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Muslimtrade Network members
about Brunei.

B  R  U  N  E  I 

1.1 General characteristics
1.2 General Information
1.3 Legal Framework of Trade Relations

2. TRADE STRUCTURE (1996):  
2.1 Main imported and exported products
2.2 Principal trading partners

3.1 Imports regulations
3.2 Exports regulations
3.3 Other formalities and documents

4.1 Banking system
4.2 Foreign exchange system
4.3 Methods and means for international payment

5.1 Applicable duties and taxes

6.1. International Transports
6.2 Telecommunications: *



1.1 General characteristics 

Official name Sultanate of Brunei Darussalam
Surface 5765 Km²
Population 300.000 inhabitants ( 1996)
Density 52 inhabitants per square kilometer 
Capital  Bandar Seri Begawan
Climate The climate is tropical marine, hot and moist, but nights are cool, humidity is high and rainfall is heavy. Varying from 2500 mm on the coast to 5000 mm in land. There is no dry season. Temperatures are high, with annual extreme range being 23°C to 36°C;
Main holidays January 1st, Chinese new year, February 23, June 1, July 15, December 25, Eid Al-Fitr*, Eid Al-Adha*, Muharram 1st* , Aid al-Mawlid*
Weekly day off

Government offices: Friday through Sunday 

Commercial establishments: Sunday 

Banks: Saturday p.m. - Sunday

(*) Variable Dates

1.2 General Information

Language Malay is the official language, Chinese and English are spoken
Currency Brunei Dollar (B$) 1US$ = B$ 1,40 (June 1996)
Local time GMT + 8 hours
Working hours 

§ Commercial establishments: From 9h to 17h Monday through Saturday 

§ Banks: 9h to 11h and 14h to 15h Monday Friday 10h to 11h Saturday 

§ Government offices: 8h to 12h and 13h30 to 16h 30 Monday - Thursday

1.3 Legal Framework of Trade Relations

Brunei is member of the following international organizations:

Organization of the Islamic Conference (O.I.C) ; 
United Nations Organization (U.N) ; 
Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) ; 

A commercial and economic cooperation agreement was signed between the European Union and ASEAN. The agreement provides for most – favored- nation tariff treatment and studies to remove barriers, create new trade patterns and recommend trade promotion measures.


2.1 Main imported and exported products:

Main imported products

Main exported products

Machinery and transport equipment Crude Oil
Manufactured goods Petroleum Products
Chemicals Liquefied Natural Gas

2.2 Principal trading partners:

Main Suppliers

Main Customers











New Zealand



3.1 Imports regulations:

Most goods may be imported under open general license. Dangerous drugs are prohibited, and some goods are restricted: petrol, kerosene, cigarettes, spirits and liquors, firecrackers, and items bearing the imprint of state emblems. Specific import licenses are required for a few imports, including plants, cattle, birds, fish (live or dead), drugs, gambling machines, and used vehicles.

At the import level the following documents are required:

Commercial invoiceThe commercial invoice may be printed on the shippers letterhead, it must be signed by a responsible in the firm. Facsimile signatures are not acceptable. The country of origin, quantities, weights, proper description of the merchandise, and all itemized expenses to CIF value must be shown in the invoice. 

Certificate of originAn importer may request certificate of origin which is also necessary for letter of credit. The certificate must be prepared in duplicate on a general form sold by commercial printers, and it must be certified by a recognized chamber of commerce, which usually requires one additional copy for its files. 

Bill of ladingThere are no regulations specifying the form or number of bills of lading required for any particular shipment. A bill of lading customarily shows the name of the shipper, the name and address of the consignee, port of destination, description of the goods (including measurements and weight), the listing of the freight and other charges, the number of bills of lading in the full set, and the date and signature of the carrier’s official acknowledging receipt on board of the goods for shipment. The information should correspond with that shown on the invoices and the packages. The airway bill replaces the bill of lading on air cargo shipments. 

Packing list: A packing list must be presented with the import declaration before goods can be cleared through customs. 

3.2 Exports regulations:

Exporters must contact authorities in Brunei to obtain information about regulations and modalities and legalization's that should be applied.

3.3 Other formalities and documents:

Certain goods may only be imported into Brunei with the approval of the appropriate authorities. Pharmaceutical and drug related products must be approved by the ministry of health ; animals and plants must be approved by the agriculture department, and automobiles must be approved by the customs department.

