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

4.1 Lebanon Government Contact List

Lebanon Customs Information Additional Information


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 – 20 May 1960

Annex J-5 Revised Kyoto Convention

Yes -  13 Nov 2006

OCHA Model Agreement

Yes - 17 Nov 1998

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

Yes - 27 Jan 2006

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

Lebanon has a generally open trade regime. Efforts towards trade liberalization have been focused on the European Union (EU), World Trade Organization (WTO), and the Arab world. Lebanon does not have a free trade arrangement with the U.S., nor a bilateral investment treaty.

Lebanon signed the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership agreement in 2002, and the interim agreement entered into force in March 2003. The final agreement came into force in April 2006. In 2004, Lebanon and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) signed a free trade agreement. Lebanon and Syria have four bilateral cooperation agreements in the fields of economics, transport, agriculture, and health. Lebanon has also signed the Arab Free Trade Zone Agreement, as well as bilateral Free Trade Agreements with Egypt, Iraq, Kuwait, Syria, and the UAE.

Lebanon’s interim agreement with the EU came into effect in March 2003. The agreement provides for reciprocal free trade on the majority of industrial goods. It also liberalizes trade on a large basket of agricultural and processed agricultural goods. The Euro-Med Partnership aims at establishing a free trade area for the EU and southern Mediterranean countries.

On December 1, 2006, Lebanon signed a Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) with the U.S. TIFA helps both countries promote an attractive investment climate, expand trade relations, and remove impediments to trade and investment. Lebanon is seeking to accede to the World Trade Organization (WTO). Having gained observer status in 1999, Lebanon held its sixth working party meeting in February 2009.

Lebanon has signed a number of free trade agreements with Arab countries. Lebanon is a signatory to the Arab League’s Greater Arab Free Trade Area (GAFTA), an agreement among 17 Arab countries. Import duties among GAFTA countries were fully eliminated on January 1, 2005. Lebanon has signed a number of bilateral free trade agreements with Arab countries to expedite trade integration. Those include Syria (effective 1999), Egypt (effective 1999), Kuwait (effective 2000), UAE (effective 2001), Iraq (effective 2002), and Jordan (signed in 2002, but not ratified).

Exemption Regular Regime (Non-Emergency Response)

[Note: This section containws 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].

If donations are given to the Lebanese public sector as public administrations (Ministries or otherwise), public institutions and municipalities, they should be advanced by an approval document for such donations, from the receiving party and published by the concerned parties to allow these donations “customs tax exemption”. Donations sent to private associations or institutions should be subject to customs tax except those sent to (a) High Committee for Relief, or (b) Centre of Permanent Care, which are both fully customs tax exempted. However, donations sent to Lebanese Assoc. of Care of the Retarded, National Center for Technical Training, El-Hariri Institution, Social Helps Assoc., Dr Mouhamad Khaled Social Institution, and Global View Association branch in Lebanon are subject to the minimum proportional tax which is 5% of value.

 

Organizational Requirements to obtain Duty Free Status

United Nations Agencies

All United Nations relief items (humanitarian food and NFIs, assists, vehicles, etc.) imported to the country are exempted from customs duties.

Exemption Certificate Application Procedure

Duties and Taxes Exemption Application Procedure

 

Required Documents:

  • Bill of lading/airway bill
  • Commercial invoice
  • Packing list
  • Consignments should be entitled: "Humanitarian donations to (designated recipient)"

Other documents vary from time to time and with circumstances.

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

One original invoice required. This is applied to both UN and NGOs.

One original invoice required. This is applied to both UN and NGOs.

One original invoice required. This is applied to both UN and NGOs.

One original invoice required. This is applied to both UN and NGOs.

One original invoice required. This is applied to both UN and NGOs.

One original invoice required. This is applied to both UN and NGOs.

AWB/BL/Other Transport Documents

Three originals + 3 copies required. This is applied to both UN and NGOs.

Three originals + 3 copies required. This is applied to both UN and NGOs.

Three originals + 3 copies required. This is applied to both UN and NGOs.

