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Haiti Customs Information

One of the main difficulties reported by the majority of humanitarian organizations operating in Haiti is delayed incoming relief cargo. Complicated and complex customs clearance procedures have in many cases delayed humanitarian aid deliveries. (Examples: in April 2010, upon return to normal customs situation, relief trucks were stuck for 7-10 days at the Malpasse/Jimani border on the Dominican side. To date, the importation of a e.g. vehicle takes several months.)

This is due to a series of inter-linked factors such as the organizations' official registration in country and the number of actors involved in every custom clearance declaration.

Custom fees exemption is indeed granted only to officially registered entities. For non-registered organizations fees can rise up to 40% of the value of the shipment.

First step is then to obtain the registration with the Government of Haiti (Ministry of Plan for NGOs, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for International Organizations). Once registered the organization can apply, through the help of the line Ministry, for a “Fiscal Identification Number” at the Directorate General for Taxes (DGI), which will identify the NGO as tax exempted.

However every time an international shipment is received, a request for custom fees exemption, "Requete de Franchise", has to be sent again through the line Ministry, in order to have the franchise granted and to get the procedures started.

Despite the efforts made by WFP, the Humanitarian Coordinator, IFRC and the DPC, an emergency customs code does not exist in Haiti yet, and emergency aid has to follow the regular customs procedures, which are long and not accessible to all responders if those are not officially registered.

For the non-registered actors different solutions might be explored, such as partnership with a registered organization able to submit a customs clearance declaration or the donation of the goods to the Government of Haiti through the DPC.

Duties and Tax Exemption

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

Annex J-5 Revised Kyoto Convention

Not yet, but included in the new Custom Code

OCHA Model Agreement

Planned for 2012

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)

A Emergency Response Agreement is not in place yet. Further collaboration between Haitian and Dominican Authorities is planned for 2012 in the frame of contingency planning and simulation exercises.

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.).]

he Haitian Customs Code has been last updated in 1987. A new one has been drafted, taking into consideration the new needs of a global market, but its publication date has not been disclosed yet. Given it was prepared by the previous Government it might not be a priority of the current one, however, if the current draft will be approved, special measures for humanitarian relief shall be included.

Until the new code or special rules will not be adopted, the regular process described above has to be followed.

Organizational Requirements to obtain Duty Free Status

United Nations Agencies

To obtain duty free status, an International Organization has to be registered with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. To obtain official acknowledgement of International Organization status, a basic agreement has to be signed between the organization and the Government of Haiti. At the end of the process an official notification will be then published on the Journal of the Republic of Haiti, “Le Moniteur”. Normally the International Organization status is recognized only to the UN Agencies, Organizations and Funds, and to Organization composed by States. Organizations composed by by citizens (national or internationals) have to be registered with the Ministry of Plan and External Cooperation.

Once the recognition is obtained, a request for a “Numero d’Identification Fiscale” (NIF), can be made to the Ministry of Finance, through he help of the MoFA. This number will identify the organization as tax exempted for all future transactions. Once the organization has received its NIF, which will be the proof of being an tax exemptioned organization, the organization has to apply for its “Quitus”. This is a document which states that the organization has fulfilled all its tax duties. For registered organizations its just a formality as they have right to be tax exempted, but this certificate has to be obtained once again from the Direcorate General of Taxes of the Ministry of Finance through the help of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
To be able to import and export, an organization has to obtain the "Quitus - type B”. Every time a customs declaration is being prepared, a copy of the Quitus has to be attached. The Quitus Fiscal has to be renewed every six (6) months. The MoFA has to send the request to the Ministry of Finance on behalf of the organization.

Non Governmental Organizations

For an NGO to obtain duty free status it has to be registered with the Ministry of Plan and External Cooperation (MPCE). The unit who deals with registrations is the Unite de Coordination des Activites des ONG (UCAONG).
The registration process is described in the decree of the 14 September 1989. Below the list of basic documentation to be submitted to the MPCE:

  • Recognition request
  • Three copies of organization’s statute
  • Two reference letters from two NGO or Agency already working in Haiti;
  • Working permission emitted by the mayor of the municipality where the NGO is planning to work;
  • Provide a list of the NGO board members in 3 copies;
  • Provide judicial records for all the board members in original plus 2 copies.

Fill and sign the form prepared by the MPCE (see attached) in original, plus three (3) copies. Provide banking back up certificate in three (3) copies of an amount of minimum 50,000 HTG from a Haitian Bank.

For foreign NGOs provide three (3) original copies of the Recognition Act of the country of origin, delivered by the home country authorities, duly legalised by a consulate of the Republic of Haiti.

