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Limark in Liberia

Connecting Liberia across Africa and beyond

As a seasoned logistics provider in Liberia, Limark leverages our deep understanding of West African trade dynamics to ensure the seamless flow of your cargo. Our expertise lies in navigating Liberia’s port regulations, optimizing inland transportation, and facilitating seamless border crossings into neighboring markets.

With operations spanning over 40 African countries, Limark’s vast network connects Liberia to key trading hubs across the continent and beyond. We offer tailor-made solutions to streamline your supply chain, whether you’re exporting Liberia’s rich natural resources – rubber, timber, or iron ore – or importing essential machinery and manufactured goods.

Shipping to and from Liberia

Import regulations

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

Product categories requiring import permits/licenses

  • Live animals, animal products (meat, dairy, eggs, etc.)
  • Plants, seeds, grains, fruits, vegetables
  • Processed/packaged foods and beverages
  • Pharmaceuticals, drugs, medical devices
  • Fertilizers, pesticides, agrochemicals
  • Industrial chemicals, hazardous materials
  • Used machinery, vehicles, computers, electronics
  • Telecommunications and radio equipment
  • Weapons, ammunition, explosives

Prohibited imports

  • Narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances
  • Counterfeit goods violating intellectual property rights
  • Pornographic and indecent materials
  • Plastic bags and non-biodegradable packaging (with exceptions)
  • Materials contradicting national ideology
  • Casino/gambling machines and equipment

Restricted imports requiring permits

  • Ethyl alcohol and alcoholic beverages
  • Precious metals, diamonds, precious gemstones
  • Encryption software and devices
  • Ozone-depleting substances and refrigerants
  • Radioactive materials and nuclear equipment

Relevant agencies

  • Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) – Customs Services Dept.
  • National Standards Laboratory (NSL)
  • Ministry of Agriculture (MOA)
  • Ministry of Commerce & Industry (MOCI)
  • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
  • Ministry of Health – Food & Drug Division
  • National Lottery Authority

Free storage periods

  • Sea freight (Freeport of Monrovia) – 5 working days free
  • Air freight (Roberts Int’l Airport) – 3 calendar days free

Demurrage charges after Free Time (per calendar day)

  • 20′ Dry Container: $30-50
  • 40′ Dry Container: $50-80
  • 20′ Reefer Container: $70-110
  • 40′ Reefer Container: $110-160

Container detention charges after free days (per day)

  • 20′ Dry Container: $30-40
  • 40′ Dry Container: $40-60
  • 20′ Reefer Container: $50-70
  • 40′ Reefer Container: $70-110

Long-term storage

  • Container Freight Stations and depots offer long-term storage
  • Rates: $200-350/20′ and $300-550/40′ per month


  • Free days are calculated from the date containers discharged from the vessel/aircraft
  • Demurrage accrues per calendar day until removal from the port
  • Detention is charged from the day equipment is released until returned

Standard documents

  • Commercial Invoice
  • Packing List
  • Bill of Lading/Air Waybill
  • Import Declaration Form (IDF)
  • Import License/Permit (if required product)
  • Certificate of Origin

Commercial invoice requirements

  • Detailed description of goods (name, HS code, quantities)
  • Transaction value and currency
  • Terms of sale/delivery (Incoterms)
  • Full legal names and addresses of buyer and seller

Packing list requirements

  • Marks and numbers on packages
  • Descriptions of goods
  • Package quantities, weights, and dimensions

Other certificates

  • Phytosanitary Certificate (plants/agriculture)
  • Health/Veterinary Certificate (animal products)
  • Free Sale Certificate (food, beverages, pharmaceuticals)
  • Conformity Certificate (manufactured goods)
  • Radiation Report (prescribed products)

General import licensing

  1. Register as an importer and obtain a Tax ID from LRA
  2. Apply for an Import Permit License from MOCI
  3. Submit documents like business registrations, articles of incorporation
  4. License valid for 1 year, renewable annually

Obtaining specific permits

  • Agricultural Products – Apply for an Import Permit from MOA
  • Provide product samples, test reports, certifications
  • Permits are valid for 6-12 months, renewable annually
  • Food/Beverages – Apply for a Standards Compliance Permit from NSL
  • Product evaluation and lab testing required
  • Permits are valid for 1-3 years based on the product
  • Pharmaceuticals – Apply for an Import Permit from MOH Food & Drug Div.
  • Extensive drug approval/registration process
  • Permits issued per approved consignment
  • Chemicals/Pesticides – Apply for an Environmental Permit from the EPA
  • Environmental impact assessment required
  • Permits fees from $500 up for hazardous products

Customs clearance process

  1. At least 24 hours prior to arrival, submit documentation to Customs:
  • Import Declaration Form (IDF)
  • Commercial invoice, packing list, licenses/permits
  • Bill of lading, airway bill, certificate of origin
  1. Calculate and pay applicable duties/taxes/fees to LRA in advance:
  • Import duty (rates from 0% to 35% based on HS code)
  • Goods and Service Tax of 7%
  • ECOWAS Trade Levy of 0.5%
  • Statistical fee of 1.5%
  • Additional charges like Maritime fees, BIVAC fees, etc.
  1. Customs verification and inspection process:
  • All containers pass through a scanner
  • Physical inspection may follow for some products
  • Sampling and testing for foods, chemicals, medicines
  1. If shipment compliant, an Import Release Order issued by Customs
  2. Pay terminal handling and transportation charges
  • Fees vary by port/terminal and container status
  1. For restricted imports, licenses/permits approved first

Port/Terminal operations

Sea ports

Freeport of Monrovia

    • Nation’s primary port, 25 berths
    • The main gateway for containers and bulk cargo
    • Cut-off 48 hours before vessel arrival
    • Storage yards and dedicated terminals

Port of Buchanan

    • Smaller facility with 4 berths
    • Focus on bulk commodities like iron ore
    • Limited container operations currently

Port of Greenville

    • River port on Sinoe River
    • Basic cargo handling capabilities

Air Cargo Terminals

  • Roberts International Airport (Monrovia)
  • Main air freight hub for Liberia
  • Cut-off 4 hours prior to arrival
  • Cold storage and perishables handling
  • Other small airports have minimal cargo operations.

