Haiti - Country Commercial Guide
Selling Factors and Techniques

Identifies common practices used in selling in this market, including sales material that needs to be in the local language.

Last published date: 2022-08-03

Overview

U.S. companies commonly use an official representative or distributor to enter the Haitian market because the Haitian commercial code does not allow foreigners to engage in wholesale or retail businesses without first obtaining a professional license.  Such agents or representatives typically work in Port-au-Prince and distribute products throughout the country.

Companies usually market products with billboards, road signage, radio and television advertising. Advertising campaigns are carried out in Haitian Creole and French.  Firms also promote heavily at carnivals and music concerts, by supporting the national soccer team, and in international sports tournament broadcasts.  Beverage firms have also run successful bottle cap promotions.

Trade Promotion & Advertising

While there is a growing number of advertising professionals and commercial producers in Haiti, the media reports that advertising revenue continued to decline in 2021.  Driven by the current socio-political crisis, many companies in the country have stopped advertising.  Haitian radio and television media revenues, as well as billboard advertising revenues in municipalities, have decreased as a result of suspended advertising contracts due to socioeconomic crisis.  Billboards, radio, and TV commercials are popular advertising venues, and marketing companies typically use commercial flyers to target the higher social strata.  In Port-au-Prince, billboard fees can cost thousands of dollars.  In the outlying municipalities, advertisers pay billboard fees to the mayor’s office of the municipality where the billboards are displayed.  As most Haitians acquire information via radio, radio still dominates the advertising sector.  It is common practice for well-known young Haitian artists, athletes, and public figures to sign advertising contracts with companies and their sponsors.  Per the latest data released by telecommunications regulator CONATEL (Conseil National des Télécommunications) in 2019, there are 398 legal radio broadcasting stations, including about 60 community radio stations, and seven radio stations on the AM band. The FM band in Haiti is oversaturated by 158 percent.  Most radio stations broadcast 17 to 19 hours a day.  There are 105 television stations operating, including 36 TV stations in Port-au-Prince, 41 others in the provinces and more than 40 radio-television stations.  A large number of broadcasting stations operate irregularly.  Some stations operate with technical parameters that do not comply with established standards thus causing harmful interference to existing telecommunications systems.

Radio is one of the most consumed media and is accessible at low cost.  The population has access to it even with their mobile phones.  Despite digital information and communication technology (ICT) alternatives, radio remains reliable and popular.  It allows real-time interaction and remains the preferred channel of communication, particularly in times of crisis or disaster.

Outside of Port-au-Prince, there are a few local television channels broadcasting in analog mode, often with poor quality transmission.  However, these television stations remain important to the people because they broadcast local content every day, covering regional life that Port-au-Prince channels might not cover.

Advertising is regularly viewed in the daily newspapers, such as “Le Nouvelliste,” and “Le National” or through local Haitian TV channels and radio stations.  Television-based advertisements have been increasing over the years, but this occurs primarily in Haiti’s largest cities.

Cable TV subscriptions are available through three cable providers: Tele Haiti, NuTV, and Canal+.  To cater to a wider audience, cable providers also offer up to 250 foreign (Latin American, European, and Caribbean) and many American channels such as CBS, ABC, NBC, FOX, HBO, TNT, ESPN, and CNN.  However, some remote areas in the countryside still lack access to cable TV.  The lack of any rating system makes actual audience reach by radio or broadcast television hard to assess. Cell phone penetration in Haiti remains high with the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) estimating over 64.3 percent penetration rates in 2020.  The internet penetration rate has increased in recent years to 37.3 percent.  Digicel maintains the largest market share in the tightly owned and operated SMS advertising sector.

Table: Number of radio stations and cable providers per department, per CONATEL and cable companies:

Department

FM Stations

Percentage of saturation

Cable

OUEST (West)

106

212

3

SUD-EST (Southeast)

32

64

2

NIPPES

16

32

1

SUD (South)

45

90

2

GRANDE-ANSE

22

44

1

CENTRE (Center)

28

56

2

ARTIBONITE

67

134

2

NORD and NORD-EST (North and North-East)

55

110

1

NORD-OUEST (North-West)

28

56

1

 

Pricing

There is no fixed pricing structure, but the government imposes restrictions on the mark-up of some products.  For example, retailers are prohibited from increasing the sale price of pharmaceutical products by more than 40 percent.  Prices of petroleum products are strictly controlled.  Haiti has the highest port fees in the hemisphere as well as various import taxes and duties that apply to all imported products.  These associated costs add approximately 35 percent to the final sale price of imported products.

Large European and Asian companies compete against U.S. manufacturers of large-scale equipment and services.  Contraband goods, low-priced and low-quality counterfeit products create a grey market at the disadvantage of legitimate distributors.

In an effort to combat price gouging, the Minister of Commerce announced in October 2020 plans to regulate the per product profit margin of importers, using foreign purchase price information from companies’ pro forma invoices.  The move was widely criticized by the business sector as stifling competition.

