GABON

Logistic and forwarding services in Gabon

Gabon

Capital City
Libreville

Population
1.7 Mio.

National languages
French as an official and traffic language, various Bantus languages

Currency
Communauté Financière Africaine franc (XAF)

Gross national product (GNP)
USD 15 Mia.

GNP per person
USD 9’343

Financial exports to Switzerland
CHF 5.68 Mio.

Financial imports from Switzerland
CHF 37.85 Mio.

Bilateral relations Switzerland–Gabon

Relations between Switzerland and the Gabonese Republic are good although not particularly well developed. Links notably exist with the timber industry, based on an agreement between a training centre in Biel and the state of Gabon. The hospital founded by Dr. Albert Schweitzer in Lambaréné has also left its mark on bilateral relations between the two countries.

Economic cooperation

Economic and trade relations between the two countries are very modest. Exports from Gabon to Switzerland mostly involve agricultural and forestry products. Swiss exports are mainly industrial machinery, electrical and electronic apparatus and precision instruments, and also some used cars.

 

Business language

French.

Dimensions and weights

Metric system.

Currency

National currency CFA-Franc (FCFA) = 100 centimes (c).

ISO code: XAF

Customs tariff

Harmonised system.

Import control

There are import restrictions in the form of authorisations and registration and authorisation obligations for various groups of goods. A declaration in advance and an import declaration are required for foods.
There are import bans on hazardous waste, used cars (more than 4 years old) etc. Pharmaceutical products must be registered in Gabon (more information on this can be obtained from the Chamber of Industry and Commerce). Import authorisations are required for goods including animals, foods, substances which reduce the ozone layer, weapons and munitions. Telecommunications equipment is subject to conformity requirements issued by the Gabon telecommunications authorities (single administrative document). Evidence of insurance is compulsory for customs clearance. A GMP certificate (manufacturer’s declaration) is a condition for successful licensing for medicinal products, raw materials for medicinal products and pharmaceuticals.
There are currently no foreign currency controls.
Standard VAT rate: 18% (reduced rate 10%)

Pre-shipment inspection

A Cargo Tracking Note/Bordereau d`Identification des Cargaisons (BIC) is required for import.

Terms of payment and tenders

Letters of credit as a basis are almost exclusively standard. There are cover options with no limitations for short-term business with credit terms of up to 12 months.
EUR invoicing, USD.
Tenders, brochures etc. should be in French.

Designations of origin

Designation of origin required on commercial invoices.

Marking/labelling

Standard markings with the addition of “Importé de Suisse”. Where there is a misleading impression as to the origin of the goods, they must be labelled “Fabriqué en Suisse”. Labelling should be in French. There are special marking regulations for pesticides and foods.

Packaging

Seaworthy packaging. Avoid hay and straw. Packaging which may bring diseases into the country is prohibited.

Product samples

Duty free if they have no retail value.

Shipping and accompanying documents

Standard and

a) Commercial invoices, 3 copies, with all standard information including FOB value, CIF costs and CIF value, gross and net weight, precise description of the goods etc., 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 … 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.

c) Postal items up to 31.5 kg: 1 international dispatch note, 2 customs declaration in French.

d) Uncertified order bills of lading with a notify address are permissible.