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Muslimtrade Network members
about Cameroun.

C  A  M  E  R  O  U  N 


1. GENERAL PRESENTATION :

2. TRADE STRUCTURE : * 3. FOREIGN TRADE CONTROL : * 4. FINANCIAL REGULATIONS OF FOREIGN TRADE OPERATIONS : *   5. CUSTOMS TAXATION : *   6. FOREIGN TRADE LOGISTIC : * 7. USEFUL ADDRESSES : *

 

1. GENERAL PRESENTATION : 

1.1. General characteristics : 


Official name 

Republic of Cameroun

Area 

475,000 Km²

Population 

13.2 million in 1995

Density 

27.8 inhabitants per Km²

Capital 

Yaounde

Climate 

Over the whole territory the climate is note homogeneous, the North provinces are Sub-Saharan with strong weather variations ; while in the South the climate is relatively mild and rainy.

Main holidays 

January 1st, February 11th, Good Friday, Easter Monday, Mai 1st and 20th, Ascension, December 10th and 25th.


1.2. General information : 


Language 

French & English

Currency 

CFA Francs

Local time 

GMT + 1 H.

Working hours 

Administration and Enterprises : 7 H 30 to 12 H 00 and 14 H 30 to 18 H 00.  

Banks : 7 H 30 to 11 H 00 and 14 H 30 to 16 H 30.


1.3. The legal framework of trade relationships : 

Cameroun belongs notably to the following organizations : 

The World Trade Organization (W.T.O) ; 

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

The Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) ; 

Central Africa Customs and Economic Union (UDEAC) , 

The Organization of African Unity (OAU) ; 

Central Africa States Banks ; 

Central Africa Development Bank ; 

A multitude of economic co-operation agreements and trade conventions were signed between Cameroun and several African, European, Asian and American countries.

2. TRADE STRUCTURE : 
2.1. Main exported products : 

Crude petroleum;  

Coffee;  

Timber;  

Bananas;  

Cotton;  

Cocoa; and  

natural rubber. 

2.2. Main imported products : 

Capital goods;  

Semi-finished products;  

raw materials secured for the needs of local enterprises;  

some food products such as rice and flour. 

2.3. Trading partners :


Main customers
Main suppliers 
France
France
United States
Germany
Netherlands
United States 
Italy 
Japan 
Germany
Italy
And the UDEAC countries
And the UDEAC countries


France in particular and on the whole the European Union are by far the main trading partner of Cameroun both at imports and exports levels.
3. FOREIGN TRADE CONTROL : 
The implementation instrument of trade exchanges between Cameroun and the rest of the world is "le programme Général des Echanges" (Trade General Programme decision n° 063/Mindic - CAB). 

3.1. Imports regulations : 

At imports levels, Trade General Programme makes a distribution between four products categories : 

Products subjected to simplified import declaration procedure ; 

Products subjected to the prealable authorization of the Ministry of Foreign Trade ;  

Products subjected to the technical visa of some ministerial departments ; 

And prohibited products.

The control of imported goods is compulsory before shipment ; this control operation which is both quantitative and qualitative is carried out by "la Société Générale de Surveillance" (General Control Company).
3.2. Exports regulations :
At Export level, the trade General programme makes a distinction between three products categories :
Unrestricted products subjected to a simple customs declaration and possibly to a certificate of origin ; 

Products requiring administrative formalities : the Export of some products such as cattle, fisheries must be carried out taking into account the regulations provisions of countries of destination. Consequently, concerned exporters must first obtain certificates and attestations demanded by foreign buyers from competent national administrations ; 

And finally products prohibited for exports : in general, products threatening health, security and environment. 

Other formalities and documents :

The following operations are exempted from shipping control modalities carried out by the SGS (General Control Company) :
Imports whose FOB value is lower than 2 million CFA Francs ;
Imports undertaken by public administrations on their own account ; 

And some specific goods such as precious stones and objets d'art.

4. FINANCIAL REGULATIONS OF FOREIGN TRADE OPERATIONS : 
4.1. Banking system : 

Cameroun is member of Central Africa States Bank ; therefore it is not endowed with a Central Bank of its own ; 

The banking system of Cameroun is also made up of commercial banks, some of which are rather branches of international banks such as "la Société Commerciale de Banque Crédit Lyonnais" - Cameroun or even "la Société Générale de Banque" in Cameroun. 

4.2. Exchange system : 

Cameroun is member of the Franc zone ;funds transfers between the Member States of this zone are not restricted but they must be carried out by authorized middlemen. 

