Click on the flag to search
Muslimtrade Network members
B E N I N
1 GENERAL PRESENTATION:
1-1 General characteristics:
||People’s Republic of Benin
||122,622 square kilometers
||5.7 million inhabitants in 1996
||50 inhabitants per square kilometer.
||There are two climatic zones. To the North: Tropical climate with dry season from November
to May and a rainy season from June to September. To the South: equatorial climate very muggy with four seasons:
two dry seasons (from November to March and from mid-July to mid-September) and two rainy seasons (from April to
mid-July and from mid-September to October).
||January 1st, January 16th, April 1st, May 1st, May 23rd, August 1st (Independence feast),
August 15t(Assumption), October 26th, November 1st (All Saint’s day), November, 30th, December 23rd, December 25th(Noël),
December, 31st, Easter Monday*, Ascension*, Eid ul Fitr*, Tabaski Feast*, Eid el Mouloud*, Good Friday*
(*) Variable Dates
||Saturday and Sunday
1-2. General Information:
||CFA franc. 1US$= 523.70 CFA F end of 1996.
||GMT + 1.
Administration and business: Monday-Friday: from 8.00 a.m. to 12.30 p.m.; And from
3.00 p.m. to 6.00 p.m.; Saturday (administrations): from 8.00 a.m. to 12.30 a.m. Banks:
Monday-Friday: From 8 a.m. to 12.30 a.m. And from 3.00 p.m. to 6.30 p.m.
||Saturday and Sunday
1.3. The legal framework of trade relationships:
In addition to several agreements signed with several countries of the world, Benin
is member of the following international organizations:
|World Trade Organization (WTO);
|United Nations Organization (UNO) and its specialized organs;
|Organization of African Unity (OAU);
|Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC);
|Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS);
|West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA).
2. TRADE STRUCTURE:
2-1. Main exported products:
2-2. Main imported products:
|Foodstuffs; beverages and tobacco;
2-3 Main trading partners:
United States of America
3. FOREIGN TRADE CONTROL:
Within the framework of measures to boost foreign trade, Benin liberalized its foreign
3-1. Imports regulations:
The following products only are prohibited for imports: products that affect public
morality, the national economy, the health and life of humans, animals, plants and culture.
Import documentary requirements are as follows:
|Commercial invoice: two copies of the commercial invoice are required, containing
the names of the exporter and consignee, the number and types of packages, the marks and numbers on the packages,
the gross weight, the CIF value, the terms of sale, and the description of merchandise.
|Certificate of origin: Two copies of the certificate of origin are required.
A recognized chamber of commerce should certify them.
|Packing list: it is required for customs clearance.
|Bill of lading: the bill of lading must show the name of the shipper, the name
and address of the consignee, port of destination, description of the goods, listing of freight and other charges,
the number of the bill of lading in the full set, and the and signature of the carrier’s official acknowledging
receipt on board of the goods for shipment.
|Two copies of the pro forma invoice are necessary for import license purposes.
They must be certified and state CIF and FOB official prices.
3-2 Exports regulations:
Exports are liberalized in the Republic of Benin.
An authorization from the Office of Foreign Trade is required. However the Ministry
of Finance must guarantee the Export of Gold and diamonds or any other precious metals or stones.
Yet this measure do not concern the following activities:
Gold Export by the Central Ban;
The exports of gods containing small quantities of gold;
Personal jewelry whose weight do not exceed 500gr;
Animal and plants imports must be coupled with health certificates.
3-3. Other formalities and documents:
Import license was abolished in Benin. Yet, customs declaration is required. Goods
intended for Benin must be subjected to a preshipment inspection on quantity, quality and price.
Domiciliation is required for all import and Export operations. Products exported
to Benin must meet the international standard requirements and they must be labeled in French, marked and adequately
4-FINANCIAL REGULATIONS OF FOREIGN TRADE OPERATIONS:
4-1 Banking system:
the Banque Centrale des Etats de l’Afrique de l’Ouest (BCEAO) assumes the same responsibility
as the Central Bank of Benin when transactions are made between this country and the UEMOA countries.
Banks yield good results in Benin. In 1194, they recorded deposits estimated at
125 billion CFAF. These are: the Financial Bank, Bank of Africa-Benin (BOA-B), Ecobank Benin SA, Banque Internationale
du Benin (BIBE), Crédit Lyonnais Benin.
