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Limark in Cameroon

Connecting Cameroon across Africa and beyond

Providing you with tailored logistics solutions for seamless shipping to and from Cameroon, ensuring reliability and efficiency every step of the way.

We understand the vital role efficient and reliable logistics play in your import and export operations. Whether you’re shipping standard cargo, perishables, or oversized goods, our dedicated teams in Douala combine local knowledge with global expertise to ensure seamless, on-time delivery.

Our commitment to excellence guarantees unparalleled customer service throughout your shipment’s journey, regardless of its size or complexity. Experience the Limark Forwarding difference – trust us to handle your logistics needs with precision and care.

shipping services to and from Cameroon

Import regulations and licensing requirements

Navigating the import process can be complex. Simplify the experience by getting up-to-date local information on procedures, restrictions, demurrage, detention, container pick-ups, and and more.

To ensure compliant import operations into Cameroon, businesses must fulfill several mandatory requirements outlined by the customs authorities and relevant regulatory bodies.

Documentation requirements

The following core documents must be provided for import clearance:

  • Commercial Invoice
  • Packing List
  • Bill of Lading/Air Waybill
  • Certificate of Origin

Import Declaration (via GUCE Single Window system)

Depending on the nature of the goods, additional documentation may be required:

  • Import Permits/Licenses (for regulated products)
  • Certificates of Conformity/Free Sale
  • Phytosanitary/Health Certificates
  • CITES Permits (for plants/wildlife)
  • Pre-shipment inspection certificates

Licenses and permits

As outlined in Cameroon’s import restrictions, various products require specific licenses or permits from ministries/agencies before import:

  • Foodstuffs and Agriculture Products
  • Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices
  • Chemicals and Industrial Products
  • Wildlife/Fauna and Plants
  • Textiles and Apparel
  • Ozone-Depleting Substances

Importers must ensure they obtain relevant licenses/permits based on their product categories to comply with regulations.

Pre-shipment inspection

Most commercial import shipments to Cameroon require a Pre-shipment Inspection from appointed agencies like Bureau Veritas or COTECNA. This mandatory inspection covers:

  • Verification of product quality/specifications
  • Conformity with standards and regulations
  • Checking of pricing/valuation for duty assessments

A Clean Report of Findings (CRF) certificate must be issued prior to shipment.

GSEV cargo tracking

Cameroon’s GSEV (Gestion du Suivi de la Cargaison des Voyages) is an electronic cargo tracking system. Importers need:

  • Registration on the GSEV system
  • Obtain Electronic Cargo Tracking Notes (e-CTN) per shipment
  • Provide regular updates to track cargo status

The GSEV tracks imports from origin until customs clearance.

Customs procedures

All import shipments must be declared through the GUCE Single Window system with the required documentation uploaded. Key steps include:

  • Assessment of duties/taxes based on the declaration
  • Routing for relevant agency reviews/approvals
  • Payment of applicable duties/fees

Clearance formalities and cargo release

Merchant Haulage and Free Time in Cameroon

For import shipments into Cameroon on Merchant Haulage terms, specifically at the Port of Douala, the following free time allowances apply:

Dry Cargo containers

  • 11 calendar days of free demurrage
  • 2 days of free detention after gate-out of full containers

Reefer (Refrigerated) containers

  • 2 days of free demurrage
  • 2 days of free detention after gate-out

Demurrage calculations

Demurrage free time is counted from the container discharge date at the port terminal. Any delays beyond the free days will incur demurrage charges.

Detention calculations

Detention free time is calculated from the date the full container is gated out from the terminal. Any delays in returning the empty container beyond the free days will result in detention charges.

Please note

Holidays and non-working days are included in the free time calculations for both demurrage and detention.

Prompt container movements are crucial to avoid accruing storage charges from shipping lines.

