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Djibouti Customs Information

Duties and Tax Exemption

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

4.1 Djibouti Government Contact List

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

Djibouti Customs Department Website

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 - 31 May 1995

Annex J-5 Revised Kyoto Convention

Yes - 12 Mar 2002

OCHA Model Agreement

No

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

No

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

  • Convention on the recognition and enforcement of foreign arbitral awards off 1958, which entered into force on 7 June 1959
  • Convention establishing the inter-Arab investment guarantees cooperation of May 1971. Entered into force in April 1974
  • Agreement for the Promotion, Protection and Guarantee of Investment among Member States of the Organization of Islamic Conference of I June 1981; entered into force on 23 September 1986.
  • Unified Agreement for the Investment of Arab Capital in the Arab States of 1982.
  • Fourth ACP – EEC Convention (Lome IV) of 1989, entered into force on 1 Mar 1990.
  • Charter on a Regime of Multinational Industrial Enterprises (MIEs) in the Preferential Trade Area for Eastern and Southern African States (PTA), signed on 21 November 1990, and entered into force August 1995. Source: Preferential Trade Area for Eastern and Southern African States: Report of the Sixteenth Meeting of the Council of Ministers, 17-19 November, 1990, Mbabane, Swaziland (PTA/CM/XVI/2).
  • Articles of Agreement of the Islamic Corporation for the Insurance of Investment and Export Credit of 19 February 1992. Entered into force on 1 August 1994.
  • Treaty Establishing the Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), 1993.
  • 1992 Convention International Trade Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flore. 
  • Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property of 1883 (Revised at Brussels in 1900, Washington in 1911, The Hague in 1925, London in 1934, Lisbon in 1958 and Stockholm in 1967, and as amended in 1979). Signed in 1994.
  • Marrakesh Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization of 15 April 1994. Entered into force on 1 January 1995;Agreement on Trade-Related Investment Measures; General Agreement on Trade in Services; Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights

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.).]

OPERATIONS EFFECTUEES A DIVERS TITRES.

ART.28.12.01 

  • Les envois dépourvus de tout caractère commercial, notamment :

les marchandises expédiées a titre de dons ou acquises par des organismes à caractère humanitaire ou œuvres de bienfaisance et destinées à être distribuées gratuitement à des nécessiteux sinistrés handicapés et autres catégories de personnes dignes d’être secourues.

  • Non Commercial commodities, especially :

Commodities received by known humanitarian agencies/organismes within the country should be freely distributed to recognized needy people such as people with disabilities, vulnerable groups and/or all other category of individuals who require assistance.

  • Consolidation of custom regulations is not yet updated (work ongoing) and printed for public circulation.
  • General compilation of regulations, tariffs, publications, contacts can be obtained at custom website www.douanes.dj (not updated regularly)
  • Main advice from market operators is to request custom written confirmation prior shipment specially when not dealing with common deliveries through a reliable C&F agent.

Organizational Requirements to obtain Duty Free Status

United Nations Agencies

  • There is no dedicated department within the Government to deal with customs for Humanitarian agencies
  • It is advised that UN agencies in country have to sustain/support their project activities with a MOU agreement with specific clauses regarding facilities, privileges and immunities for project related staff, cargo & equipment to be imported/exported.
  • WFP have an MOU with the Government signed by the Ministry of Foreigner Affairs dated 06 October 1981 in addition. The MOU together with the United Nations Conventions completes are the framework of operations in relation to exemption of duties and taxes.  

For illustration, principal and major articles related to exemption extracted from MOU signed by WFP and GOD for guidance ”to whom it may concern”, please see the following documents:

Djibouti Customs Article Premier

The Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations Extract

Non Governmental Organizations

  • NGOs are required to sign a project agreement with the government to be entitled of taxes, import duties exemption. They must ensure that agreement is signed by the Ministry of finance and/or the Ministry of Foreigner Affairs.
  • If no agreement exists, it is required to submit a letter (directly or through their project line Ministry) to the Ministry of Foreigner Affairs/Ministry of Finance and request prior to any shipment, the necessary exemptions.
  • Since there are no regulations on this matter consider the above as sensible common practice.

