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Muslimtrade Network members
about Algeria.

A  L  G  E  R  I  A 








1.1 General characteristics:

Official name People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria
Surface 2,382,000 square kilometers
Population 29.6millions inhabitants (1996).
Density 12 inhabitants per square kilometer
Capital  Algiers
Climate North of the Sahara, temperatures are very mild from September to May and thermal amplitude is low. 
South of the Sahara, temperatures are pleasant from October to April, but there are great variations between day and night. Rainfalls are relatively low throughout the country, they reach 762 mm/year but they are virtually non existent in the far south. Temperatures vary between 6°c in winter and 36° in summer
Main holidays January 1st, , May 1st, June 19th, July 5th (independence) 

November 1st, Eid Ul Fitr*, Eid Ul Adha*,Muharram1st, Mouloud*, Ascension of the prophet Mohamed, 1st day of Ramadan* and Hegira*.
Weekly day off Thursday afternoon-Friday
(*) Variable dates

1.2 General Information


Language: Arabic is the official language. French is spoken in business circles
Currency: Algerian Dinar (AD). 1 US$ = 56,19 AD (end of 1996)
Local time: GMT + 1.
Working hours:

* Government offices:

Saturday to Wednesday: From 8H to 12H and from 13H to 17H

Thursday: From 8H to 12H

* Banks

Saturday-Thursday: From 7H30 to 17H30

* Shops:

Saturday-Thursday: From 8H30 to 12H

and from 14H30 to 17H30

1.3 Legal framework of trade relations:

Algeria is member of the following international organizations: 

United Nations Organization (UN) and its main specialized institutions (IMF, World Bank…);

Organization of the Islamic Conference (O.I.C);

League of Arab State and Arab Co-operation organizations;

Arab Maghreb Union;

Non-aligned movement;

Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). 

Between September 1993 and October 1994, agreements have been signed between Algeria and Australia, Netherlands and Canada in the field of exports development.


2.1 Main exported and imported products


Main exported products 

Main imported products 

Fuels and lubricants Industrial supplies NA
Industrial supplies NA Foodstuffs
Foodstuffs and beverages Machinery and other capital goods
Machinery and other capital goods Transport equipment
Consumption goods NA Consumption industrial goods
Transport equipment and accessories Fuels and lubricants.

2.2 Trading partners:


Main suppliers 

Main customers 




United States of America



United States of America







3.1 Imports regulations:

Algeria classifies its imports according to the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System.

Products prohibited for imports are the following : firearms, explosives, narcotics, pork products, pornographic materials, and other items prohibited for reasons of health, safety, national security or religion. The sale of alcohol is prohibited.

Restricted products are as follows: some agricultural products (cheese, honey), luxury products (such as yachts, perfumes and automobiles). The list of products subject to restrictions is revised every six months. Imported consumer goods must have a warranty of six months to eighteen months depending upon the type of products.

* At import level the following documents are required:

Commercial invoice:
A commercial invoice in duplicate is required including a detailed description of products, the total value of the invoice and terms (FOB, CIF, etc.) and names and addresses of the exporter, importer, the consignee and the manufacturer. The invoice must be signed by the shipper and legalized by the consular services of the Algerian Embassy. In case the products contain foreign components the country of origin must be indicated along with the percentage of the foreign component.

Certificate of origin:
A separate certificate of origin is not required unless the importer requests it. In this case two copies are required. The certificate must be signed by an official of the exporting company and certified by a recognized chamber of commerce.

Packing list:
The packing list should be in French and included with ocean freight shipments to facilitate customs processing. The packing list should describe the contents of each case or container while mentioning the gross weights together with the CIF value of each commodity.

Bill of lading:
The bills of lading should the gross weight and measurements, the name of the shipper, port of destination, number of bills of lading in the full set, and date and signature of the carrier’s official. Shipping marks and numbers should correspond to those shown on the invoices and the packages. The airway bill replaces the bill of lading on air cargo shipments.

3.2 Exports regulations:

Sanitary certificate:
Plants, plant product seeds and animals and animal products require a sanitary certificate. There are also special requirements for potatoes and special documentary and sterilization for chestnut trees and wood.

Imports must be insured with an Algerian firm

3.3 Other formalities and documents:

Importers must be registered in the commercial register and have the necessary Dinar to import goods. All import licenses and the "specifications" system have been abolished. 

Items intended as samples and having no commercial value are admitted free of duty but should be accompanied by a pro forma invoice. Advertising material is subject to customs duties except for single catalogues sent as printed matters. 
The containers of fruit and vegetables should be labeled as to country of origin, variety of fruit, or vegetable and quality class.
Marks of origins requirements mainly apply to wines, nuts , canned foods, prunes, honey, margarine and various milk products.
Goods should be packed to withstand weather conditions, rough handling and pilferage.


4.1 Banking system: 

The banking system includes an issuing bank, five commercial banks, an investment bank and a savings bank. The central bank of Algeria (Bca) has the preference of issue. It executes operations relating to the management of reserves and exchange regulations. It finances deposit banks through rediscount and by taking bills in pawn.

Deposit banks are the following:

Banque Nationale d’Algérie (Bna) which deals with industrial sectors, transport other than maritime, trade and distribution.

Banque Algerienne de Développement Rural which deals with the agricultural sector and agro-food industry.
Banque de Développement Local (Bdl) which deals with local economic units.

Banque Algérienne de Développement (Bad) which finances long term investments of public enterprises.

Crédit Populaire d’Algérie (Cpa) which deals with tourism, handicraft, fishery, trade and distribution sectors.