Expedited clearance

To facilitate faster import clearance and reduce terminal dwell times, consider options like:

  • Pre-filing customs documentation ahead of cargo arrival
  • Participating in Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) programs
  • Utilizing customs brokers and clearance experts

Proper planning and adherence to free time parameters ensure cost efficiencies in your Cameroon import operations via merchant haulage.

We prioritize compliance with all local regulations to facilitate responsible and hassle-free trade for our customers. In line with the Cameroon Customs Information System (CAMCIS) implementation, specific requirements are now mandatory when importing vehicles into Cameroon, including vehicles in transit.

Effective January 1st, 2020, the following details must be provided for all vehicle shipments to Cameroon:

  • Vehicle Chassis Number
  • Number of Engine Cylinders
  • Vehicle Type (compact, convertible, hatchback/estate, van, roadster, wagon, coupe/sports car, minivan, sedan, cabriolet, off-road/pickup, limousine, SUV, saloon, transporter)
  • Year of Manufacture
  • Brand/Make
  • Model

Customer requirements

Customers must furnish the above six mandatory details when submitting shipping instructions for vehicle shipments destined for or transiting through Cameroon.

Export coordination

  • Origin customer service teams to proactively communicate these requirements
  • Ensure shipping instructions are submitted timely with complete vehicle details
  • Reject any instructions lacking the mandatory vehicle specifics

Compliance impact

  • Shipments missing the required vehicle details will not be customs-cleared
  • Non-compliance may lead to potential fines from Cameroon Customs authorities
  • Delayed clearance and shipment disruptions due to incomplete documentation

Seamless clearance

To avoid penalties and delays, we recommend:

  • Providing accurate and complete vehicle details upfront in shipping instructions
  • Utilizing customs brokerage services for import/transit declarations
  • Exploring trusted trade programs like Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) status

Cameroon enforces various import restrictions to safeguard national interests and align with international trade regulations. Understanding these prohibitions and controls is crucial for compliant trade operations.

Prohibited imports

Certain goods are strictly prohibited from being imported into Cameroon under any circumstances:

  • Weapons, ammunition, explosives, and military equipment
  • Narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances
  • Counterfeit goods violating intellectual property rights
  • Hazardous wastes and toxic substances
  • Crude/waste oils and oily residues

Attempting to import prohibited items can lead to severe consequences like cargo seizures, fines, and potential criminal prosecution.

Restricted imports requiring permits/licenses

Several products are permitted for import but are subject to regulation. Importers must obtain necessary permits/licenses from relevant authorities:

  • Foodstuffs and agri-products (permit from Ministry of Agriculture)
  • Pharmaceutical products (license from Ministry of Health)
  • Chemicals and industrial products (clearance based on product classification)
  • Wildlife/fauna and plants/seeds (CITES permits and phytosanitary certificates)
  • Ozone-depleting substances (license from Ministry of Environment)
  • Certain textiles and clothing (import quotas/authorizations)

Application processes, validity periods, fees, and specific requirements vary based on the product category and issuing authority.

Other import controls

In addition to outright bans and licensed goods, imports may face:

  • Import duties and value-added taxes based on product HS codes/valuations
  • Quality/safety standards and inspection requirements for various products
  • Labeling, marking, and packaging norms to comply with
  • Trade protection measures like anti-dumping duties or import quotas

Non-compliance can result in regulatory penalties, clearance delays, and even seizures.

Comprehensive guidance

Limark provides expert guidance to ensure our customers adhere to all applicable import regulations in Cameroon. Our services include:

  • Determining if your products require permits/licenses and facilitating procurement
  • Ensuring proper HS classification, valuations, and duty/tax calculations
  • Assistance with meeting standards and inspection requirements
  • Customs brokerage and clearance advisory for seamless import operations

Export regulations and licensing requirements

Exporting goods out of Cameroon requires navigating specific procedures and documentation. Here’s a breakdown of the essential requirements:

Dry and special cargo containers

For dry and special cargo containers (e.g. open tops, flat racks), the following detention free time applies:

  • 30 calendar days of free detention

The detention free time commences from the date the empty container is gated out from the terminal or depot until the full-laden unit is returned.

