broker shall pay to the bank unit the port charges, in return for a receipt.
The forwarding agent/authorised customs broker shall establish and validate the Customs Declaration.
A hard copy of this Customs Declaration is handed to the service in charge of admissibility at the customs unit. The forwarding agent/authorised customs broker shall ensure that all the documents required are attached to the declaration.
The customs agent shall issue the Delivery Order (BAE) immediately or decide to examine the document or inspect the goods in time.
In case of any compensation or exemption transaction, the customs unit shall issue the Settlement Slip to the forwarding agent/authorised customs broker.
The Settlement Slip shall be presented to the Treasury unit, which shall issue a receipt
The forwarding agent/authorised customs broker shall present the original copy of the receipt to SGS, which shall issue the Taxation Slip to the latter.
Steps for Exportation of Cameroonian goods (except timber logs, cocoa, coffee) :
The same procedures are still applied since then without any amendment
The forwarding agent/authorised customs broker shall move to the bank unit opened at the One-Stop Shop to undertake the domiciliation of his foreign trade transaction. Thus he/she shall submit the Form1: Exportation Domiciliation.
The forwarding agent/authorised customs broker shall move to the service in charge of admissibility to countersign the Form 1: exportation domiciliation.
The forwarding agent/authorised customs broker shall enter the export file data at the computer terminal linked to the SIDONIA system.
The forwarding agent/authorised customs broker shall proceed to the PAD unit to establish the bill of port charges on goods.
The forwarding agent/authorised customs broker shall establish the Customs Declaration.
The hard copy of this Customs Declaration shall be submitted to the service in charge of admissibility at the customs unit. The forwarding agent/authorised customs broker shall ensure that all the required documents are attached to the Declaration.
The customs agent shall immediately grant the Delivery Order (BAE) or request a thorough document examination or inspection of the goods.
Duties and Taxes Exemption Certificate Document Requirements (by commodity)
NFI (Shelter, WASH, Education)
Vehicle & Spare Parts
Staff & Office Supplies
Yes Copy or (original pour CAR or Chad)
AWB/BL/Other Transport Documents
Yes Original, BL or Telex Release
Yes Copy or Original
Original or Copy
Original or Copy
Yes Phytosan. certif. Original
Phytosan. certif. Original
The supplier’s Trade invoice;
The freight invoice;
The insurance company invoice;
The bill of lading or seaway bill;
The packing list;
Any tax and duty exemption vouchers;
The domiciled Import Declaration (ID) (for transactions between CFAF 1 and 2 million only);
The phyto-sanitary inspection report on the products for which the formality is required.
Pesticides for agricultural use containing at least one of the following products (captafol, binapacryl, aldrin, heptachlor, dinosebe acetate, cyhexatin, 2-4-5 TCP, dinosebe, dieldrin)
Toxic waste and other industrial waste
Non iodized salt
Wheat flour from Nigeria
Bovine meat of European origin
Sea or bred fish, crustaceans and molluscs
Transmitters-receivers and other receivers
Weapons and war ammunitions
Precious substance (gold, platinum, sapphire…)
Customs Clearance Document Requirements (by commodity)
NFI (Shelter, WASH, Education)
Vehicles & Spare Parts
Staff & Office Supplies
D&T Exemption Certificate
Cerrificate of removal
AWB/BL/Other Transport Documents
Origin certificate original
Origin certificate original
Origin certificate original
Origin certificate original
Origin certificate original
Origin certificate original
Transit procedure on UN corridor :
When original shipping documents are received, a cover letter is prepared by UN office and given to the forwarding agent. On the cover letter are specified instructions on the custom regime, dispatching plan, tonnage. When the forwarding agent receives this document, he starts customs formality that will end by goods’ withdrawal.
When containers are transferred from DIT to the warehouse and customs documents ready, then dispatching process starts.
Goods loaded on trucks are not escorted but transit order and custom declaration are joined. Both documents are signed by all customs offices along the corridor up to the border.
General Provisions :
- The roads defined in CAR/Cameroon and Cameroon/Chad as concerned land transportation of goods are the sole legal roads known for the transit to CAR and to Chad.