Economic operators have requested from the government the creation of a development
4-2. Exchange system:
Since August 2nd, 1993, the CFAF convertibility outside the Franc zone has been
suspended. Nevertheless this measure does not affect the principle of free transfers and the CFAF convertibility
is guaranteed by co-operation with France.
4-3. Methods and means for international settlement:
All means are used in Benin. The methods and means to be used are decided between
The payment of trade transactions is made through correspondent banks in France
in the currency of the exporter. All values exceeding more than CFAF 500,000 must be domiciled with an authorized
5- CUSTOMS TAXATION:
5-1 Applicable duties and taxes:
The applied customs duties are: 0, 5, 10, 15 or 20% on the CIF value.
Products from UMEOA countries are exempted from customs duties but they are subject
to fiscal taxes and other specific taxes.
Oil products and other foodstuffs are subject to a reduced specific tax.
Products from the European Union and the franc zone countries may be exempted from
Reduced taxes are imposed on pharmaceuticals, school or public products.
Preferential duties exist between Benin and the UEMOA countries, the ACP countries,
the Council of the Entente countries, the ECOWAS countries.
An additional tax of 15% is applied to all products from the ECOWAS countries.
6. FOREIGN TRADE LOGISTIC:
6-1 International transport:
Benin is particularly a transit country of the sub-area for Nigeria, Togo and for
landlocked countries such as Niger, Burkina Faso and Mali.
|Maritime transport: Benin is provided with a port in Cotonou whose reception
capacity is estimated at 2,000,000 tons per year. It is exploited by some large public companies: the autonomous
port of Cotonou, the Sociétè Beninoise de Manutention portuaire (Port handling Company of Benin),
the compagnie Béninoise de Navigation Maritime (Shipping Company of Benin) and the conseil National de Chargeurs
du Benin (National carriers council of Benin).
Besides, there are a lot of transport agents, consignees and large international
Some countries of Hinterland such as Burkina Faso have constructed at Cotonou ports
warehouses to store their goods.
|Railway transport: In 1995, the railway network extended over 579 km. It mainly
links Cotonou to Parakou.
The organization Benin-Niger des chemins de fer (provided with a 600,000T capacity
per year), ensures the rail-road transport of goods to Niger which are unloaded in Cotonou port.
|Land transport: In 1995, the road network of national and international interest
extended over 8,460 km of which 31.4% are asphalted. Important works were carried out between 1993 and 1996 to
enable the country to play correctly its role of country of transit.
Some of these works have facilitated access to Burkina Faso and Niger.
|Air transport: Benin is provided with an international class airport accessible
in all seasons and to any kind of airplane including airliners.
It is served by important air companies of which Air Africa, Air France, Ghana Airways,
Sabena, Aero-flot, Air Gabon, Nigeria Airways, Cameroun airlines which go to all destinations. Cotonou airport
is used for goods transit to some Central African countries Such as Central Africa and Chad.
Telecommunications are ensured by the Office des Postes et Telecommunications (OPT)
and the Office de Radiodiffusion et Telecommunications du Benin (ORTB) and some private express mail companies.
Created in 1890, the (ORTB) has been developed with a view to improving and diversifying
the services that it offers to its customers.
Thanks to this policy, The (ORTB) offers all services including Minitel through
BENINPAC Which enables burst data transmission.
6-3 distribution system:
Wholesalers and those dealing in small quantities ensure distribution. There are
also well-structured large companies, which operate in this sector.
Benin suffers from the unfair competition of the informal sector Due to Nigeria’s
7. USEFUL ADDRESSES:
Organizations and public establishments
|Ministère du Commerce, de l’Artisanat et du tourisme
||P.B. 2037 Cotonou
||Tel : (229) 315267
Fax : (229) 315258
|Centre béninois du commerce extérieur
||Place du souvenir
|Tel : (229) 301320
Fax : (229) 300436
|Chambre de Commerce et d’Industrie du Benin
||Avenue du Général De Gaulles
P.B. 31 Cotonou
|Tel : (229) 312081
Fax : (229) 313299
|Centre de promotion et d’encadrement des petites et moyennes entreprises
||B.P. 2093 Cotonou
||Tel: (229) 314447
Fax: (229) 315950
|Banque centrale des Etats de l’Afrique e l’Ouest
||Route de Lomé 352 Cotonou
Tel : (229) 315211
Fax : (229) 312465
|Socété Nationale de commercialisation des produits pétroliers
||Avenue d’ornano, B.P. 245 Cotonou
||Tel: (229) 312290