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Limark in Chad

Connecting Chad across Africa and beyond

Located in north-central Africa, Chad presents unique challenges for international shipping and logistics operations. Whether you need to import essential machinery or export local products, our dedicated team of logistics specialists is here to ensure a seamless and efficient experience.

At the heart of our services lies a comprehensive inland transport network that connects Chad’s landlocked geography to our extensive ocean freight capabilities. This integration allows us to streamline the movement of your cargo, be it refrigerated goods, oversized equipment, or standard containerized shipments.

Shipping to and from Chad

Import regulations

Importing goods to Chad requires navigating specific procedures and documentation. Here’s a breakdown of the essential requirements:

Exploring the diverse landscapes of Chad

Situated in the heart of Central Africa, Chad is a vast and diverse nation, renowned for its unique geographical and cultural tapestry. As the fifth-largest country on the African continent, it derives its name from the iconic Lake Chad, a vital water source sustaining millions of people across the region.

This landlocked nation boasts a striking contrast between its northern deserts and the lush savannas that dominate the southern regions, where the majority of the population resides. Since gaining independence from French rule in 1960, Chad’s economy has evolved from a traditional reliance on herding, farming, and the cotton industry to embracing the export of crude oil as its primary source of revenue in the modern era.

Beyond oil, Chad’s abundant natural resources have paved the way for the growth of various export markets, including meatpacking, beer brewing, and the production of construction materials, contributing to the country’s economic diversification.

Climatically, Chad experiences a distinct wet season from May to October in the southern regions, while the vast Saharan expanse in the northern third of the country receives minimal rainfall, with annual precipitation rarely exceeding 50 millimeters.

One of the most captivating aspects of Chad lies in its rich cultural tapestry, encompassing over 200 distinct ethnic groups. Each group brings its unique traditions, customs, and social structures, resulting in a vibrant mosaic of local and regional influences that shape the fabric of Chadian society.

Import licensing regime

  • Chad operates an import licensing regime managed by the Ministry of Trade and Private Sector Development
  • All imports for commercial purposes valued over 500,000 CFA francs require an import license
  • Import licenses are valid for 6 months and can be renewed once for an additional 6 months
  • Product-specific licenses/permits are required for regulated goods like pharmaceuticals, chemicals, arms/ammunition, etc.

Prohibitions and restrictions

  • Imports of saccharin, polychlorobiphenyls (PCBs), asbestos, and certain plastics are prohibited
  • Used clothing, motorized cycles, retreaded tires are restricted
  • Imports of seeds and plants face quarantine rules and phytosanitary requirements
  • Refrigerants, ozone-depleting substances have licensing requirements

Import verification program

  • Chad enforces an import verification program for import valuation
  • Companies must obtain verification of importers’ declarations from certified inspection firms
  • Applies to imports over 3 million CFA francs, except exempted products
  • Replacement for price evidence requirement previously used

Standards and technical requirements

  • Chadian standards generally aligned with CEMAC, African Organization for Standardization
  • All imported industrial products must comply with approved standards on markings, labeling
  • Food imports require certificates of conformity with food safety standards
  • Textiles/garments must meet norms on the use of toxic dyes/chemicals

Required import documentation

  • Comprehensive, certified import declaration (declaration d’importation)
  • Import license/permit for restricted products
  • Commercial invoice
  • Packing list
  • Bill of lading/air waybill
  • Certificate of origin
  • Inspection certificates as required (quality, conformity, etc.)
  • Import verification note/attestation
  • Other certificates like phytosanitary for plant products

Key regulated product categories

  • Pharmaceuticals and medicines
  • Plants, seeds, live animals
  • Foodstuffs and beverages
  • Chemicals, ozone-depleting substances
  • Petroleum products
  • Firearms, munitions, explosives
  • Precious metals and stones

Licensing authorities

  • Ministry of Public Health – pharmaceuticals, medicines, medical devices
  • Ministry of Agriculture – seeds, plants, live animals, agricultural inputs
  • Ministry of Commerce and Private Sector – most commercial goods
  • Ministry of Mines – precious metals and stones
  • Ministry of Environment – chemicals, ODS, hazardous materials
  • Ministry of Defense – firearms, explosives

Licensing procedures

  • Submit application with pro forma invoice, certificate of origin, technical specs
  • Screening and evaluation by technical committees
  • Payment of fees ranging from 1-5% of import value
  • Processing times of 2-4 weeks typical