Three originals + 3 copies required. This is applied to both UN and NGOs.

Three originals + 3 copies required. This is applied to both UN and NGOs.

Three originals + 3 copies required. This is applied to both UN and NGOs.

Donation/Non-Commercial Certificates

One original required. This is applied to both UN and NGOs. 

One original required. This is applied to both UN and NGOs.

One original required. This is applied to both UN and NGOs.

One original required. This is applied to both UN and NGOs.

One original required. This is applied to both UN and NGOs.

One original required. This is applied to both UN and NGOs.

Packing Lists

One original required. This is applied to both UN and NGOs.

One original required. This is applied to both UN and NGOs.

One original required. This is applied to both UN and NGOs.

One original required. This is applied to both UN and NGOs.

One original required. This is applied to both UN and NGOs.

One original required. This is applied to both UN and NGOs.

Other Documents

Original certificate of origin

Original fumigation certificate

NON-GMO certificate

Phytosanitary certificate Yes, 1 Original, applies to UN and NGOs

Original certificate of origin required. This is applied to both UN and NGOs.

Original certificate of origin required. This is applied to both UN and NGOs.

Original certificate of origin required. This is applied to both UN and NGOs.

Original certificate of origin required. This is applied to both UN and NGOs.

Original certificate of origin required. This is applied to both UN and NGOs.

                                        

Customs Clearance   

General Information           

Customs Information

Document Requirements

I. DOCUMENTS REQUIRED FOR IMPORTING FOODSTUFFS

Application form to the Ministry of Economy and Trade’s office at the Port of Beirut, if the commodities are to be brought to the port. If the airport is used, the application can be submitted directly to the technical office at the Ministry of Economy and Trade. If the products are to enter through any other mouhafaza, the application should be submitted to the regional directorates.

The following documents are needed:

  • Application Copy of all the invoices of the product
  • Customs clearance signed and stamped by Customs agent
  • Copy of the packing list
  • List of the names and addresses of owners of the products and applicants with phone numbers
  • Clearance decree (original copy)

The port office then examines the foodstuff

II. IMPORT LICENSE FOR CABLES, ELECTRICAL AND TELEPHONE WIRE (Identical procedure and prices for the import of a variety of goods ranging from natural silk to cement and clinker, scrap paper to orange and lemon juice)

Applicant submits the application to the registrar’s department at the Ministry of Industry with:

  • Factory’s invoice
  • Industrial certificate
  • Certificate of origin

Discharge by National Social Security Fund if applicant is a corporation (not older than six months).

The application is forwarded to the general manager of the Ministry of Industry for signature

The applicant is given a white copy, which he keeps, and a red copy, which he hands in to the Customs authority after paying a proportional tariff 1/1000 of the value of the products, and a specific tariff of LL75,000. A time needed for issuing a license is 24 hours after submitting application.

III. Certifying industrial certificate of origin:

Application to the registrar’s department at the Ministry of Industry, with:

Copy of the certificate of origin issued by the Chamber of Commerce, Industry, and Agriculture (in case of European countries, the adopted format is Eur1 or Form A)

Invoice issued by the exporting factory, registered at the Ministry of Industry

Discharge issued by the National Social Security Fund (date of issuance not exceeding six month old).  Certification is granted within 24 hours

IV. Documents required for an export license:

Apply for license at the Ministry of Economy and Trade

Written request signed by the applicant plus:

-          Product

-          Applicant's name and address

-          Purpose of export

-          Characteristics of product

-          Amount and weight

-          Value in Lebanese pound

-          Product's country of origin

If the exporter is not available to personally negotiate the contract and he assigns an agent to represent him, a public notary must notarize the request form.

Prohibited Items

Prohibited imports include the following: • Cedar seeds and seedling (in conservation of Lebanese cedars species). • Chemical improvers used in bread making (health measure). • Table salt not containing iodine (health measure). • Waste/slag/ash/scrap of many chemical, mineral and metal products (in protection of the environment). • Clinker and black cement (in protection of local industry). • Vehicles older than 8 years and motor vehicles for the transport of goods older than 5 years (in protection of the environment). • Used medical and radiography apparatus (health measure). • Gas fueled pocket lighters (to prevent any fire incident). • Wireless phone sets of 900 Megahertz. Lebanon adheres to the Arab League Boycott of Israel. As a result, Lebanon prohibits the import of goods manufactured in or originating from Israel.

