Discusses the distribution network within the country from how products enter to final destination, including reliability and condition of distribution.
There are two primary ways for U.S. goods to enter Chad. The first is via Douala, Cameroon, the nearest ocean port. Goods arrive by ship and are transported to Chad by road transport. Poor road infrastructure and slow customs clearance pose challenges to importers. The other is air freight to the international airport in N’Djamena. Goods also enter Chad from Sudan, and borders with Libya, Niger, Nigera, and CAR also facilitate the exchange of goods. Goods are distributed within Chad by road transport, and many roads are in poor condition. There is no rail service.
Many Chadian retailers procure goods in neighboring Libya, Cameroon, Sudan, and Nigeria, while others import from Europe, China, India, Saudi Arabia and other Middle Eastern countries, and North America. Most imported goods in this landlocked country transit the port of Douala (Cameroon), with some passing through Cotonou (Benin) and El Geneina (Sudan).
Retailing is predominantly informal. Retailers in N’Djamena and other major cities distribute durable goods such as new vehicles, machinery, and household appliances.
Using an Agent or Distributor
Most U.S. products sold in Chad are marketed through agents or distributors, though it is not legally required to do so. U.S. products sold in Chad through distributors include CAT equipment, Ford vehicles, and Valvoline products. Coca-Cola distributes a complete range of products in Chad (Coke, Fanta, Sprite, etc.) under a licensing agreement with a domestic company. Import-export companies usually serve as agents or wholesale distributors for the products they import. Most importers are N’Djamena-based, although potential partners exist in Moundou, Sarh, and Abéché.
Establishing an Office
Prior to establishing an office, consult a lawyer.
The National Agency for Investment and Exports (ANIE) is another useful resource for new entrants to Chad.
There are few franchising agreements in Chad. The most prominent include Total gas stations, various banks, and international hotel brands.
Direct marketing is permitted in Chad.
The Government of Chad seeks joint ventures in targeted industries, including mining, abbatoirs, oil exploration, and agriculture. The government holds a stake in both the ExxonMobil-led Esso Exploration & Production Chad Inc. (EEPCI) consortium and the country’s lone refinery and seeks to develop local expertise and capital through joint ventures in major new projects. Small and medium enterprises are less likely to be required to enter into joint venture arrangements.
FedEx and DHL provide express delivery services in Chad. Due to poor road and transport infrastructure, express delivery is only practical to N’Djamena and several regional hubs with airports. Lengthy and cumbersome customs clearances may cause significant delays. Such delivery services are expensive.
U.S. businesses should conduct appropriate due diligence on their business partners and agents. The U.S. Commercial Service completes background checks via the International Company Profile service.