Cameroon has retained three types of taxes for goods exported in 2020.
Under the 2020 finance law, the Directorate General of Taxes (DGI) indicates that Cameroon will tax exported goods in three groups.
The first group is made up of products exported in the unprocessed state which will be subject to exit duty at the rate of 5% of the taxable
value excluding certain goods such as wood and bananas.
The second group of goods is made up of semi-finished products which will be subject to exit duty at the rate of 10%.
Finally, the third group is made up of manufactured products, raw products, and bananas. These products will remain completely exempt
from the right of exit.
For the DGI, Cameroon can, therefore, boast of practicing a rather incentive tax policy for both foreign and national investors.
“In the same vein, we also intend to act on the taxation lever by adapting the customs taxation policy to the level of processing of exported
goods to encourage processing”, welcomes a source authorized to the Directorate General of Taxes.
Evolution of Cameroon’s Customs duties
In accordance with the trusteeship agreement between France and the United Nations, all nations had equal tariff treatment in Cameroon
when it was a trust territory.
Many types of goods essential for economic, social, and educational development were exempt from duty. Export duties were moderate.
Despite this situation, the direction of Cameroon’s trade was to the franc currency zone and importers were required to secure import
licenses for non-franc zone products. Following independence, the import licensing system was continued, but was lest strict for EU
In 1994, Cameroon’s new Regional Reform Program included reduced taxes on imports from over 7% to 4%, and reduced the overall rate
from a maximum 200% to a maximum 70% on luxury goods, and a minimum of 5% on necessities.
Today, however, Cameroon employs the common external tariff (TEC) using four categories: necessities, 5%; raw materials and
equipment, 10%; semi-finished goods, 20%; and finished products, 30%. There is also an excise tax, an indirect tax on consumer goods, of
25%, and a value-added tax that is generally 18.7%, but in some cases zero.
The 2000 Financial Law was designed largely to attract foreign capital, providing exemptions from export duties on bananas, cocoa, coffee,
cotton, rubber, sugar, palm oil, and medicinal plants. Legislation to establish free trade zones was enacted in 1990. Prohibited imports
include certain sanitary products, chemicals, toxic waste, some cosmetics, and some food items.
By Subiru Madina