The Statute of the organisation must include:

  • Name and legal address of the NGO;
  • Type and scope of the planned activities;
  • Name, surname, address, nationality of the founder of the NGO;
  • Powers of the administrators;
  • The duration of the organization, the causes and the dissolution clauses.

A third of the members of the local branch of foreign NGOs have to be Haitians. For the foreign organization, a letter authorising the delegates operating in Haiti for the recognition process has to be sent from the organization's HQ.

Once the NGO obtains official authorization to work in Haiti (Communiqué Conjoint), the organization can apply for a (NIF) at the Ministry of Finance through the help of the MPCE. This number will identify the organization as tax exempted for future transaction.

Once the NGO has its NIF, the proof of being a tax exempted organization, the organization has to apply for its Quitus. This is a document stating that the organization has fulfilled all its tax duties. For registred NGOs its just a formality as they have right to be tax exempted, but this certificate as to be obtained once again from the Direcorate General of Taxes of the Ministry of Finance through the help of the MoFA.

To be able to import and export, an organization has to obtain the "Quitus - type B”.

Every time a customs declaration is being prepared, a copy of the Quitus has to be attached.

The Quitus Fiscal has to be renewed every six (6) months. The Ministry of Plan has to send the request to the Ministry of Finance on behalf of the organization.

Exemption Certificate Application Procedure

There is no “Exemption Certificate” as such. The fact that the International Organization or NGO is tax exempted is proven to the Government Official through the Organization's NIF.

However, every time a customs declaration is presented, the "Quitus - type B” has to be included. This is the proof that the organization has accomplished all its tax duties (just a formality as tax exempted) and is authorised to export and import.

For every incoming shipping a special customs duties exemption request has to be done, the  “Requete de Franchise”, a franchise request

Customs Clearance

General Information 

After the registration process is completed, the tax-exempted NIF and the "Quitus - type B” obtained, an orgnization will be able to present its Customs Declaration for every incoming shipment (air, road, sea). The Customs Declaration is a form that can be filled and presented at the Ministry of Finance only by an authorized and registered customs broker (see attached list). The organization has however to provide the chosen customs broker with the full set of documents necessary for the process he/she will be doing on behalf of the organization, including the “Requete de Franchise”, which is the letter requesting the customs duties exemption. This letter is the first step to be done for every Customs Declaration. The letter has to be addressed and duly signed (recognized signature) by the organization to the Line Ministry (MoFA for International Organizations and Ministry of Plan for NGOs), and has to contain all the details of the shipment, including B/L number, description of the items and value. Once the letter is ready it has to be attached to the shipping documents and given to the custom broker who will follow up on the process on behalf of the organization.

Customs Information

Document Requirements

  • Declaration Form compiled and presented by an authorized customs broker;
  • Joint Communiqué for the NGOs or Basic Agreement for International Organizations;
  • Quitus Fiscal - type B;
  • Packing List;
  • Bill of Lading/Airway Bill with the recipient organizations' consignee;
  • Freight Certificate;
  • Invoice or declaration of value;
  • Gift Certificate (if applicable);
  • Distribution Plan;
  • Vehicle Title (if applicable);
  • Certificate of Origin (if applicable);
  • Phyto-sanitary Certificate (if applicable);
  • Relevant ministry certificates (i.e. Ministry of Health certificate for medicines, Ministry of Agriculture certificate for seeds).

Embargoes

n/a

Prohibited Items

n/a

General Restrictions

n/a

Customs Clearance Document Requirements

FoodShelter,Wash and educationMedicinesVehicles and Spare partsStaff and office suppliesTelecoms equiment
Customs Declaration
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Invoice
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
AWB, BoL, or Other Transport Documents
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Donation Non-Commercial Certificate
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Packing List
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Quitus Fiscal
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Distribution Plan
Yes
Yes
Yes
n/an/an/a
Joint Communique (For NGOs)
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Vehicle Title
 n/a n/a n/a
Yes (if Used)
 n/a n/a

 







Transit Regime

N/A, Haiti is not part of a corridor.

For information on Haiti Customs, please see the following documents and links: 

Haiti Customs Administration Website

Code Douanier Haiti 5 Mai 1987

Haiti Cholera Customs Process

Haiti Formalites a remplir pout l'obtention du Statut Legal ONG

Haiti Ministere de la Planification et de la Cooperation externe unite de coordination des activities des ONG

Haiti Ministry of Finance Administrative Procedures- Custom fees exemption

Haiti Additional Information for Customs Clearance

 

Note: The information provided in the attached documents, which has been taken from the old DLCA, does not match the structure of the new LCA and is therefore provided separately.

For information on Haiti Customs contact details, please see the following link: 

4.1 Haiti Government Contact Lists