With regard to non-member countries, Cameroun applies the principle of partial convertibility ; in other words, currency convertibility is not restricted for current commercial transactions provided that the provisions of foreign trade regulations are respected by importers. 

4.3. Methods and means for international settlement : 

Cameroun's foreign trade operators resort to most of the settlement means and methods utilized at international level : documentary credit, international Bank transfers, documentary remittance etc… 

But, the most demanded means of settlement by foreign or Camerounese exporters remain irrevocable or confirmed documentary credit. 

Certified check or bank check as well as backed bills are also utilized in international trade operations.

5. CUSTOMS TAXATION : 
In the area of customs taxation, Cameroun should take into account both its adhesion to the GATT and its participation in the customs and Economic Union of Central Africa. 

5.1. Applicable duties and taxes : 

As UDEAC Member, Cameroun applies a common external tariff provided for by 1/92 UDEAC Act. 

This external tariff applied by all Member States includes customs taxation and temporary surtax. 

At present, applicable customs duties rates are fixed on the basis of goods CIF value as follows : 

Staples : 5% ; 

Raw materials and capital goods : 10% ; 

Intermediate goods : 20% ; 

And current consumption goods : 30%. 

Temporary surtax was introduced to enable UDEAC Member States to abolish quantitative restrictions starting from 1996. But the rate must not exceed 30% and the maximal and non renewable implementation period of this temporary tax extends over six years. The taxable base is similar to that of customs duties. 

Cameroun also applies an import duty whose rate ranges between 5 and 90%. 

Imported goods are also submitted to a turnover tax (TOT) of 10% on the basis of CIF value plus customs duties and import duty amounts. 

Finally imported goods are subjected to other less important duties and taxes, such as inspection tax or computer tax. 

5.2. Special provisions : 

* UDEAC products covered by a corresponding certificate from a : 

A total exemption from customs duties when they are included in the list provided by article 9 of the UDEAC Act n° 7/93 ; 

Of a preferential tariff for other products ; this tariff is determined in percentage of the customs duty rate applicable to similar imported products of third countries. The constitutive UDEAC Act provides for a progressive reduction of this preferential tariff with a view to reducing it to 0% starting from 1998. The taxable base of this preferential tariff is the price exworks.

6. FOREIGN TRADE LOGISTIC : 
6.1. International Transports : 

Cameroun's transport networks are relatively numerous and varied : Road, railway, maritime, air and fluvial transport means. 

The road network accounts alone for 75% of transport operations all over Cameroun's territory ; the length of this network is estimated at 50,000 Km. 

In the field of air transport, the national company, Cameroun Airline (CAMAIR) ensures both local and international links, especially those bound for the major international airport of Europe and Africa. 

The main international airports in Cameroun are Douala, Garoua and Nsimalen. 

The railway network extends over about 1,200 Km and it is composed of two main single track lines. 

In the field of maritime transport, Douala deep water harbor and three secondary ports of Kribi, Tico and Limbe account for more than 90% in Cameroun's foreign trade. 

6.2. Telecommunications : 

Cameroun's telecommunications sector has for the last ten years been considerably developed in order to meet the increasing subscription requests. The restructuration plan of this sector whose implementation is underway provides for the setting up of 200,000 telephone lines by the year 2,000. 

At international level, Cameroun is endowed with automatic telephone links with its main trading partners. 

6.3. Distribution System : 

Cameroun's distribution system is in fact made up of two sub-systems : one modern and the other traditional. 

The traditional sector which is sometimes qualified as an informal sector is still playing an important role, especially with regard to staples distribution and more particularly of current consumption food products. 

While the modern sector is dominated by two large companies which account for the main commercial transactions : imports, wholesales, retail sales in large stores. These companies often create hypermarkets and supermarkets, whose number is increasing in the large cities of the country.

7. USEFUL ADDRESSES : 


Organizations & Public Establishments
ADDRESS
PHONE / FAX

Centre National du Commerce Extérieur (CNCE)

Immeuble ONCPB - B.P. 2461 

Douala / Cameroun

Telex : 5585 cnne

Chambre du Commerce, d'Industrie et des Mines du Cameroun

B.P. 4011 

Douala / Cameroun

Tel : 422888 

Telex : 5616

Syndicat des Commerçants Importateurs-Exportateurs du Cameroun

16, Rue Quilliens - B.P 562 

Douala / Cameroun

Tel : 426004

Ministère des Finances

B.P. 18 Yaoundé / CAMEROUN

Tel : 234000  

Telex : 8260



 
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