Haiti does not have an existing Competition Bureau or Competition Law in place.  The absence of such a legal framework often results in anti-competitive conduct without risk of being sanctioned that is detrimental to consumers.

Sales Service/Customer Support

Most companies are limited in their customer service capabilities.  U.S. manufacturers need to adequately demonstrate they can supply spare parts and provide technical assistance.  Training and monitoring local service providers is advisable.

Phone providers, cable providers, internet providers, and banking institutions, provide customer assistance after hours.

Local Professional Services

Several business and industry associations offer mechanisms to identify business partners. The most common type of professional services includes staffing services, consultation services, accounting services, translation, and legal services. Credit reporting is in its infancy in Haiti and is difficult to perform, although the Central Bank established a database to give commercial banks access to information such as the credit history of loan applicants. In-person meetings are required to open accounts, process loan applications, and add new members.

Principal Business Associations

Several business and industry associations offer mechanisms to identify business partners. The most prominent associations include:

The American Chamber of Commerce in Haiti (AmCham)

Angle Rue Panamericaine et Impasse des Hotels

Ritz Kinam

Pétion-Ville, Haïti

HT6140

Tel: (509) 2940-3024

Fax: (509) 2811-9092

Email: info@amchamhaiti.com / jpboisson@commeilfaut.com  

Web: https://amchamhaiti.com/

(Mr. Jean-Philippe Boisson, President)

(Ms. Erika Vaval Rosenthal, Executive Director)

For additional information please visit the AmCham website: https://amchamhaiti.com/

 

Haitian Manufacturers Association (ADIH)

7 Rue Frank Cardozo

Hotel Montana Apartment 805

Villa Nelly

Port-au-Prince, Haiti

Tel. (509) 2946-1211/3776-1211

Email: adminidtration@adih.ht / info@adih.ht

Web: https://adih.ht/

(Mr. Wilhelm Lemke, President)

(Ms. Sophia Joseph Riboul, Executive Director)

 

Haitian Canadian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCIHC)

38 Rue Metellus

Petion-Ville, Haiti

Tel: (509)  2813-0773

Email: ccihcsecretariat@gmail.com

Web: www.ccihc.net

(Mr. Michelle Fequiere Mourra, President)

(Mrs. Katiana St Germain , Executive Director a.i.)

 

Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Haiti (CCIH)

4ème étage, Immeuble Digicel, #151 angle Ave Jean Paul II & imp. Duverger,Turgeau

Port-au-Prince, Haiti

Tel : (509) 2946-7777 / 2943-1173

Email: CCIHaitiouest@gmail.com/ info@ccih.org.ht

Website: http://www.ccih.org.ht

(Mr. Laurent Saint-Cyr, President)

(Ms. Beatrice Ilias, Executive Director)

 

Association Haïtienne  pour le Développement des Technologies de l’Information et de la Communication (AHTIC)

29 2ieme Ruelle Nazon

Local Infotonic Haiti

Bourdon, Haïti

Tel : (509) 2942-1966

E-mail : secretariat@ahtic.ht

(Mr. Max Larson Henry, President)

 

Haitian Tourism Association (ATH)

18 Rue Moïse

Petion-Ville,  Haïti

Tel : (509) 2946-8484/ 503-3397-3522

E-mail : rainaforbin@yahoo.com

(Ms. Raina Forbin, President)

(Ms. Jennica Germain, Executive Director)

 

Franco-Haitian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CFHCI)

5 Rue Goulard

HT 6140

Petion-Ville -  Haïti

Tel: (509) 3949-5449 / 2227-3436

Email: cfhci@yahoo.fr

Website:  https://www.icihaiti.com/.com

(Mr. Gregory Brandt, President)

(Ms. Ella Alexandra Joseph, Executive Director)

 

Association for Micro-Enterprise Corporations (ACME)

4, impasse Pierre Legrand

Puits-Blain

Petion-Ville, Haiti

Tel : (509) 2813-0545 / 2813-1972 / 2949-0101 / 2940-1364

E-mail: infos@acmehaiti.com

Website: https://acmehaiti.com/

 

National Association of Microfinance Institutions of Haiti (ANIMH)

7 Impasse Price-Mars, Rue Boisrond Canal

Freres

Petion-Ville, Haiti

Tel : (509) 3648-5767

(Chantal Mascary, Administrator)

(Dominique Boyer, President)

E-mail : chantalmascary@yahoo.com  

info@animhati.net

 

Board of Conciliation and Arbitration of Haiti (CCAH)

4eme etage Building Digicel, 151, Angle Ave. Jean Paul II et imp. Duverger

Turgeau, Haiti

Tel: 2940-5142 / 2940-5144

Email: ccah-haiti@hotmail.com Haitian Association of Construction Companies (AHEC)

108, Rue Lambert

Petion-Ville, Haiti

Tel : (509) 509-2947-5050 / 3793-1010

E-mail : ahec1996@yahoo.fr

 

