Cameroon - Country Commercial Guide
Customs Regulations
Last published date:

Cameroon is a member of the Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa (CEMAC).  Within this economic zone, the six member countries are bound by a common customs and tariff treaty.  Customs regulations are administered at the national level by the Customs Directorate, under the Ministry of the Economy and Finance. With few exceptions, Cameroon customs tariffs are based on the CEMAC Common External Tariff (CET); all rates are ad valorem.  In general, imports valued at CFAF 2 million or more are subject to the program for guaranteeing customs revenue (PSRD), and as such must be inspected by the Société Générale de Surveillance (SGS) before shipment. 

In November 2017, the Cameroon National Shippers’ Council (CNCC) launched the Cameroon trade hub, a web portal designed to provide information on the procedures and requirements of cargo shipping in Cameroon.  The website contains details on administrative and customs procedures, forms, and costs; documentation on the legislation pertaining to external trade; a cargo and vessel tracking section; and data on external trade.  CNCC developed the hub to address shippers’ lack of awareness on procedures, which is one of the main causes of congestion at the port of Douala.

Cameroon developed a “Single Window for Foreign Trade Operations” (GUCE) for customs procedures in the Port Authority of Douala in December 2000, though implementation remains spotty.  The GUCE brings together services of banks, the Douala Port Authority, SGS, Customs, the Treasury, exchange offices, the National Office of Cocoa and Coffee, and the phytosanitary services to reduce the length of import procedures to seven days and export procedures to two days.

Douala and the Kribi Deep Sea Port are regional ports.  Goods in transit to the Republic of Congo and the landlocked countries of Chad and the Central African Republic are stored in freight forwarders’ bonded warehouses, with an amount equal to the value of assessed import tax held by Cameroonian Customs as a guarantee of re-export.  The guarantee is released when the goods exit Cameroon.  With the introduction of the GPS tracking system, Cameroonian Customs and SGS track goods destined to neighboring countries. Cameroon requires Pre-Shipment Inspection (PSI), which should be carried out for all imports into the country. This exercise is undertaken in the port of exporting country for the purpose of Customs clearance of the goods. In addition, shippers must obtain a “Bordereau Electronique de Suivi des Cargaisons“(BESC) from the Cameroon Shippers Council office in Douala prior to loading cargo, and attach it to export customs documents.  Should they fail to do so, they can still obtain the document within five days following a vessel’s sailing date with a penalty, which may rise to 50 percent of the cost of the original BESC.  Any cargo loaded in or bound for Cameroon ports, except for cargo in transit and/or in trans-shipment, must be covered by an Electronic Cargo Tracking Note (ECTN) duly validated by the Cameroon National Shippers’ Council (CNSC) or its representative.

Pre-Shipment Inspection (PSI) 


1084, Bd du Général Leclerc

BP 12140 Douala


Tel: + 237 3 342 10 28/57

Fax: + 237 3 343 09 44