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Your One Stop Source: TRADE GUIDELINE Click on the flag to search
Muslimtrade Network members
about Djibouti.

D  J  B  O  U  T  I 

1.1 General characteristics
1.2 General Information
1.3. The legal framework of trade relationships

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

3.1 Imports regulations
3.2 Exports regulations
3-3. Other formalities and documents

4.1 Banking system
4.2. Exchange system
4.3. Methods and means for international settlement

5.1 Applicable duties and taxes
5-2.Special provisions

6.1 International transport
6.2 Telecommunications
6.3 Distribution system




1.1 General characteristics:

Official name The Republic of Djibouti
Surface 23,200 square kilometers
Population 590,000 inhabitants (1996)
Density 25 inhabitants per square kilometer
Capital Djibouti.
Climate The climate is very hot and arid from April to August but from October to March, it is slightly cold. The land in Djibouti is 90% a volcanic desert. Average temperature is 32° and can reach 45°.
Main holidays January 1st, May 1st June 27th (Independence), December 25th, Eid UL Fitr*, Eid UL Adha*, Mouharram* 1st, Ashoura* and Mouloud*.
Weekly day off Thursday afternoon and Friday

* Variable dates

1.2 General Information

Language French and Arabic are official languages. English is also spoken
Currency Djibouti Franc (DF). US$1 = 177.72 DF (1996).
Local time GMT + 3.
Working hours  Business hours: Sunday through Thursday: 7H30 a.m. to 12.H a.m. and from 15H30 p.m. to 18H p.m.;  Banks: Sunday through Thursday: 7H15 a.m. to 11H45 a.m.  Trade: Sunday through Thursday: From 8H a.m. to 12H a.m. And from 16H p.m. to 19H30 p.m.

1.3. The legal framework of trade relationships:

Djibouti is a member of the following international organizations:

The World Trade Organization (WTO) and its specialized organs; 
United Nations Organization (UNO) and its specialized organs; 
Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) and its specialized organs; 
Organization of African Unity (OAU); 
League of Arab States; 
Group 77; 
African Development Bank. 

Djibouti is signatory to co-operation agreements between the COMESA countries and those of Lome Convention. 


2.1 Main imported and exported products:


Main imported products

Main exported products

Food products and beverages Hides and skins
Equipment material Coffee
Oil products  

2.3 Main trading partners :


Main suppliers

Main customers

France Saudi Arabia
Ethiopia Ethiopia
Italy Yemen
Saudi Arabia  
United Kingdom  


3.1 Imports regulations:

Foreign trade operations are generally free from all controls and restrictions. Yet the imports of arms and ammunition, drugs and salacious literature require a license from the competent authorities.

Besides products of no commercial value may be imported free of duty and taxes. But advertising materials are subject to internal taxes.

The following documents are required for imports:

Commercial invoice: Two copies of the commercial invoice must be signed by the exporter and must contain the name and address of the shipper, date of shipment , name and address of the consignee number and types of containers, marks and numbers, content , weight, and the place of origin and C.I.F value in US dollars. The importer must certify invoices; 
Certificate of origin: Usually not required but in case it is requested by the importer or the letter of credit , two copies are necessary and they must be certified by a recognized chamber of commerce;  
Bill of lading: The bill of lading must show the name of the shipper, name and address of the consignee, port of destination, description of goods, listing of freight and other charges, number of the bill of lading in the full set, the date and signature of the carrier’s official. The bill of lading may be signed by the shipper or his authorized agent. The Information must be identical to that shown on the invoices and the packages. The airway bill replaces the bill of lading on air cargo shipments. 

3.2 Exports regulations:

The documents required at Export level are the following: 

Veterinary certificateThis certificate is compulsory for the shipment of live animals; 
Plant health certificateThe shipment of plants requires a phytopathological certificate. 

3-3. Other formalities and documents:

For the imports of alcoholic products, the percentage of alcohol and the volume in liters must be specified on the invoice In this regard, it is advisable to use a form comprising both the English and French languages. 

