1. GENERAL PRESENTATION :
1.1. General characteristics :
||Republic of Gabon
||1.3 million in 1994
||4.8 inhabitants per square meter
||Equatorial climate ; there are on the whole two main seasons; the rainy season which
lasts from October until mid-may and a big season which extends from may to September. Temperature is constantly
high and of low range (26°C on an average).
||January 1st, March 12th, Easter Monday, Whit Monday, Aid Al Fitr,
Aid Al Adha, 16th and 17th August, 25th December.
1.2. General information :
||GMT + 1 H.
Banks : 7 H 30 to 11H45 and 14H30 to 16H30.
Public sector : 8 H to 12 H and 15 H to 18 H. Saturday : 8 H to 13
Private sector : 7 H 30 to 14 H and 14 H 30 TO 17 H 30 Saturday :
7 H 30 to 12 H
Embassies : 7 h 30 to 14 h 30 from Saturday to Wednesday.
||customs demand an entry visa.
1.3. The legal framework of trade relationships
Gabon is mainly Member of the following international organizations :
|The United Nations Organization (UN) ;
|The World Trade Organization (W.T.O) ;
|The International Monetary Fund (IMF) ;
|The World Bank (WB) ;
|The Organization of African Unity (OAU) ;
|Central Africa Customs and Economic Union (UDEAC) ,
|The Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) ;
|The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) ;
|Association of African Petroleum Producing Countries (APPA) ;
Gabon is also associate Member of the European Union within the framework of LOME
Gabon has also concluded a great deal of economic and commercial co-operation agreements
with many African, American and Asian and European Countries.
2. TRADE STRUCTURE :
2.1. Main exported products :
2.2. Main imported products :
Gabon practically imports the whole of its consumption needs in food products and
capital goods. It also imports raw materials and intermediate goods necessary to industries.
2.3. Trading partners :
France is the main trading partner of Gabon both at imports and exports levels.
3. FOREIGN TRADE CONTROL :
3.1. Imports regulations :
Goods imports whose FOB value is higher than 500,000 CFA Francs must be subjected
to a previous import license delivered by Foreign Trade Directorate.
As concerns imports whose value is lower than 500,000 CFA Francs, license is required
for goods originating from countries not belonging to the European Union.
Import license is required for goods submitted to quotas imposed to protect national
Goods manufactured in Gabon are subjected to protection, the producing company must
deliver to the importer an indebtedness certificate bearing the stamp of the Ministry of foreign trade.
3.2. Exports :
To give impetus to Gabonese exports and given the nature of the main exported products,
formalities and controls have been new extremely simplified.
3.3. Other formalities and documents :
To obtain import license, the importer must produce a Performa invoice or telex
invoice to the Ministry of Foreign Trade.
Transport insurance must obligatorily be subscribed in Gabon.
The main other documents usually required in the field of international trade operations
are : invoices, transport title and certificates of origin.
4. FINANCIAL REGULATIONS OF FOREIGN TRADE OPERATIONS
4.1. Banking system :
Being member of Central African States Bank (B.E.A.C) within the framework of the
Franc Zone, Gabon is not provided with a proper central Bank.
On the whole the Gabonese banking System includes :
A Development Bank (B.G.D) ;
A Public Investment Company ;
And seven commercial banks specialized in financial settlements of foreign trade
4.2. Exchange system :
Gabon is member of the International Monetary Fund.
Currency convertibility is partial ; it is free with regard to the net assets of
current trade transactions ;
Gabon does not apply any restriction to payments or to transfers relating to current
4.3. Methods and means for international settlement
Foreign trade operators of Gabon practically resort to all sorts of settlement means
used in international markets, such as documentary credit, documentary remittance or international transfer.
4.4. The most used settlement means :
Irrevocable and confirmed documentary credit ;
|Certified check ;
|Bank check ;
5. CUSTOMS TAXATION :
5.1. Applicable duties and taxes :
Starting from January 1994, Gabon applied a new customs tariff distinguishing between
4 products categories :
|Staples at the rate of 5% ;
|Capital goods at the rate of 10% ;
|Intermediate goods at the rate of 20% ;
|And current consumption goods at the rate of 30%.
As concerns turnover tax, the rate is 5 or 10% according to the nature of concerned
It should also be noted that a temporary surtax of 30% was established in 1995 for
a three years period on the imports of some goods such as olive oil, flour, lubricants, etc…
5.2. Special provisions :
As we have already pointed out Gabon is UDEAC Member ; customs taxation between
Member States is submitted to a special system in pursuance of the UDEAC Act 1/92. Thus, UDEAC products that are
covered by a corresponding certificate :
Benefit from a generalized preferential tariff whose rate is equivalent to 50% of
customs duties applied to goods originating from third countries.
But these products remain submitted to the domestic taxes of the importing Member
6. FOREIGN TRADE LOGISTIC :
6.1. International Transports :
Maritime transports are ensured by the National Maritime Transport Company (SONATRAM)
which accounts for 40% of import and Export transport operations.
The port network is managed by OPRAG and it is essentially composed of two large
Libreville - Owendo port complex, mainly specialized in imports ;
and Port Gentil complex which is the main oil exporting port.
As concerns air transport, Gabon's aeronautical infrastructure is among the most
developed ones in Africa. It is provided with.
More than 60 aerodromes located in the different areas of its territory ;
The major internationally ranked airports are those of Libreville, Port Gentil and
Franceville - mvengue.
The major part of air traffic is carried out by Air Gabon, Air France, Sabena and
The road network is little developed. The railway network is currently little important.
But connection works are in process.
6.2. Telecommunications :
The telecommunications network is managed by the OPT (Telecommunication & Post
Administration in Gabon)
Gabon has recently provided itself which an international transit centre allowing
an automatic communication traffic with about 130 countries.
6.3. Distribution System :
In Gabon, there are on the whole three main distribution networks :
The number of the big commercial groups is very low, but their turnover accounts
for about 1/5 of the total ;
Small sized firms are relatively numerous, they account for a turnover relatively
comparable to that of commercial groups ;
Finally, the informal sector yields more than half of the Global turnover.
Strictly speaking, the distribution of more than the two thirds of the imports of
current consumption capital goods are carried out by big wholesale firms. The two main importers are :
Compagnie d'exploitation Africaine et Société Gabonaise de distribution
(CECA-GADIS) which form the PTORG Group. and LIBREMAG.
7. USEFUL ADDRESSES :
Organizations & Public Establishments
PHONE / FAX
|Centre Gabonais du Commerce Extérieure (CGCE)
||Immeuble rénovation, B.P. 3906
||Tel : 721167
|Ministère du Commerce
||Libreville / GABON
|Banque des Etats de l'Afrique Centrale (BEAC)
||Boulevard de l'Indépendance B.P. 112, Libreville / GABON
||Tel : 760206