Logistic and forwarding services in Central African Republic

Central African Republic

Capital City

4.7 Mio.

National languages
French and Sango (official languages), as well as numerous regional languages

Communauté Financière Africaine franc (CFA)

Gross national product (GNP)
USD 1.8 Mrd.

GNP per person
USD 376

Financial exports to Switzerland
CHF 0.50 Mio.

Financial imports from Switzerland
CHF 0.26 Mio.

Bilateral relations Switzerland–Central African Republic

Bilateral relations between the Central African Republic and Switzerland remained tenuous for a long time. Nonetheless, co-operation between the two countries has been on an upward tendency.


Business language



Dimensions and weights

Metric system.



National currency 1 CFA-Franc (CFA) = 100 centimes (c).

ISO code: XAF


Customs tariff

Harmonised system.


Import control

The Central African Republic has been the object of a weapons embargo since 23/12/2013 in the sense of Article 4 paragraph 2 of Regulation (EC) No. 428/2009.

Import licences are required in particular for finished industrial products. These are valid for 6 months. The goods must be shipped within this period. An accompanying import declaration (déclaration d’importation) is required for all imports for statistical purposes. The Ministry of Foreign Trade and Industry or the “Direction du Commerce Extérieur” is responsible for import licences and declarations. There is a ban on the import of weapons.

Standard VAT rate: 19%

Payment transactions with foreign countries are not subject to restrictions. Import licences include approval to transfer obtain the foreign currencies and transfer the equivalent value of the goods.

Transfers from CFA countries are time-intensive as they have to be converted into EUR first.


Pre-shipment inspection

A quality, quantity and price inspection is required before shipment of the goods for all goods with a fob value from 500.000 XAF.

Loading certificate (BESC).

Deliveries must be registered with customs in advance by means of an Electronic Cargo Tracking Note. Smooth customs clearance is not possible without this loading certificate. The loading certificate number must be noted on the freight manifesto. The loading certificate must be validated by the Conseil Centrafricain des Chargeurs or an accredited representative.


Terms of payment and tenders

Transactions based on letters of credit are almost exclusively standard, documents against payment is also justifiable for reliable importers. Invoices in EUR or another freely convertible currency.

Tenders in French.


Designations of origin

“Importé de Suisse” is required on goods, the presentation of which could give the impression that the goods are of non-Swisss origin.



No special labelling regulations known. Goods including foods, pharmaceuticals, paints, varnishes and chemicals are subject to special labelling regulations.



Stable, seaworthy packaging. Avoid hay and straw as packaging.


Product samples

Duty free if they have no retail value.

For samples subject to duty brought by travelling salesmen ask for deepened details.


Shipping and accompanying documents

Standard and:

a) Commercial invoices, 3 copies, with all standard information including gross and net weight, individual prices, FOB value, CIF costs, CIF value etc. in French, uncertified. The following declaration to be signed by the exporter must appear at the end of the invoice (example for goods from Swiss): “Nous certifions que les marchandises dénommées dans cette facture sont de fabrication et d’origine de 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 necessary, as the origin, indicate “Swiss” in the case of Swiss goods, or “European Union” for goods originating from UE. Chamber of Industry and Commerce certificates of origin.

c) Movement certificate EUR. 1 or UE not required.

d) Inspection certificate and Cargo Tracking Note.

e) Bills of lading uncertified. Order bills of lading with a notify address are possible.

f) Postal packages and airmail packages up to 20 kg: 1 international dispatch note, for airmail with an “airmail” sticker, 1 customs declarations in French, 3 commercial invoices as for a).