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

S  O  M  A  L  I  A 


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 settlement


5. CUSTOMS TAXATION:  
5.1 Applicable duties and taxes


6. FOREIGN TRADE LOGISTIC:  
6.1 International Transports
6.2 Telecommunications
6.3 Distribution system

  
7. USEFUL ADDRESSES

 1 GENERAL PRESENTATION 

1.1 General characteristics

Official name Somali Democratic Republic
Surface 637,600 Sq. Km
Population 9.6 millions inhabitants (1996)
Density 15 inhabitants per square kilometer 
Capital  Mogadishu
Climate The climate of Somalia is hot and dry; The hottest month is April (32°), July and August are the coldest months (23°). The wettest month is June with 97mm average rainfall.
Main holidays May 1st, June 26th, July 1st,October 21st, 22nd, Eid Al-Fitr*, Eid Al-Adha*, Ashoura*, and prophet’s birthday*
Weekly day off Friday
(*) Variable dates

1.2 General Information:

Language Somali is the official language. Italian is spoken in the South and English is spoken in the north. Arabic is also spoken.
Currency Somali shilling. 1US$ = 7,500 Sosh (November 1997)
Local time GMT + 3 hours
Working hours  Banks: From 8h to 11h 30 Saturday through Thursday
1.3 Legal Framework of Trade Relations

Somalia 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); 
League of Arab States. 

Somalia is also member of African states associated with European Union by a trade cooperation convention (Lomé Convention).

TRADE STRUCTURE (1996) 

2.1 Main imported and exported products:

Main imported products

Main exported products

Sugar

Livestock

Rice

Bananas

Wheat and flour

Hides and skins

Cooking Oil

Sheep and goats

Cars

Camels

Diesel Oil

 
2.2. Principal trading partners:

Main customers

Main suppliers

Saudi Arabia

Kenya

Yemen

Djibouti

Italy

Saudi Arabia

United Arab of Emirates

Yemen

FOREIGN TRADE REGULATIONS: 

3.1.Imports regulations:

Products which are subject to prior approval for import: Alcohol, Tobacco and Tobacco products, Crude Oil and Petroleum products, Medical and Pharmaceutical products, Explosives, Precious metals and Jewelry and Minerals. 

All other items, with the exception of items prohibited for reasons of public safety and social policy, may be imported freely. 

At import level the following documents are required:

Commercial invoice 

The commercial invoice must be produced to customs authorities in triplicate and should contain the following information:

Gross and net weights in kilograms; 

Measurements of package in metric units; 

Value; 

Liquid volume in liters and its contents; 

The percentage of alcohol contained in alcoholic liquids; 

The condition of sale; 

Freight, insurance and handling charges if the goods are not sold CIF.

The invoice should be sent in time to arrive before the merchandise, the names of both the shipper and the consignee must be mentioned. The shipper must sign the invoice, certifying its accuracy and assuming responsibility for its contents.

Certificate of origin 

If required, the certificate of origin should be presented in triplicate on a general form sold by commercial printers. A recognized chamber of commerce must certify the document and usually takes one additional notarized copy for its files.

Packing list 

Although not required, a packing list is recommended

Bill of Lading 

There are no regulations specifying the form or number of bills of lading required for any particular shipment. It should contain the names of shipper and consignee, gross weight in kilograms and measurements in metric units. Shipping marks and numbers must correspond with those on the invoice and packages.

A bill of lading customarily shows the address of the consignee, port of destination, description of goods, the listing of the freight and other charges, the number of bills of lading in the full set.

The airway bill replaces the bill of lading on air cargo shipments.

3.2 Exports regulations:

In compliance with the Export regulations, the following documents must be produced: sanitary certificate: shipments of plants, seeds, animals, and animal products must be accompanied by a sanitary certificate. The document certifies that these plans or animals are conformed to health and sanitary requirements for Export as prescribed by the country of destination.

3.3 Other formalities and documents:

Labeling 

There are no general labeling requirements for goods imported into the country. However, the country of origin should be indicated.

Marking 

Any 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.

Packing 

Goods should be packed securely to withstand rough handling and pilferage.

FINANCIAL REGULATIONS OF FOREIGN TRADE OPERATIONS: 

4.1 Banking system:

A central bank is beginning to re-emerge in the form of private Ventures. The Barrakat Bank of Somalia was established in the capital in October 1996; Initially capitalized at $2millions, the bank uses the US dollar as its working currency and specializes in small loans to traders, foreign – currency exchange and currency transactions abroad. The bank reportedly aims to establish a further 90 branches across the country.

4.2 Foreign exchange system:

The official exchange market in Somalia comprises the Central Bank, which is responsible for exchange controls, and any commercial banks operating as authorized dealers of the central bank in respect of transactions in foreign currencies.

4.3. Methods and means for international settlement:

Private importers may open letters of credit for imports at a commercial bank on the basis of foreign exchange made available for that purpose through a foreign currency account with the Bank. 

All payments for private imports must be effected through letters of credit, and must be made in either Somali shillings, US dollars or other specified currencies.

CUSTOMS TAXATION 

The customs tariff is based on the customs cooperation council nomenclature.

5.1 Applicable duties and taxes 

Preferential duties 

Somalia has signed the Lome convention. The agreement provides for preferential entry of goods into European Union countries;

Somalia, along with other members of the Preferential Trade Area, has ratified a treaty establishing the common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa. The main objectives of COMESA are the deletion of tariffs among member states by the year 2000 and the establishment of a common external tariff by the year 2005. 

Somalia is also member of the council of Arab Economic Unity whose activities include the coordination of measures leading to the formation of a customs union among Arab states.

Specific duties  

When the value or weight of the containers and packing is to be included in the dutiable value or various goods packed together are subject to different rates or different criteria, the value or weight of the containers and packing will be distributed among the various goods in proportion to their value or weight.

Ad valorem duties:  

Most duties are ad valorem.

FOREIGN TRADE LOGISTIC  

6.1 International Transports:

Maritime Transports:  

Merca, Berbera, Mogadishu and Kismayu are the main ports in Somalia. Berbera and Bossasso in the north have become the focus for maritime activity. Both were undergoing some modernization under an EU – financed project in 1997.

Air Transports 

Mogadishu has an intentional airport. There are airports at hargeysa and Baidoa and six other airfields. A daily service has been inaugurated in April 1994 between Hargeysa in the north and Nairobi in Kenya.

The former national carrier, Somali Airlines, has ceased to exist. 

Land Transports 

In 1991, there were an estimated of 21.700 km of roads, of which 5200 km were main roads, and 4500 were secondary roads. In the same year paved roads were estimated at 6000 km. Some maintenance work has been accomplished in the north.

6.2 Telecommunications:

Telecommunications are provided in major towns by a number of small private companies, linked to overseas satellite operators. Radio is the main form of mass communications, drawing on the longstanding Somali oral tradition.

6.3 Distribution system:

The state trading organization, the national agency of foreign trade, is responsible for the distribution of certain commodities received under aid programs. Distribution of petroleum products by contractors in the private sector are permitted if they have safe storage and distribution facilities.

USEFUL ADDRESSES: 

Organization And Public Establishments

Address

Tel

Telex

Ministry of Commerce and Industry P.O. Box 928 - Mogadishu (2521) 21453 3143 mincom sm
Ministry of Finance and Economy Mogadishu (2521) 33090  
Ministry of Foreign Affairs  Mogadishu (2521) 721 639
National Agency of Foreign Trade P.O.Box 602 Mogadishu    
Chamber of Commerce, Industry , Agriculture and Fisheries P.O.Box 27 – Mogadishu (2521) 80726 3011 

sahan sm



 
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