Association Nationale des Medias Haitiens (ANMH)

20, Ave Lamartiniere, Apt 9

Port-au-Prince, Haiti

Tel : (509) 3410-5596 / 3727-8539

Email: jadesro@yahoo.fr

 

National Association of Importers and Distributors of Pharmaceutical Products (ANIDPP)

41, Rue Lambert, 3eme etage

Petion-Ville, Haiti

Tel: (509) 3449-5575 / 3487-6641

Email: anipdd@gmail.com 

 

National Association of Distributors [Gas Stations] of Petroleum Products (ANADIPP)

401, Route de Delmas

Local Dubois Shopping Center

BP 1379

Port-au-Prince, Haïti

Tel : (509) 3462-1296

Email: anadipp@hainet.net

 

Professional Association of Banks (APB)

133, Rue Faubert

Petion-Ville, Haïti

HT6140

Tel: (509) 3748-8852

Email: apbhaiti@hotmail.com

 

Chamber of Maritime Companies Association (AMARH)

360 Boulevard la Saline,

Port-au-Prince, Haïti

Tel: (509) 3175-1177

Email: ebaussan@agemar.com

(Mr. Edouard Baussan, President)

 

Association of Mango Exporters (ANEM)

Santo 20, Route National #3

Croix des Bouquets, Haïti

Tel: (509) 4240-3919

 

Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Professionals of the North (CCIPN)

115, Rue 13 B

Cap-Haitien, Haïti

Tel : (509) 3728-9731/ 509-2260-1951

(Steve Matthieu, President)

Email: ccipnispn89@gmail.com / stv_mathieu@yahoo.com

 

Chamber of Commerce, Industry and the Professionals of Croix-des-Bouquets

11, Rue Republicaine

Croix-des-Bouquets

Port-au-Prince, Haiti

Tel : (509) 3734-0094 / 2238-8001

E-mail : jjerickbrutus@hotmail.com

 

Chamber of Commerce, Industry and the Professionals of the South

1 Rue du Quai des Cayes

Les Cayes, Haiti

Tel : (509) 2940-0034 / 509-3739-3468

(Pierre-Antoine Borgat, President)

E-mail : paborgat@yahoo.com / chambredecommercesud@yahoo.com

 

Chamber of Commerce, Industry and the Professionals of the Grand’Anse

13 Angle des Rues Alexandre Petion et Saint Leger Pierre-Louis

Jeremie, Haiti

President : Monode Joseph

Tel : (509) 3721-0685 / (509) 3327-5466

E-mail : infocciga@gmail.com

 

Société Nationale des Parcs Industriels (SONAPI)

Blvd Toussaint Louvertue

Route de l’Aeroport

Port-au-Prince, Haïti

Tel : (509) 3750-2323 / 2141-4200 / 2141-4700

E-mail : parcindustriel@yahoo.com

 

Caracol Industrial Park (PIC)

Route de Caracol

Caracol, Dept du Nord Est

Tel : (509) 2941-0290 / 3750-2323

Email : info.caracol@ute.gouv.ht

Website : http://www.ute.gouv.ht/caracol/

 

Cosa Industrial Park

Route Nationale No. 1, Chancerelles

Port-au-Prince, Haïti

Tel: (509) 3866-7558 / 3701-0077

Email: Shodecosa@yahoo.com

Website: www.shodecosa.com

(Ms. Youri Mevs, General Director)

 

Airport Industrial Park Transact S.A.

Boulevard Toussaint Louverture

Fleuriot Tabarre

Port-au-Prince, Haiti

Tel: (509) 2245-9616

 

Center for the Facilitation of Investments

2, Impasse Tulipe, Ruelle Oscar

 Propriété Lyles Port-au-Prince, Haiti

Tel : (509) 2811-6234

E-mail : info@cfihaiti.com

Website: https://www.cfihaiti.com/index.php/en/

Ms. Marie Fatima Leonne Prophete, General Director

To view market research reports by the U.S. Commercial Service visit the following website: https://www.trade.gov/market-intelligence  and click on Country and Industry Market Reports.

Please note that these reports are only available to U.S. citizens’ companies.  There is no fee but registration to the site is required.  Please click on the link below for information on trade events: https://www.trade.gov/trade-events-search#/.

Limitations on Selling U.S. Products and Services

The government does not impose discriminatory requirements on foreign products and services.  However, investment in certain sectors, such as health, agriculture, and maritime, requires special authorization from the government.  Investment in “sensitive” sectors, such as electricity, water, and telecommunications, requires Haitian government concession as well as authorization from the appropriate government agency.  In general, natural resources are considered to be the property of the state.  As a result, prospecting, exploring, or exploiting mineral and energy resources requires concessions and permits from the Bureau of Mining and Energy, in the Ministry of Public Works.  Mining, prospecting, and operating permits may only be granted to firms and companies established and resident in Haiti.