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flag Cameroon Cameroon: Business Environment

In this page: Accounting Rules | Tax Rates | Intellectual Property | Legal Framework | Standards | Business Practices

 

Accounting Rules

Tax Year
The fiscal year extends from 1st January to 31st December. 
Accounting Standards
The accounting standards are based on the Organization for the Harmonization of Business Law in Africa (OHADA).
Accounting Regulation Bodies
Ministry of Commerce
Accounting Reports
- At the end of each accounting year, the manager discloses the financial statements synthesis, in compliance with the Uniform Act regulations concerning the organization and harmonization of accounts.
-The Manager must prepare an annual report.
Publication Requirements
- An annual report must be published.
- Any modification in the presentation of the financial statements synthesis must be indicated in the annual report and, if possible, in the report of the auditor.
- The accounting documents.
Professional Accountancy Bodies
National Order of Certified Public Accountants of Cameroon
Certification and Auditing
The verification of accounts is undertaken by auditors. They are engaged in certifying the regularity and the true nature of the financial statements and to give their certification with certain reservations or to refuse it, precising the reasons. You can contact external auditors: Deloitte, PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Accounting News
Einnews

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Tax Rates

Consumption Taxes

Nature of the Tax
Value Added Tax (VAT)
Tax Rate
The VAT rate is 19.25%.
Reduced Tax Rate
A 0% rate applies for exported goods and services. Certain essential goods are exempted.
Other Consumption Taxes
An excise duty of 25% is applicable to cigarettes, drinks, cosmetics or luxury products : jewels, precious stones. A reduced rate of 12.5% may apply to soft drinks and private vehicles with engine capacities of 2,000 cm³.

Learn more about Service Providers in Cameroon on Globaltrade.net, the Directory for International Trade Service Providers.

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Corporate Taxes

Company Tax
38.5% in total (35% of corporate tax + 10% of a local tax)
Capital Gains Taxation
Capital gains are treated as ordinary business income and taxed at normally company tax rates.
Main Allowable Deductions and Tax Credits
The deductible charges are: straight-line depreciation ; provision for doubtful debtors and depreciation of stocks ; salary to employees (including benefits in kind) ; health insurance premium for the benefit of Cameroonian and foreign employees ; rentals for property rented by an associate manager with a capital holding of less than 10% in the company ; interests on current accounts of associates and shareholders subject to the condition that their rate does not bypass that of the TIAO increased by 2 points ; Head Office charges, as well as those related to research, technical assistance, financial or accounting charges, given to Western companies, subject to certain limitations.
Other Corporate Taxes
Payroll tax, real property tax, social security contributions, stamp duty, transfer tax, special income tax.
Other Domestic Resources
Consult Doing Business Website, to obtain a summary of the taxes and mandatory contributions.
 

Country Comparison For Corporate Taxation

  Cameroon Sub-Saharan Africa United States Germany
Number of Payments of Taxes per Year 44.0 39.0 11.0 9.0
Time Taken For Administrative Formalities (Hours) 654.0 319.0 175.0 207.0
Total Share of Taxes (% of Profit) 49.1 57.8 46.7 46.8

Source: Doing Business - Last Available Data.

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Individual Taxes

Tax Rate

Net Personal Income Tax Progressive rate from 11% to 38.5%.
From XAF 0 to 2,000,000 11%
From XAF 2,000,001 to 3,000,000 16.5%
From XAF 3,000,001 to 5,000,000 27.5%
More than XAF 5,000,000 38.5%
Allowable Deductions and Tax Credits
Allowable deductions include business expenses, social security contributions, professional expenses (fixed at 30%) and a real estate deduction (fixed at 30%).
Special Expatriate Tax Regime
There is no special tax regime for expatriates.

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Double Taxation Treaties

Countries With Whom a Double Taxation Treaty Have Been Signed
See the list of the convention signed
Withholding Taxes
Dividends: 16.5%, Interest: 16.5%, Royalties: 15%.

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Sources of Fiscal Information

Tax Authorities
Directorate General of Taxes
Other Domestic Resources
Doing Business - Cameroon

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Intellectual Property

National Organizations
Cameroon has signed an agreement at the time of the establishment of the World Organisation of Intellectual Property (WIPO). You can contact the Directorate of Technological Development and Industrial Property by Email.
Regional Organizations
Cameroon is a member of the African Intellectual Property Organization since 24th February 1999.
International Membership
Member of the WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization)
Signatory to the Paris Convention For the Protection of Intellectual Property
 

National Regulation and International Agreements

 
Type of property and law Validity International Agreements Signed
Patent
 
The Bangui Agreement of March 1977
20 years
Trademark
 
Agreement revising the Bangui Agreement of 2nd March 1977, after the creation of the African Intellectual Property Organization on 24th February 1999
10 years, renewable for consecutive periods of 10 years
Design
 
Agreement Revising the Bangui Agreement of March 2, 1977, on the Creation of an African Intellectual Property Organization, February 24, 1999
5 years, renewable for two further consecutive periods of 5 years   
Copyright
 
Law no. 2000/011 related to copyright
10 years Convention for the Protection of Producers of Phonograms Against Unauthorized Duplication of Their Phonograms
Rome ConventionFor the Protection of Performers, Producers of Phonograms and Broadcasting Organizations
WIPO Copyright Treaty
Industrial Models
 
Bangui Agreement of March 1977
20 years  

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Legal Framework

Independence of Justice
Judiciary is not independent in Cameroon and is highly subject to political influence. A high degree of corruption exists in the country.
Equal Treatment of Nationals and Foreigners
Foreigners cannot expect a fair trial from the country's judicial system.
The Language of Justice
The judicial languages in the country are French and English.
Recourse to an Interpreter
The Cameroonian government provides for interpreters for defendants. However, these interpreters are called only once the trial starts. Thus, for all the steps before the trial, one has to make do without an interpreter. In addition, the transmission of legal information is always problematic. The message is often distorted and the interpreter does not always find the right words to translate it.
Sources of the Law and Legal Similarities
The main source of the law is the constitution of 1972 (approved by referendum, and revised in January 1996) which is based on the French civil law system. The country accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction.
Checking National Laws Online
Laws on finances 2013 (in French)
Cameroon Laws

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Standards

National Standards Organizations
Standards and Quality Agency
Integration in the International Standards Network
Cameroon is a member of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), and the Francophonie and Standardization Network (RNF). It is also a member of the African Intellectual Property Organization (AIPO), the Paris Convention concerning intellectual protection, as well as a member of the International Organization for Intellectual Property.
Classification of Standards
The Cameroonian standards are the NC, derived from the French and the international (ISO) ones.
Online Consultation of Standards
The Cameroonian standards are available yet on the ANOR website.
Certification Organizations
Standards and Quality Agency

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Business Practices

General Information
investment Promotion Agency, Invest in Cameroon
Opening Hours and Days
Banks as well as Government offices are open from Monday to Friday from 7h30 to 15h00.
Shops are open from 9h00 to 12h00 and in the afternoon from 15h00 to 18h00 from Monday to Saturday.
 

Public Holidays

New Year 1st January
Aid el Adha Variable
Aid el Fitr Variable
Youth Day 11th February
Saint Friday March or April
Labor Day 1st May
Ascension May
National Day 20th May
Assumption 15th August
Christmas 25th December
 
 

Periods When Companies Usually Close

Christmas (companies function at a slackened pace during this period) 15th December to 5th January
The Easter week variable according to the year
 

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Last Updates: October 2014