MarkingThere are no stipulations regarding how shipments must be marked, and any common shipping practice may be followed. 

In general, all identifying marks, including the consignees mark with port marks, should be inscribed plainly on the packages to facilitate the arrival of the shipment. Packages should be numbered unless the contents are such that they can be identified readily without numbers.

Packing: Inside wrapping, greasing, insulating and stowing should be considered for exports to Brunei. Soft or corrugated fiber cases should be used only when absolutely unavoidable, since they generally are too absorbent to withstand the humid climate. Hard fiber is suitable for light materials, but wood remains the most suitable type of packing. 


4.1 Banking system:

The department of financial services (Treasury), the Brunei Currency Board and the Brunei Investment agency, under the ministry of finance, perform most of the functions of a central bank.

In 1996 the financial sector comprised seven banks, of which six were branches of foreign institutions, and five finance houses. The country’s large national reserves and the local expertise being cultivated by the Brunei Investment Agency, offer potential for Brunei’s development as a merchant banking centre in the region.

The major commercial Banks are Baiduri Bank, Development Bank of Brunei, Islamic Bank of Brunei, Citibank, the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corpn.

4.2 Foreign exchange system:

There are no restrictions on the importation of capital from any country, nor are there restrictions on overseas remittances of capital or profits.

Non-resident can maintain their accounts, and borrow money from banks.

4.3 Methods and means for international payment:

There are no exchange controls in Brunei


Brunei has a single – column tariff system based on the customs cooperation council nomenclature.

5.1 Applicable duties and taxes 

Customs duties: Customs duties are assessed either on a specific or ad-valorem basis. 

Most foodstuffs, non-alcoholic beverages, and industrial machinery are exempt from import duties. Clothes, watches, and Jewelry are subject to a rate of 10 percent; motor vehicles and spares, electrical equipment, photographic materials, timber, and furniture, to 20 percent ; and cosmetics and perfumery to 30 percent.

Preferential duties: the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), which includes Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, agreed to a gradual lowering of mutual trade barriers and the creation of a free trade area. 

Specific duties: Specific duties are levied on a few items. Containers and packing materials are excluded from duty assessment when specific duties are levied on a weight basis. 

Advance ruling: Requests for advance ruling may be submitted along with a sample of the product in question and descriptive literature to the controller of customs and excise for classification. 


6.1. International Transports:

Maritime transports: Most sea traffic is handled by a deep-water port at Muara, 27 Km from the capital, which has a container terminal, warehousing and freezer facilities. The port at Kuala Belait serves mainly the shell petroleum field and Seria. Tankers are unable to come up to the shore to load because of the shallow waters at Seria. 

An underwater loading line is used to pump the crude petroleum from the oil terminal to a single buoy mooring.

Air transports: The Brunei national airline are Royal Brunei Airlines: In 1994, it operated flights to 20 destinations, in addition to regional and short-haul flight. 

The international airport near Bandar Seri Begawan can handle up to 1,5 million passengers and 50.000 metric tons of cargo a year. A private airfield at Anduki for helicopter services is operated by the Brunei Shell Petroleum Co.

Land transports: The total length of roads was 2457 Km by the end of 1994. 

The main national highway links Bandar Seri Begawan, Tutong and Kuala Belait; A new highway connecting Brunei with Sarawak to Sabah, Via Brunei is under construction.

6.2 Telecommunications:

In the area of telecommunications, Brunei had a ratio of 26 telephones per 100 citizens in 1993, Digital exchanges have been installed and two new earth satellite stations provide direct international telecommunications links. The work on the submarine cable linking Brunei with Singapore and Brunei with Philippines and Malaysia was completed during the sixth plan 


Organization and Public Establishments





Ministry of Industry and primary Sources Old Airport, Berakas, Bandar Seri Begawan 1220 (6732) 244822 (6732) 244811  
Ministry of Finance Bandar Seri Begawan 1130 (6732) 242405 (6732) 241829 2421
Brunei Darussalam International Chamber of Commerce & Industry P.O.Box. 2246 

Bandar Seri Bagawan 1922
(6732) 236601 (6732) 228389 2214
Brunei Malay Chamber of Commerce and Industry Suite 301, Second floor, Bangunan Guru-Guru Melagn Brunei, jalan kianggehi, Bandar Seri Bagawan 1910  (6732) 227297 (6732) 227278 2445