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Muslimtrade Network members
about Comoros.

C  O  M  O  R  O  S 


1. GENERAL PRESENTATION:  
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. FOREIGN TRADE REGULATIONS :  
3.1.Imports regulations
3.2 Exports regulations
3.3 Other formalities and documents

  
4. FINANCIAL REGULATIONS OF FOREIGN TRADE OPERATIONS :  
4.1. Banking system
4.2. Foreign exchange system 
4.3. Methods and means for international payment

  
5. CUSTOMS TAXATION:  
5.1 Applicable duties and taxes
5.2 Special provisions

  
6. FOREIGN TRADE LOGISTIC:  
6.1. International transports
6.2 Telecommunications

  
7- USEFUL ADDRESSES 

  

GENERAL PRESENTATION  

1.1 General characteristics

Official name The Federal Islamic Republic of the Comoros
Surface 2236 Sq. Km
Population 670,000 inhabitants ( 1996)
Density 300 inhabitants per square kilometer 
Capital  Moroni
Climate The climate is tropical, hot and humid between November and May ; cooler and drier between May and October. 

The hottest month is March (31°C) and the coldest month is August (19°C)
Main holidays July 6, November 27, Eid Al-Fitr*, Eid Al-Adha*, Islamic new year* and Eid Al Mawlid*
Weekly day off
§ Government and Business : Saturday p.m and Sunday 

§ Banking : Saturday and Sunday

* Variable dates

1.2. General Information

Languages Arabic, French, and Comorian are official languages.
Currency Comorian franc. 1US$ = 452,3 Cfr (January 1998)
Local time GMT + 3 hours
Working hours  Government and Business : Monday-Thursday : From 7h30 to 12h and from 15h to 17h30- Friday : 7h30 to 11h - Saturday: From 7h30 to 12h. 

Banking : Monday-Thursday : From 7h to 12h and Friday 7h to 11h30

1.3. Legal Framework of Trade Relations

Comoros is member of the following international organizations:

Organization of the Islamic Conference (O.I.C) ; 
United Nations Organization (U.N) ; 
International Monetary Fund (I.M.F) ; 
The Franc Zone 
Indian Ocean Commission 

Comoros is among the African developing countries linked with the European Union States by A.C.P convention.

TRADE STRUCTURE (1996): 

2.1 Main Imported and Exported Products: 

Main Imported products

Main Exported products

Rice and other food stuffs Vanilla
Petroleum Products Ylang Ylang
Cement Cloves
Grain Perfume Oil
Consumer goods Copra

2.3. Principal trading partners:

Main Suppliers

Main Customers

France

U.S.A

South Africa

France

Kenya

Germany

Madagascar

 


FOREIGN TRADE REGULATIONS : 

3.1.Imports regulations :

Product originating from EU members, Monaco and countries whose currencies are pegged to the French franc are imported freely. But imports from other countries are subject to individual licensing. 

Import licenses are issued by the directorate-General of Economic Affairs in the Ministry of Economy, Industry, Commerce and Planning.  

Import licenses are valid for six months, with a possibility of extension for another six-month only; Goods must be shipped prior to expiration of the license.  

Some products are prohibited for imports from all countries. 

The following documents are required at import level :

Commercial invoiceAn ordinary commercial invoice should be provided in duplicate, giving a detailed description of the merchandise and listing all charges on a CIF basis. It should be signed and certified in the following statement by the exporter : "we certify that the goods in this shipment are of …….origin (manufactured by the undersigned) and that the above mentioned value is true and correct". 
Certificate of origin : Two (2) copies must be sent if requested by the importer or letter of credit, It must be certified by a recognized chamber of commerce, which usually requires one additional notarized copy for its files. 
Packing list : Packing lists are considered essential in expediting customs clearance of goods, particularly of shipments containing numerous small items, but there are not legally required. 
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, 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 carriers official acknowledging receipt on board of the goods for shipment. The information should correspond with that shown on the invoices and packages. 

3.2 Exports regulations :

In compliance with the Export regulations a sanitary certificate is required for exports of live animals, plants and plant parts.

3.3 Other formalities and documents :

Exporters must contact the Comorian authorities to obtain information on the modalities and legalization that should be applied.

As concerns the imports : 

LabelingIt’s used to apply French labeling regulations 
MarkingAny common shipping practice may be followed. In general, all identifying marks, including the consignee’s mark with port marks, should be inscribed plainly on the packages to facilitate arrival of the shipment. Packages should be numbered unless the contents can be identified readily without numbers. 
PackingPacking material which can bring disease into the country is prohibited. 

