1 TARIFF MEASURES
Structure of the tariff schedule
Cameroon applies an eight-digit tariff nomenclature based on the Harmonized
Commodity Description and Coding System (HS 96). The CEMAC Common
External Tariff (CET) comprises four columns:
(1) droit de douane,
(2) dispositions spéciales,
(3) TVA, and
(4) droit d'accise.
Current information on customs related matters is available from the
Ministère de l'Economie et des Finances
||In conformity with Act. No. 5/94-UDEAC-556-CD-56 of 19 December 1994,
the UDEAC common external tariff (CET) applied by the member states of
CEMAC (Cameroon, Congo, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Central African Republic,
and Chad) has four rates: 5% for essential goods; 10% for raw materials
and capital goods; 20% for intermediate goods; and 30% for consumer goods.
Most of the goods subject to a zero rate are aircraft, spacecraft and parts
thereof. All tariffs are ad valorem, applied on the c.i.f. value
of imported goods.
||Scientific, educational, and cultural materials, goods to be used in
mining and oil research projects, and goods imported by the Government
are subject to tariff concessions or may be imported exempt from all duties
and taxes. Contractors importing equipment and supplies related to
public contracts can obtain a special tax-free exemption from the Ministry
of Economy and Finance.
The UDEAC Customs Code allows for the partial or total exemption of
taxes and duties levied on goods imported to produce goods for export.
The UDEAC Managing Committee (Comité de Direction de l'UDEAC) determines
which goods may benefit from duty and tax concessions.
||Then Central African Customs and Economic Union (UDEAC - Union Douanière
et Economique de l'Afrique Centrale) was created by the 1964 Brazzaville
Treaty signed by Cameroon, Gabon, the Central African Republic, Congo,
Chad, and Equatorial Guinea. In February 1994, UDEAC members implemented
the UDEAC common external tariff (CET) applicable to imports from all non-UDEAC
countries. In addition to being a customs union, UDEAC was established
to lead, ultimately, to an economic union. On 16 March 1994,
the Treaty establishing the Central African Economic and Monetary Union
(CEMAC - Communauté Economique et Monétaire de l'Afrique
Centrale) was signed by all UDEAC member states. However, it has
been ratified only by Cameroon, Chad, and Equatorial Guinea. By virtue
of decision No. 6/98-UDEAC-CE-33 of 5 February 1998, UDEAC members agreed
to replace the economic union (UDEAC) with the economic and monetary union
(CEMAC). Formally, CEMAC replaced UDEAC in June 1999. CEMAC's
objectives are to be achieved in three steps, and finally, member states
will coordinate their sectorial policies starting in 2008. Trade
within UDEAC/CEMAC is duty-free (which was gradually achieved in January
1998). Only the value added tax is levied on trade within the community.
||A trade agreement signed by Cameroon and Senegal on 10 January 1974
provides for tariff preferences. This agreement is currently being
Additional taxes and charges
||A fixed tax of CFAF 100 per 100 kg is levied on imported meat of sheep
and goats, meat of bovine animals, and pork meat.
A veterinary inspection tax of 1-3% applies to imports of fresh products
and salted, dried, smoked, preserved and semi-preserved products.
Live animals are subject to specific rates of CFAF 25 to CFAF 100 per head.
Internal taxes and charges levied
||A value added tax is charged on all imports. The general rate
is 17% plus a communal tax of 10% of the value added tax, resulting in
an overall of 18.7%. VAT is calculated on the c.i.f. value of the
imports plus the import duty. Products that qualify for a reduced
rate are determined by administrative decision and pay 8% plus a commercial
tax of 10% of the VAT, or an overall of 8.8%. Essential goods including
basic consumption goods, pharmaceuticals and health-related products are
exempted from VAT by Ministerial removal.
||An excise tax of 25% is set on selected goods including alcoholic beverages,
cigarettes, cosmetics, and jewellery. The excise tax is calculated
on the c.i.f. value plus import duty.
||Cameroon applies minimum values for a transition period of three years.
The list of products, dated 13 March 2001, specifies 70 items including
milk, vegetable products, sugar and confectionery, prepared foodstuffs,
mineral products, cosmetics, raw hides and skins, textiles and textile
articles, tiles, jewellery, air conditioning machines, audio and video
equipment, motor vehicles, and children's toys.
Finance measures n.e.s.
||All import transactions for domestic consumption and valued at more
than CFAF 2 million must be domiciled with a licensed bank.
Proceeds from exports to all countries must be repatriated within 30
days of the payment date stipulated in the sales contract. Oil companies
are exempt from the repatriation requirement.