Reefer (Refrigerated) containers

For refrigerated reefer containers, exporters benefit from:

  • 20 calendar days of free detention

The free time is calculated from the date of the empty reefer gate-out until the laden reefer unit is returned to the terminal or depot.


Please note that free demurrage is not applicable for export containers in Cameroon. Exporters only need to focus on managing detention times efficiently.

Detention calculation and charges

Any delays in returning laden containers beyond the stipulated 30-day (dry/special) or 20-day (reefer) free time will result in detention charges from the shipping line. These per diem charges can quickly accrue if container cycles are not optimized.

Container logistics advisory

To maximize the detention free times and avoid potential charges, exporters should:

  • Streamline packing and cargo readiness for prompt container returns-utilize container yards/depots near supply locations
  • Coordinate trucking drayage ahead of free time expiry
  • Leverage container tracking solutions for visibility

Additionally, measures like direct truck loading and exploring rail transportation can facilitate quicker turnarounds.

Customs clearance impact

Delays in regulatory formalities like customs clearance and cargo inspections can also eat into detention-free days. Proper documentation filings and leveraging programs like Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) status can help expedite clearance processes.

Core export documents

The following core documents are mandatory for all export shipments:

  • Commercial invoice – Detailing the products, quantities, values, weights, HS codes, incoterms, etc.
  • Packing list – Specifying contents of each package/container
  • Transport document (Bill of Lading/Airway Bill)
  • Certificate of Origin – Certifying the country of origin/manufacture
  • GUCE Declaration – Submitted via Cameroon’s Single Window platform

Depending on the product, additional documents may be required:

Product-Specific Documents

  • Export Permits/Licenses for regulated products like timber, minerals, etc.
  • Phytosanitary/Health Certificates for plants, agricultural commodities
  • CITES Permits for exports of wildlife and related products
  • Certificates of Quality/Conformity for manufactured goods
  • Dangerous Goods Notes/Declarations for hazardous cargo

GUCE Single Window Process

Cameroon has implemented the Guichet Unique des Operations du Commerce Extérieur (GUCE) as a Single Window for all export operations:

  • Exporters must register on the GUCE platform
  • Submit export declarations electronically with all relevant documents uploaded
  • GUCE conducts risk-based monitoring and routes declarations as needed
  • Obtain clearance and authorization from all concerned agencies via GUCE

The GUCE aims to facilitate faster export processes by reducing duplication and in-person submissions.

Inspection requirements

Most exports require pre-shipment inspection by appointed agencies:

  • SGS and Bureau Veritas are authorized inspection providers
  • Exporters must request inspection after GUCE filing
  • Inspectors verify shipment details like quantity, quality, HS codes, packaging
  • Issue Clean Report of Findings (CRF)/Inspection Certificate upon approval

Some product categories like logs undergo mandatory joint inspections by several agencies.

Customs clearance and cargo release

After fulfilling all requirements, the final steps involve:

  • Tax/duty assessments and payments as applicable
  • Customs release and cargo sealing at port/terminal
  • Acquittal of export process within stipulated timelines

Additional requirements may apply for certain export modes like temporary exports, transit shipments, or exports to/from special economic zones.

shipping services to and from Cameroon

Expertise You Can Trust

Navigate Cameroon’s trade landscape with a trusted logistics partner

Importing or exporting in Cameroon? Navigating changing regulations, complex documentation, and customs processes can be overwhelming. Let Limark’s comprehensive logistics solutions be your competitive advantage.

Our team of trade experts seamlessly handles every compliance detail. From obtaining necessary permits to managing inspections and regulatory filings, we take the burden off your shoulders. Contact us today to streamline your Cameroon trade operations.

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Partner with experienced freight forwarders and customs brokers for seamless shipping to and from Cameroon. Ensure full documentation compliance with the guidance and logistics services of our team.