FINANCIAL REGULATIONS OF FOREIGN TRADE OPERATIONS : 

4.1. Banking system :

The Banking sector is composed of the Banque Centrale des Comores (BCC, the Central Bank), the Banque de Développement des Comores (BDC, which focuses on development lending) and the Banque pour l’Industrie et le Commerce des Comores (BIC). 

The BIC is linked to France’s Banque Nationale de Paris and provides full international trade finance as well as local personal and business banking services.

4.2. Foreign exchange system :

The Central Bank of Comoros manages the exchange control. The bank has delegated some approval authority related to exchange controls to the commercial bank and the Postal Administration. 

The Central Bank authorizes foreign exchange on the strength of the import license.  

All import transactions must be domiciled with the authorized bank if valued at CFA/Francs 500,000 or more.

4.3. Methods and means for international payment :

Payments to France, Monaco, and the operations account countries are permitted freely. Payments related to authorized imports are not restricted . Invisible payments to other countries are subject to approval;

The most used method of payment is the letter of credit.

CUSTOMS TAXATION 

The Comoros uses Customs Co-operation Council Nomenclature system. 

5.1 Applicable duties and taxes 

Ad valorem duties : Duties are levied on the CIF value. 
Preferential duties : The Lome convention linking European Union members in a trade, co-operation and aid pact with African, Caribbean and Pacific developing Countries, including the Comoros, provides for preferential entry of ACP goods into EU countries. Under terms of the agreement, the ACP countries give no reverse preferences to EU goods but extend to E.U countries equal must Favored-Nation Treatment. 

A preferential trade area for eastern and southern African States was formed in 1983 with plans to establish a preferential tariff treatment for a list of products. PTA members (22 countries) will establish a common market for eastern and southern Africa (COMESA), with the institution of a Zero percent tariff among member states by the year 2000. 

Customs surcharges and indirect taxes : Some imports may be subject to an import tax and a consumption tax. 

5.2 Special provisions :

Samples of no commercial value are imported duty-free ; but printed advertising matter and other publicity material are dutiable.

FOREIGN TRADE LOGISTIC  

6.1. International transports :

Maritime transports : The port of Mutsamudu, on Anjouan, offers the deepest water and can accept vessels up to 25.000 tones. Freight bound for COMOROS is often routed via south Africa, or via Reunion and Mauritius, from where Comorian port authority, the societé comorienne de navigation, operates shallow-draft services. The development of the port of Moroni and the construction of a port at fomboni, on Mwali were financed by the European Union.  
Air transportsThe country’s main international gateway is Hahaya airport on Grande Comore. There are domestic Airports on Anjouan (Omani airport) and Moheli (Bandar el salaam). Inter-island links and services to regional destinations were operated by the national carrier, Air comor, until the government has asked a French travel group to help set up a new national air line. Weekly flights are operated to Nairobi and Antananarivo. There are also flights from South Africa. The principal long-haul air link was to Paris, but Emirates Airways already operates a schedules service to Dubai (en route from Johannesburg) 
Land transports : in the beginning of the 90’s, there were 900 km of roads in the Comoros. About 170 km of roads on Njazidja and Nzwani has been resurfaced. The past few years have seen a rolling programme of work to upgrade roads throughout the country and improve links to rural communities. 

6.2 Telecommunications

State post and communications company, the société nationale des postes et télécommunications, is making serious efforts to upgrade both local and international connections. During 1994 it increased the number of main telephone lines by 12% and extended the network to cover the north-eastern districts of Moroni and several smaller communities. The waiting list of "would-be subscribers" increased by about 50%. New investments planned include the creation of an international transit centre.

7- USEFUL ADDRESSES : 

Organization and Public Establishments

Address

Tel

Fax

Telex

Ministry of the Economy, Industry, Commerce and Planning P.O. Box. 41 – Moroni (269) 292   240
Ministry of Finance and the Budget P.O. Box. 324 – Moroni (269) 2757   219
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Co-operation P.O. Box. 482 - Moroni (269) 2306 (269) 2108 219
Chambre de Commerce, d’Industrie et d’Agricutlure B.P.763 – Moroni      
Banque Centrale des Comores B.P. 405 – Moroni (269) 1002    



 
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