  

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

 Original

 Original

 Original

 Original

 Original

 Original

Invoice

 One Original

 One Original

 One Original

 One Original

 One Original

 One Original

AWB/BL/Other Transport Documents

 Three originals + 3 copies

 Three originals + 3 copies

 Three originals + 3 copies

 Three originals + 3 copies

 Three originals + 3 copies

 Three originals + 3 copies

Donation/Non-Commercial Certificates

 One original required.

 One original required.

 One original required.

 One original required.

 One original required.

 One original required.

Packing Lists

 One original required.

 One original required.

 One original required.

 One original required.

 One original required.

 One original required.

Phytosanitary Certificate

 One original required.

 One original required.

 One original required.

 One original required.

 One original required.

 One original required.

Other Documents

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Customs Clearance Companies
CompanyTelephone No (Office)Fax NoType of Services provided
 Sky Freight Shipping Co. s.a.r.l.+961 3 641 330+961  1 565 147n/a
Marakiba Shipping+961 3 636 376+961 1 443 076n/a
RAMARE (Raphael Group)+961 3 636 376+961 1 445 556n/a
Alfa Link+961 1 566 428+961 1 566 428n/a
Messageries du Levant+961 3 329 779+961 1 446 142Handling of customs clearance
Gulf Agency Co. Ltd+961 1 446 086+961 1 562 845n/a
Ziad R. Berjaoui+961 1 446 086+961 1 743 722n/a
Orbit Int'l Forwarders s.a.rr.l.+961 1 241 978+961 1 269 990n/a
Skypack Express

+961 1 494 504

+961 3 377 845

+961 1 494 501n/a

 

Transit Regime

Transit (or transit goods)

Transit is a duty deferring customs status permitting the transport, through a Customs house in Lebanon and under Customs control, of foreign goods from one Customs house, warehouse or free zone to another Customs house, warehouse or free zone in Lebanon or abroad.

There are two types of transit: the ordinary transit and the international transit

The goods may be transported from one customs house to another in Lebanon according to same procedures which are applicable to ordinary or international transit.

Goods may be transported in transit among countries pursuant to international books or manifests or any other unified international documents. However, such transport is achieved through licensed companies and on board of vehicles of particular specifications.

1. Ordinary Transit
Ordinary transit may take place by all means of transport (by land, sea or air) without distinction at the risks of the signatory of the transit undertaking. Transport of goods shall be subject to the detailed declaration procedures provided that such declaration is covered by a surety bond including all the guarantees as may be required by the Administration and the destination office and indicating the period of transport. The goods are inspected in the same way which is applicable to the goods subject matter of detailed declarations.

Parcels of goods consigned under ordinary transit status shall be sealed with lead separately or in groups according to the terms and conditions provided for by the Administration.

When the goods reach the office of destination, the surety bond or any other substitute document is delivered to the customs office that issues the appropriate release after checking the veracity of the lead sealing and parcels.

2. International Transit
The international transit is limited to railway companies or authorized road transport companies, at the risk of these companies.

The Higher Council of Customs shall, after consulting the General Director of Customs, license such companies to carry out transport under international transit. The Higher Council of Customs shall also specify the routes that may be used for such transport while taking into consideration, if necessary, the treaties signed with the neighboring countries.

The goods consigned under the status of international transit are exempt from the procedures related to the detailed declaration and inspection and they are subject instead to brief declaration and inspection. However, they may be subject to such procedures in case of any suspected fraud or in cases where lead sealing cannot be applied.

The General Director of Customs shall specify the type and value of the bonds that should be provided by the licensed companies, as well as the terms and conditions of sealing of goods, the escort requirements, the preparation of the rail carriers, cars and special containers designed international transit.