Imports estimate at US$ 1000 or above must go through pre-shipment inspection in the country of origin involving the verification of prices invoice and the system of customs classification as well as quality. 

The other formalities are as follows:

Labeling and marking: Labels should indicate the descriptive name of the product, the list of ingredients, the name, address and the phone number of the manufacturer or distributor, net weight or volume in metric units, and instructions for storage and use. Some details may be required in the case of a new market such as the country of origin, expiry date, percentages of the predominant product ingredients.  

The consignee’s marks and port’s marks should be inscribed on the packages to facilitate arrival of the shipments;

Packing: Packing should be made in such a way as to withstand rough handling and the tropical climate of Djibouti. 


4.1 Banking system:

The major banks of Djibouti are as follows: Banque Al BarakaDjibouti, Banque de Djibouti et du Moyen Orient SA, Banque Indosuez Mer Rouge, Banque pour le Commerce et l’Industrie Mer Rouge, the British Bank of Middle-East, la banque de dépôt de l’Ethiopie, la Banque d’Epargne de la Somalie et la caisse de développement. The central bank is the Banque Nationale de Djibouti.

4.2. Exchange system:

There are no exchange controls for international transactions but the Central is responsible for the issuing and control of currency.

4.3. Methods and means for international settlement:

Payments are freely made. Commercial enterprises may negotiate forward exchange controls for commercial and financial transactions through local banks or banks abroad.


Djibouti’s customs system is based on the Harmonized Description and coding System of Tariff Classification (HS). 

5.1 Applicable duties and taxes:

Most of products are freely imported but they are submitted to domestic taxes.

Ad valorem duties: Customs valuation is determined on the basis of Brussels Definition of Value. Customs value is defined as the normal price for such goods between an independent buyer and an independent seller in the country of Export of this product. 

Preferential dutiesPreferential duties apply to the member countries of the Preferential Trade Area for Eastern and Southern African States (PTA) including: Angola, Burundi, Comoros, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Seychelles, Somalia, Sudan, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe as well as to the signatory countries of the Lome Convention. 

Customs surcharges and indirect taxesThe general consumption tax is levied at the rate of 33% on luxury goods and 20% on all other products. 

5-2.Special provisions:

A limited number of food products, fertilizers and books are exempt from consumer tax. On the other hand alcoholic beverages, non- carbonated mineral water, petroleum products, Khat and tobacco are subject to surtax at various rates. Dairy products and fruit juices are subject to additional taxes.


6.1 International transport:

Maritime transport : Djibouti is the main port of the country. 
Air transport : The international airport is located in Ambouli, six kilometers from Djibouti (JIB). Other lines serve Djibouti: Aeroflot, Air France, Air Madagascar, Air Tanzanie, Alyemda, Ethiopian, Somali and Yeminia airlines  
Land transport : In 1994, Djibouti was provided with 3,067kilometers of roads of which1,130 km of main roads, 1,800 km of regional roads, and 125 km of urban roads. More than 400 km of the roads are bitumen surfaced. In 1995 the road network extended over 2,890, 12.6% of which were paved. The railway network extends over 100 km.  

6.2 Telecommunications:

In 1995, the number of telephone lines reached 7,500 lines. There is a telephone network between Djibouti, the North of Yemen and Saudi Arabia. An international radio telephone service connects Djibouti to Europe.

6.3 Distribution system:

The distribution network is traditional; it is made up of wholesalers and retailers.


Organizations and public establishments



Ministère du Commerce et du Tourisme B.P 121 Djibouti Tel: (253) 350875 

Fax: (253) 354909
Chambre Internationale de Commerce et d’Industrie De Djibouti Place de Lagarde B.P 84 Djibouti

Tel: (253) 351070 

Telex: 5957 cicid dj 

Fax: (253) 353020 

Banque Nationale de Djibouti B.P. 2118 Djibouti

Tel: (253) 352751 

Telex: 5838 

Fax: (253) 35628