Exemption Certificate Application Procedure

Duties and Taxes Exemption Application Procedure

Generalities (include a list of necessary documentation)

  • MOU or an agreement containing clauses for exemption of duties/taxes already in place.
  • Issue simultaneously a requesting letter to the Ministry of Foreigner Affairs note Verbal to Ministry of Finance making reference to the MOU and attach originals of Shipping documents e.g. Humanitarian agency endorse and stamp Bill of lading & Commercial Invoice (or letter informing value of commodity) and optional Certificates ( origin, health, phytosanitary), Packing List.
  • MOFA & M. Finance endorses & stamp on the back of the Humanitarian Agency letter and Note verbal respectively.
  • All Process together with originals of Certificates (origin, health, and phytosanitary) and Packing List are handed over to Customs (directly or through a C&F agent) for final clearance.

Process to be followed (step by step or flowchart)

  • Original bill of landing endorsed and stamped by the agency representative
  • Original commercial invoice or a letter informing value of commodity
  • Letter to MOFA and note verbal to Ministry of Foreign Affairs and signed by the Ministry of Finance
  • Process together with certificates of origin, health and fumigation plus packing list, forward to customs directly or via appointed C&F agent

Exemption Certificate Document Requirements

Duties and Taxes Exemption Certificate Document Requirements (by commodity)

 

Food

NFI (Shelter, WASH, Education)

Medicines

Vehicle & Spare Parts

Staff & Office Supplies

Telecoms Equipment

Invoice

Yes, Original 

Same process

Same process

Same process

Same process

Same process may require President office authorization

AWB/BL/Other Transport Documents

Yes, Original

Same process

Same process

Same process

Same process

Same process

Donation/Non-Commercial Certificates

Yes, Original

Same process

Same process

Same process

Same process

Same process

Packing Lists

Yes, Original

Same process

Same process

Same process

Same process

Same process

Other Documents

Agency Letter & Note verbal signed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Finance respectively authorizing exemption of taxes.

Same process

Same process

Same process

Same process

Same process

Additional Notes

  • In case there is an MOU already signed positive/timely reply is to be expected.
  • For sensitive telecoms equipment normally requires an additional request letter addressed to the President's office.

Customs Clearance

General Information 

Customs Information

Document Requirements

Original B/L, certificate of origin, health, phytosanitary, packing list and commercial invoice.

Embargoes

Custom refuses entry/export in case of contamination that can be hazardous to human and agriculture/animal. Custom requires a cargo fitness certificate from relevant Authorities to avoid destruction/incineration.

Prohibited Items

Djibouti being member of CITES (Convention International Trade Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flore). Also items such as: psychotropic substances Law n°17/AN/81 uranium, nuclear bomb, narcotic drugs etc… are restricted.

General Restrictions

No restrictions

Customs Clearance Document Requirements

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 No difference

Same process

Same process

Same process

Same process

Same process & President office authorization

Invoice

Yes, Original, 1 copy No difference

Same process

Same process

Same process

Same process

Same process

AWB/BL/Other Transport Documents

Yes, Original, 1 copy No difference

Same process

Same process

Same process

Same process

Same process

Donation/Non-Commercial Certificates

Yes, Original, 1 copy No difference

Same process

Same process

Same process

Same process

Same process

Packing Lists

Yes, Original, 1 copy No difference

Same process

Same process

Same process

Same process

Same process

Phytosanitary Certificate

Yes, Original, 1 copy No difference

Same process

Same process

Same process

Same process

Same process

Other Documents

A cover letter plus endorsed B/L to the C&F agent

Same process

Same process

Same process

Same process

Same process

Additional Notes

For sensitive telecoms equipment normally requires and additional request letter addressed to the President office.

Transit Regime

FOR ETHIOPIA:

  • Custom clearance is first performed by Addis-Ababa/Ethiopia customs authority which requires presentation of original shipping documentation, for customs to provide their release sign/stamp documentation.
  • Thereafter all documentation, Ethiopia Customs documentation & original shipping documents are submitted to Ethiopia custom office based in Djibouti Port for verification of waybills against the permit release form issued by Addis-Ababa and if all are in order authorization to dispatch and/or cross border is given.
  • Djibouti custom authorization provides final checking of documentation & cargo released for dispatch and/or border crossing.

FOR OTHER DESTINATIONS:

  • Since no other country have customs representation in Djibouti is only require Djibouti customs office intervention & authorization.