Customs Information

Benin - All


  • Packing list
  • Copy of Passport
  • Original Bill of Lading (OBL) - no Express Release accepted / Air Waybill (2 copies)
  • Bordereau électronique de Suivi de Cargaisons (BESC) / Electronic Cargo Tracking Note (ECTN) (mandatory)
  • Original valued inventory in French, dated and signed by the shipper
  • Invoice for all electrical items less than 6 months old
  • Resident / Work Permit / Letter of Employment
  • Certificate of change of residence (move certificate) - to be obtained by the client either from the city hall or the embassy of his country (if not citizen of the country from which client is moving)
  • Non-sale Certificate
  • Diplomatic Exemption Certificate (Diplomats) must be obtained before arrival of the goods in order to avoid storage charges.
  • IFU Card - must be obtained in Benin before every shipment arrival.


  • All import shipments are subject to customs inspection.
  • The OBL must clearly indicate the weight in kilograms, the number of items, and also state "personal belongings."
  • The weight of the vehicle, if applicable, must be shown separately from weight of the personal effects.
  • The duties and taxes exemption needs to be obtained prior to the shipment’s arrival at the border. The acquisition of this document will require one work week, if all the necessary documents are available.
  • The BESC must be attached to the OBL.
    • If BESC is not available, a penalty of 150 Euro will have to be paid in Benin.
  • Resident / Work Permit / or Letter of Employment must explain that client is starting a new contract in Benin.
  • The non-sale certificate must state that the owner of the goods will not sell personal effects in Benin.
  • Certificate for change of residence must be obtained at the country of origin by the owner of the goods from either the City Hall or the embassy of passport country (if the owner of the goods is not a citizen of the country from which they are moving).
  • All import shipments are subject to Customs inspection.
  • Household goods are allowed in Benin duty free if they have been in the owner of the goods’ possession for at least 6 months.
  • All diplomatic shipments are subject to a 1.05% import tax based on the declared value on BESC.
  • All non-diplomatic shipments are subject to a 12.95% import tax based on the declared value on BESC.
  • A diplomatic exemption certificate must be obtained before arrival of the goods to avoid storage charges.


  • Taxes on car will depend on age, power, etc.
    • Approximately 45-57% CIF if no exemption
    • 0.85% if diplomatic
  • The OBL must show chassis number, engine number, cubic capacity, year of manufacture, brand and model.
  • The customs clearance procedure of vehicles takes at least 5 weeks.

Required Documents:

  • Original Registration card
  • Original bill of lading / Freight Invoice
  • Non-sale Certificate
  • Origin Certificate


  • Health Certificate from veterinarian is required
  • Rabies Vaccination Certificate from origin country


  • Firearms and ammunitions (authorization from the territorial administration required)
  • Drugs
  • Alcohol (only “Fond de Cave”) is acceptable and duty free (maximum 12 bottles) Tax must be paid after: diplomat - 45.15%; import not exempt - 115%.
  • Cigarettes (200), cigars (25), cigarillos (100), tobacco (250 g)
  • Eau de toilette (500 ml)
  • Perfume (250 ml)
  • Guns, explosives and ammunition (authorization required)
  • Knives and deadly weapons (authorization required)
  • Plant and plant products (authorization is required)
  • Meat and meat products (authorization is required)


  • Illegal drugs
  • Firearms, ammunitions (unless authorized by territorial administration)
  • Hazardous materials
  • Animals and pets
  • Asbestos
  • Precious metals and stones
  • Ivory
  • Furs
  • Gambling devices
  • Counterfeit money and goods
  • Pornographic materials