Tariff & Non-Tariff Barriers

The Lebanese Customs Administration is responsible for ensuring that all goods and persons entering and exiting Lebanon are in accordance with relevant laws and regulations. The Customs Administration collects and protects a major component of government revenue.

The administration is in charge of the following main functions:

  • Collection of Customs duties, Excise taxes, and Value Added Tax in a fair and accurate manner.

  • Prevention of smuggling and detection of fraudulent practices against Customs and related laws

  • Clearance of persons, their baggage, cargo, and mail

  • Protection of the general welfare of Lebanon by enforcing import and export restrictions and prohibitions

  • Provision of accurate international trade statistics for the public and trading community

More than 83 percent of customs tariff lines have duties equal to or below five percent. The Customs website (www.customs.gov.lb) provides a searchable database that displays import duties by tariff number.

Less than one percent of imports and exports of goods are subject to a number of trade measures imposed by ten Lebanese government state bodies. Measures include prohibitions, licenses, technical certificates, veterinary certificates, and phyto-sanitary certificates. All goods subject to import and export prohibitions are also prohibited from transiting through the territory of Lebanon.

Tariff System
Lebanon’s tariff structure is a single -column system using the Customs Cooperation Council Nomenclature system for the classification and description of items .Ad Valorem duties predominate at rates between 0 percent and 100 percent ,and are levied on a most-favored -nation basis , except for certain imports from members of European Union and Arab countries ,which receive preferential rates.

Information on duties applicable to specific products, please use the Inquiry / Reply Service available on the Trade Information page on this site.

Ad Valorem duties : The dutiable value is the FOB price products .

Preferential duties :Lebanon participates in the Agreement for Trade Facilitation and Transit Organization among the Arab League States . The agreement exempts certain agricultural products originating in the participating countries from customs duties and provides for duty-free entry of certain non-industrial goods and a 25 percent duty reduction on some industrial products from member countries .

Furthermore, Lebanon is a member of the Arab Free Trade Zone which is due to started on January 1998.

Lebanon and Syria signed a series of economic agreements in 1993 ,which could lead to a common market. Trade agreements with Egypt ,Iraq, Jordan and Saudi Arabia are in place . Lebanon has also signed an economic cooperation agreement of unlimited duration with the European Union (formerly European Community)

Non - Tariff Control
Imports of a few goods (mainly arms ,ammunition, military equipment, spare parts, narcotics, and similar products) are prohibited. Imports of certain agricultural products produced locally are either prohibited year-round or during s specified period of the year .Imports of industrial equipment ,medicines ,surgical and dental instruments, leaf tobacco , cigars and cigarettes, animal feeds , and some seeds require prior authorization from the appropriate Lebanese ministry .The Lebanese National Tobacco Company (Regie) and the Lebanese Customs Directorate inspect all types of tobacco imports for labeling .

Imports of certain other agricultural products and all seeds require a license .Imports licenses also are required for certain finished goods ,sanitary ceramic wares , insulated electric and telephone wires ,computer hardware and software ,and copper cables .All other commodities may be imported freely without a license.

Samples & Advertising Materials
Samples of no commercial value are admitted free of duty whether sent by mail or accompanying commercial travelers .No article of gold or silver or jewelry of any kind will be admitted as a sample .All samples of commercial value are subject to duty.

Catalogs and price lists in shipments of up to one kilogram are admitted duty-free .Heavier shipments are assessed customs duty and the municipal tax.

Lebanon follows the Harmonized System for its tariff regime.  A new and modern Customs Law was implemented in 2001. It simplifies and expedites customs procedures, adopts international standards for the valuation of goods, applies modern and fair dispute settlement procedures, allows for electronic declaration of goods, and fosters the development of industrial and free zones. This new law has reduced delays and administrative burdens in clearing imported products through customs at the airport and ports. However, exporters are advised to contact local customs agents to expedite the clearing process. Customs has been very active in introducing online operations for its automated clearance system whereby traders and custom brokers will be able to enter and track customs declarations. When fully implemented, users will be able to register, as well as assess and pay declarations directly from their bank accounts.