Required Trade Documents

In order to sell or import in Djibouti, a license is required. The cost of licensing varies according to the professional or commercial activities undertaken. It also depends on the value of the imported goods. Regular import taxes vary from 5 to 40 percent according to the nature of the merchandise. While basic commodities enjoy low import taxes, goods such as cigarettes and alcoholic beverages pay surtaxes of 70 and 160 percent respectively. Goods coming from countries in the Common Market for East and Southern Africa (COMESA) are allowed to enter Djibouti free of taxes as of October 31, 2000.

Customs officials require the commercial invoice with the bill of lading or the airway bill for all goods entering the country. Shipping marks and numbers on the bill of lading should correspond exactly with those on the invoices and goods. For pharmaceutical products the health authorities deliver a certificate after ensuring that the products are not prohibited. The goods should be cleared within four to ten days, otherwise they will moved to storage and incur fees.