BENIN

Logistic and forwarding services in Benin

Benin

Capital City
Porto-Novo

Population
10,6 Mio.

National languages
French (official language)

Currency
Communauté Financière Africaine franc (XOF)

Gross national product (GNP)
USD 8,3 Mrd.

GNP per person
USD 767

Financial exports to Switzerland
CHF 31 Mio.

Financial imports from Switzerland
80 Mio.

Bilateral relations Switzerland–Benin

Bilateral relations between Switzerland and Benin are friendly and good. They focus on the long-standing cooperation programme between Benin and Switzerland.

Economic cooperation

Bilateral trade between Benin and Switzerland is limited: in 2014 goods with a total value of CHF 31 million were exported from Switzerland to Benin, in particular vehicles and machinery. During the same period goods with a value of CHF 80 million were imported into Switzerland. These imports were composed almost exclusively of gold.

Business language

French.

Dimensions and weights

Metric system.

Currency

National currency CFA-Franc = 100 centimes (c).
ISO code: XOF

Customs tariff

Harmonised system.

Import control

The import of EU goods is extensively liberalised.
Import licences and import certificates are required for non-liberalised goods which are partially subject to quotas. Various goods are subject to bans on import. Signed pro forma invoices are required to apply for import licences. FOB and CIF values must be given.
Certificates are not necessary. Licences are generally valid for a period of 2 years. A copy of the licence should be requested as a template. The goods must be shipped before the licence expires and as far as possible against an irrevocable letter of credit. The import of fish and print products is monopolised.
Standard VAT rate: 18%.

Pre-shipment inspection

Inspection certificate (Attestation de Vérification) for almost all goods before shipment from a value of 3,000,000 Franc CFA FOB. Otherwise there is no payment for goods. The inspection costs are borne by the exporter.
The certificate is issued Bureau Veritas, District PIH.
The Electronic Cargo Tracking Note (ECTN)/Bordereau de Suivi de Cargaison (BSC) required for import must be applied for before loading.

Terms of payment and tenders

Imports must be domiciled through accredited agents. Deliveries against irrevocable, confirmed letters of credit, in the case of known importers documents against payment (D/P) is possible.
Invoices in EUR.
Tenders CIF Cotonou or FOB European ports. Tenders in French.

Designations of origin

“Importé de …” is required on goods, the presentation of which could give the impression that the goods are of French origin.

Marking/labelling

Standard marking in French or English is sufficient but “Importé de …” or “Made in …” must also be included. There are special labelling regulations for foods and pharmaceuticals.

Packaging

Select robust, weatherproof packaging. Do not use hay and straw as packaging materials.

Product samples

Duty free if they have no retail value (Enchantillon. Ne pas à vendre).

Shipping and accompanying documents

Standard and

a) Commercial invoices, 3 copies with all standard information including country of origin, gross and net weight, FOB and CIF value, delivery terms, precise description of the goods etc., three copies in French, uncertified. The following declaration to be signed by the exporter must appear at the end of the invoice: “Nous certifions que les marchandises dénommées dans cette facture sont de fabrication et d’origine de la Suisse et que les prix indiqués ci-dessus s’accordent avec les prix courants sur le marché d’exportation.”

b) Certificates of origin only on request. If requested, in the case of Swiss goods use “Swiss” or “European Union” for goods originating from UE.

c) Postal items up to 31 kg: 1 foreign dispatch note, 1 customs declaration (French).