Caisse Nationale d’Epargne et de prévoyance which finances the programmes of accession to individual property or co-operative and construction.

4.2 Foreign exchange system:

Foreign currencies are always available for importers. All imports must be domiciled through an authorized intermediary bank, to which the importer must present a commercial contract or pro forma invoice and through which all payments related to the transaction must be made.

Very limited acceptance of Visa, American Express, Diners Club and access/MasterCard but top class hotels accept traveler’s checks.

4.3 Methods and means for international settlement

Thanks to domiciliation, it is possible to have a pro forma invoice to facilitate payments. The bank may effect payments for imports by public enterprises, public agencies, or government ministries before the completion of trade and exchange formalities if the imports are considered urgent.

Banks may require a deposit in dinars up to the full value of the imports before the import payments are effected. Imports of gold, other precious metals and precious stone must be paid for from foreign currency accounts.

The imports of private automobiles must be paid from the importer’s own foreign exchange resources.

Advance payments may not exceed 15% of the import value without the approval of the central bank. Import Payments for countries with which no payment agreements have been concluded are made in convertible currency. 


5.1 Applicable duties and taxes:

Ad valorem duties: Ad valorem duties are assessed on a CIF basis that includes wholesale value of goods in the country of origin, transport charges, Export duties, insurance, commissions, freight, and all other costs incurred before the goods reach Algerian customs control. Customs duties and warehouse charges are not included in the dutiable value.

Preferential duties:
There are preferential duties between Algeria and the European Union countries that are similar to those included within the framework of the EU’s convention with African, Caribbean and Pacific developing countries. There are also preferential duties with the Arab Maghreb Union countries 5Libya, Morocco, Mauritania and Tunisia). the imports of products originating in the AMU countries are exempted from customs duties.

Customs surcharges and indirect taxes:
Since April 1992 an added value tax has replaced the production and services taxes.

The rates are as follows:

7% on necessities, 13% on almost all goods, and 21% on finishes goods and luxury items and finally an extra superior rate of 41% that was discontinued in 1993. There is an additional tax on the customs value of the goods plus duties and VAT. It ranges from 10% to 80% depending upon the item in question.

5.2 Special provisions:

A basic standard tariff is levied on (tariff de droit commun) is levied on goods originating in all countries that accord Algeria most-favored nation treatment (MFN). Customs duties are highest on luxury goods. Strategic and vital products are exempted from customs duties.


6.1 International transports:

Maritime transports:

The main ports are located in Algiers, Annaba, Arzew, Béjaia Oran, Ghazahouet, Béni Saf, Ténès, Djedjen, Mostaghanem, Cherchell, Zemmouri, Djijel and in Skida. Other maritime companies of Mediterranean ports serve Algiers. The two major shipping lines are Entreprise Nationale de Transport Maritime de Voyageurs ferries (ENTMV) and Compagnie de Navigation Mixte.

Air transports:

Algeria’s national airline is Air Algérie (AH). Other airlines serving Algeria are Air France, Alitalia, Balkan, Egyptair, Jamahirya Libyan Arab Airlines, Royal Air Maroc, Saudia, Syrian Arab Airlines and Tunis Air. International airports: Algiers (ALG) (Houari Boumedienne) in Dar-el-Beida is 20 km East of Algiers, Oran airport (ORN) in ESSénia is 10 km from Oran, Annaba airport in El Mellah is 12 km from the city and Constantine airport in Ain El Bey is 9 km away from the city. There are other airports in Ouargla and Tlemcen.

Land transports:

* Railways: There is one daily train connecting Algier to Tunis via Constantinae and Annbaba. A railway network links large cities. In 1995 the Algerian railway network was 4,290 km long.

* Road: There are roads which lead to Morocco (Mahdia), Tunisia (Souk Ahras, Tébessa and El Kala), Libya (Fort Thiriet), Niger (Guezzam), and Mali ( Bordj Mokhtar). Coastal regions and Northern Sahara are provided with paved roads. In 1994, the road network reached 60,000 km. In 1995, the number of cars reached 2700997 vehicles of 57% are individual cars.

6.2 Telecommunications:

Automatic telephone, telex and mail services are available in Algeria. In 1995, Algeria was provided with 3,145 post offices and with 1164000 telephone lines. 

6.3 Distribution system:

The distribution system in Algeria is traditional like in most of its Maghreban neighbors.





Office Algérien de Promotion du Commerce Extérieur. "Trade Point Alger" Rte nac.5, Cinq-Maison 65 Cité du 5 juillet Bab Ezzouar 16200 Alger Tel : (2132) 521126

Télex : 64266 cnide dz

Fax : (2132) 521343

E-mail :
Société Algérienne des Foires et Exportations. Direction de Promotion du Commerce International Palais des expositions Pins-maritimes, BP.366

16000 Alger-Gare.
Tel : (2132) 210123-9

Télex : 67865-6-7- dz

Fax : (2132) 210540
Chambre Algérienne de Commerce et d’Industrie Palais consulaire 6Bd Amilcar Cabral BP. 100

16003 Alger
Tel : (2132)574444 

Télex : 61345 caci dz

Fax : (2132)577025
Office National de la Statistique 8&10 Rue des Moussebiline Alger 16000 Tel : (2132)744100

Télex : 55190

Fax : (2132) 743839
Banque Centrale d'Algérie 38 Avenue Franklin Roosvelt Alger Tel : (2132)594200

Télex : 66499

Fax : (2132)603777