- The customs services shall stamp transit declarations only in fix check points established according to the provisions of these conventions.
- Transit is done by land (road or railway) under the cover of IM8 customs declarations models. This instruction does not apply to transit by air or by sea.
- The D15 model declaration is liquidated by one or many transit vouchers, a transit voucher being a customs document which identifies a precise traveling cargo. It refers to the original IM8 declaration. It is stamped by the customs office services which have issued the original IM8
- In case of mixed transportation ways (rail/road) with loading disrupting at Belabo or at Ngaoundéré, new transit vouchers liquidating the first ones are issued there to escort the goods on the Belabo – CAR – Ngaoundéré – Chad trip.
- It is forbidden to visit goods in transit.
- Customs escort practice is finished.
- The transportation of manufactured products for export under the VAT system is done according to the provisions of this instruction.
- As concerns goods going to the other countries of the CAEMC (CEMAC) sub-region apart from CAR and Chad, the traditional procedure remains applicable.
PROCEDURES TO BE FOLLOWED AT THE CUSTOMS OFFICE ISSUING THE IM8
- An IM8 model declaration is subscribed by a CAEMC (CEMAC) chartered customs broker.
- The proof that the import operation has been made in the destination country’s currency is attached to the file.
- The handling of transit files is done by the competent office chief and the appointed visit inspector. The deadline for the handling of a file, from its reception to the signing of the “Good for Transit” shall not exceed two hours.
- The formalities to be fulfilled at the goods withdrawals point are the following: a transit voucher is issued for all goods withdrawals. It is signed by the Transit Chief of Service as soon as the cargo is loaded on the transportation vehicle.
- The service shows the legal road to follow on the transit voucher which keeps the same prescribed value as the IM8.
- No other visa is required until the withdrawal of the goods from the port or from the factory.
FORMALITIES TO BE FULFILLED ON THE WAY
- The customs agents present at check points shall make sure that the lead knots, the seals and the marks on the parcels transported have not been broken or altered, and that their numbers are identical to those mentioned on the original IM8 accompanying them or the transit voucher.
- They put their stamp on the original IM8 or on the transit voucher with the inscriptions “Seen on passage with seals or lead knots intact” and they mention the number of parcels presented. When the lead knots or seals are broken, the service mentions it on the IM8 or the transit voucher with the inscriptions “Seen on passage with lead knots or seals broken”. The customs agents immediately check the cargo and establish a report. A report may validly be written by a gendarmerie unit or by an administrative authority.
LIQUIDATING A IM8 AND A GUARANTEE REPLEVIN
The liquidation takes place at the customs issuing office on presentation :
- For goods going to CAR and Chad, transit vouchers duly signed on the road as well as in the destination country
- As concerned goods going to the other countries of the sub-region :
The original IM8 bearing the inscription (Seen on passage, lead knots intact, marks conform) by the customs units crossed
Of the proof that the goods shall be taken care of in the country of destination.
This complete file is deposited at the issuing customs office which after studying it, gives a guarantee replevin or any other answer within a period not exceeding two (02) clear days as from the registration date of the file. The period of 2 clearing days applies that the Customs scanner is working well and the port power supply which depends the office of Customs does not have any interruption.
Apart from the IM8 suspended for the export of products manufactured under the VAT system, any other IM8 model declaration are subjected to bank guarantees, except for special derogation given by the Minister of Finance and Budget.
- The bank guarantees cover the amount of duties and taxes.
- Partial replevin can be issued on presentation of N° 1 transit voucher samples having received a visa from the customs services of the country of destination.
- The immediate liquidation of duties in case of non-respect of the subscribed engagements is done after a previous contradictory procedure with the customs broker at the end of which a report is written and a copy of it notified to the tax payer. The latter has a period of eighty (08) days to settle the dispute. After this period, the guarantee is liquidated by the customs office Chief having issued the IM8.
- The guarantee must fulfill its engagements within a maximum period of seven (07) as from the first written application sent to it by the competent customs office chief.
- The chartered customs broken is responsible for the execution of the subscribed engagements.