QUANTITY CONTROL MEASURES
Licensing under the authority of
Ministère du Développement Industriel
P.O. Box 1604
The import licensing system was simplified in
1994, when licences were eliminated by 90 per cent and later replaced by
the import declaration. A list of products still subject to authorization
from the relevant authority is published annually by the Ministère
du Développement Industriel et Commercial (MINDIC) in the programme
général des échanges.
||Approval of the Ministère des Mines, de l'Eau et de l'Energie
(MINMEE) to import gold is normally given only to industrial users, including
||Imports of edible meat, sea or bred fish, crustaceans and mollusc are
administered by the Ministère de l'Elevage, de la Pêche et
des Industries Animales (MINEPIA) to protect human health.
Pharmaceutical products including medical soap require an authorization
from the Ministère de la Santé Public (MINSANTE).
||Animal feed other than dog and car food may be imported under the responsibility
of the Ministère de l'Elevage, de la Pêche et des Industries
Animales (MINEPIA) to protect animal health and life.
Approval of the Ministère de la Santé Public (MINSANTE)
to import medicines for animals is required for animal health and life
||Under Order No. 00064 of 12 May 1995, ozone depleting substances require
an import authorization from the Bureau National de l'Ozone, Ministère
de l'Environnement et des Forêts (MINEF). MINEF also authorizes
the importation of radioactive substances for environmental protection
||Prepared explosives, pyrotechnic articles, and beacon rockets may only
be imported subject to an approval from the Ministère des Mines,
de l'Eau et de l'Energie (MINMEE) to ensure human safety.
||For national security reasons, transmitter-receivers and other receivers
require an import authorization from the Ministère des Postes et
des Télécommunications (MINPT). The Ministère
de d'Administration Territoriale (MINAT) is responsible for the importation
of weapons and war ammunition.
||The importation of counterfeit goods is absolutely prohibited.
||The importation of wheat flour from Nigeria and bovine meat of European
origin is temporarily suspended.
||"Ibero" oil and "Turkey brand" vegetable oil, "Mc Ray" scotch whiskey,
specific skin treatment creams, pesticides for agricultural use containing
specified chemical substances, "cock brand" insecticides, and non iodised
salt are prohibited to protect human health. The pharmaceutical product
names "INTETRIX P GRANULUS" is prohibited as well.
||For environmental protection reasons, toxic and industrial waste are
barred from importation. Refrigerating or freezing equipment using
ozone depleting substances are also prohibited.
Single channel for imports
||There is a state import monopoly for imports relating to sovereign
expenditure such as defence and security.
The Société Camerounaise des Dépôts de Pétroliers
(SCDP) a semi-public oil storage company, has a monopoly over oil storage
and transportation, and thus a de facto monopoly on imports of oils.
Compulsory national services
||Cameroon Shipping Lines is given the exclusive right to transport all
imports for the government, public collectives, and state-owned companies.
All contracts for private imports must give priority to Cameroon Shipping
Lines or obtain a waiver from the company for any shipping it cannot handle.
Standards are formulated and enforced by
Ministère du Développement Industriel
Direction du Développement Industriel
Cellule de la Normalisation et de la Qualité
||Given the absence of national standards, Cameroon has adopted international
standards as ISO 9000.
Imports are admitted into the country with little reference to standards,
except in cases where a product is suspected of being dangerous.
Certificates of non-infestation, delivered by the appropriate authority
in the country of origin are required for certain imports such as used
A certificate or origin is required for all goods entering the country.
Sanitary certificates are required under UDEAC quarantine regulations
for the importation of various plants and plant products and all containers
of earth and/or compost.
Live animals, birds, and medicinal plants require certifications according
to CITES Convention due to their ecologically sensitive nature.
||The labelling requirements with regard to shelf life of foodstuffs
and expiry date of pharmaceuticals as stipulated in decree No. 0018/MINDIC/DDI/CML
of 21 November 2000 are compulsory as of 1 September 2001.
All cartons, cases, crates, and packages must bear labels identifying
the country of origin written in French.
All bottles and other containers of alcoholic beverages must be labelled
with the degree of alcohol, except for beer and wine containing less than
13% alcoholic content by volume.
Compulsory pre-labels specifying the county of origin and the identification
number of the economic operator are required for imported cigarettes.
Pre-labels in form of a fiscal stamp must be paid before shipping the merchandise.
A number of products including alcoholic beverages, detergents, matches,
travel goods, handbags and similar containers are subject to stamp and
||Pre-shipment inspection on quality, quantity and price of imports over
a f.o.b. value of CFAF 2 million is conducted by SGS (Switzerland).
The list of goods exempted from pre-shipment inspection includes objects
of arts, precious stones and metals, explosives and pyrotechnic products,
newspapers and periodicals, live animals, crude oil and equipment used
for oil drilling, most vaccines and serums, used tourism motor vehicles,
and imports made by the Army and security services.