Customs clearance and release of goods

  • All customs procedures are handled through SYDONIA’s automated customs clearance system
  • Goods must be cleared within 7-15 days after arrival depending on the mode of transport
  • Physical inspection applies to at least 25% of shipments based on risk criteria
  • Payment of import duties/taxes required before release of goods

Key duties and taxes

  • Import duty rates of 0%, 5%, 10%, 20% or 30% based on HS codes
  • 18% value-added tax (VAT) applied to CIF value plus duties
  • 2-4% community integration tax for imports from outside CEMAC
  • Potential for additional taxes like statistical tax, IT tax, etc.

Warehousing and transit

  • Temporary admission is permitted for re-exports, inward processing, etc.
  • Bonded warehousing facilities available in main commercial hubs
  • Transit procedures in place for landlocked imports via neighboring countries

Export regulations

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


  • Chad enforces an export control system regulated by the Ministry of Trade and Private Sector Development
  • All commercial exports valued over 500,000 CFA francs require an export license
  • Export licenses are valid for 6 months and can be renewed once
  • Additional licenses/permits are required for controlled products like minerals, wildlife, cultural goods

Prohibited and restricted exports

  • Raw diamond exports are prohibited, only cut/polished allowed with a Kimberley certificate
  • Wild fauna/flora protected under CITES subject to strict permitting
  • Exports of archaeological artifacts and national cultural property restricted
  • Narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances are completely prohibited

Customs valuation and pre-shipment inspection

  • Chad enforces WTO customs valuation rules based on transaction value
  • Pre-shipment inspection of exports by certified companies is required for:
    • All exports over 3 million CFA francs
    • Exports of crude oil, cotton, and live animals regardless of value
  • Inspection companies verify pricing, quality, quantities

Export processing zones and special regimes

  • Chad operates an export processing zone in N’Djamena for duty-free exports
  • Temporary admission regime allows imports for inward processing and then re-export
  • Drawback system provides exemptions/refunds of duties on re-exported goods

Required export documentation

  • Comprehensive, certified export declaration
  • Export license/permit for restricted products
  • Commercial invoice with HS codes
  • Packing list
  • Transport documents – bill of lading, airway bill
  • Certificate of origin
  • Inspection certificates – quantity, quality, conformity
  • Other certificates as required (Kimberley, phytosanitary, CITES, etc.)

Export cargo handling

  • Major exit ports are Douala (Cameroon), N’Djamena river port, Ngueli land border
  • Pre-arrival instructions are required 24-48 hours before cargo arrival
  • Shipping lines require documentation 2-3 days before vessel arrival
  • Penalties for incomplete/incorrect documentation, short shipments

Customs clearance process

  • All customs procedures conducted through SYDONIA automated system
  • Export declarations screened through the risk management system
  • Export cargo is subject to scanning and physical inspections on a random basis
  • Customs clearance must be obtained before cargo is loaded on the vessel

Container operations and logistics

  • Export containers generally not permitted extended dwell times at ports
  • Shipping lines will charge detention/demurrage fees if not returned promptly
  • Logistics planning is essential for timely cargo arrival and loading
  • Use of freight forwarders/customs brokers recommended

Export duties and taxation

Most exported goods are zero-rated and exempt from duties/taxes

However, some products face export duties:

  •     3% on raw hides and skins
  •     3% on logs and wood in the rough
  •     10% on gum Arabic exports
  • Exports are subject to other fees like terminal charges, handling, scanning

Quality control and certification

  • Certain exports subject to quality inspection before shipment
  • Products like cotton must meet criteria on moisture, contaminants
  • Phytosanitary certificates ensure plant/agricultural goods meet import requirements
  • Issuance of certificates of origin for preferential trade
Shipping to and from Chad

Expertise You Can Trust

Seamless cross-border shipping to and from Chad

Chad’s landlocked position and complex trade regulations present unique challenges for businesses. To thrive in this market, you need a logistics partner with deep expertise, local insights, and a proven track record of success.

Limark is that partner. Our expert team understands the nuances of shipping to and from Chad. We leverage our extensive network, partners, and up-to-date knowledge of regulations to ensure your shipments move smoothly and cost-effectively. Let us simplify your Chad operations and unlock new growth opportunities.

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