All ports/airports have customs presence, scanning equipment, and access to storage yards and warehouses. Operating hours are typically 8am-5pm on weekdays.

Export regulations

Get a detailed guide that provides an in-depth look into every aspect of the export process to ensure your goods are shipped efficiently and in compliance with all legal standards.

Products requiring export permits/licenses

  • Unprocessed logs and timber products
  • Natural rubber in all forms (latex, sheets, etc.)
  • Diamonds, precious metals (gold, platinum, etc.)
  • Other precious gemstones and jewelry
  • Arms, ammunition, explosives, and military equipment
  • Wildlife animals, plants, and their products/derivatives
  • Primary agricultural commodities (cocoa beans, coffee, cashew nuts, etc.)
  • Mineral resources (iron ore, gold ore, bauxite, etc.)
  • Cultural antiquities and heritage items

Prohibited exports

  • Narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances
  • Counterfeit goods violating intellectual property rights
  • Hazardous wastes and toxic substances
  • Endangered/threatened species and products (unless CITES approved)

Restricted exports requiring permits

  • Ethyl alcohol and alcoholic beverages
  • Industrial chemicals, toxic materials
  • Ozone-depleting substances and refrigerants
  • Dual-use goods with potential military applications

Relevant agencies

  • Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) – Customs Services
  • Forestry Development Authority (FDA)
  • Ministry of Mines and Energy
  • Ministry of Agriculture – Plant/Animal Quarantine
  • Ministry of Information, Culture & Tourism
  • National Bureau of Concessions (NBC)

Standard documents required

  • Commercial/Pro Forma Invoice
  • Packing List
  • Bill of Lading/Airway Bill
  • Export Declaration Form (EDF)
  • Export Permit/License (if product needed)
  • Certificate of Origin

Commercial Invoice details

  • Full description of goods (name, HS code, quantities)
  • Transaction value and currency of sale
  • Incoterms (delivery terms used)
  • Full legal names and addresses of seller and buyer

Packing List information

  • Number of packages (cartons, crates, etc.)
  • Detailed contents in each package
  • Gross/net weights and dimensions
  • Package marks and numbers

Export declaration process

  1. Register as an Exporter and obtain a unique Exporter Code from LRA
  2. Compile and submit a full set of export documents to LRA Customs
  3. Obtain necessary export permits/licenses for regulated goods
  4. Pay export duties/taxes/fees assessed by Customs
  5. Receive validated Export Declaration Form/Permit to export

Required export certificates

  • Phytosanitary Certificate (plants and agriculture)
  • Veterinary Health Certificate (live animals)
  • Certificate of Origin
  • CITES Permit (endangered/threatened wildlife)
  • Kimberley Process Certificate (rough diamonds)
  • Fumigation/Disinfection Certificate (wood products)
  • Cultural Property Clearance (antiquities)

Major Seaports for exports

  • Freeport of Monrovia
    • Liberia’s primary port, 25 berths
    • Dedicated terminals for containers, bulk, RO-RO
    • Documentary cut-off at least 48 hours before vessel arrival
    • Container yards with 5 days of free storage
  • Port of Buchanan
    • Main bulk commodities export hub (iron ore, etc.)
    • Basic container handling capabilities
    • Same 48-hour documentary cut-off
  • Port of Greenville 
    • River port on Sinoe River
    • Very limited operations currently

Air Cargo Terminals

  • Roberts International Airport (Monrovia)
    • Main air freight gateway
    • Cut-off 4 hours prior to departure
    • Cold storage for perishable exports

Container operations

  • Empty containers returned to shipping lines
  • Free time typically 5 days at ports/depots
  • Demurrage charged after free period expires

Container return and charges

  • Shipping lines impose container detention fees
  • If not returned within allowance, charges apply:
    • $35-55/20′ dry container per day
    • $45-75/40′ dry container per day
    • $50-80/20′ reefer per day
    • $70-110/40′ reefer per day

Export duties and taxes

  • Most exported goods are exempt from duties/taxes
  • Exceptions – 2% duty on unprocessed logs/timber
    • 3% duty on rough diamond exports
  • Processing/Documentation fees $50-250 per shipment

Other fees and charges

  • Customs Attendance fees when inspections required
  • Maritime Stamp Tax (2.5% of FOB value)
  • Terminal Handling Charges per container
  • Port Authority Fees per vessel/freight ton
  • If scanned, Container Scanning Fees ($20-50)
  • Unrebated VAT and Excise if previously paid upfront

Customs operating hours are 8am-5pm on weekdays at all major ports and terminals. Proper export documentation is critical to facilitate clearance and avoid penalties/delays. Special inspections by quarantine, FDA, and other agencies may be required.

Shipping to and from Liberia

Expertise You Can Trust

Navigate Liberia’s complex trade landscape with Limark

In the ever-changing world of Liberian trade, navigating regulatory complexities and logistical challenges can be daunting. Limark, a seasoned player in the region, offers a comprehensive solution. Our end-to-end cross-border logistics expertise ensures your shipments comply with all regulations and arrive on time.

Backed by local knowledge and a global network, we guarantee reliable deliveries while minimizing your overall costs. With streamlined processes designed for maximum efficiency, your cargo is in expert hands. Contact Limark today to discover how we can simplify your Liberian trade operations and optimize your supply chain.

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