Click on each topic for more information



Import regulations and customs duties  - Distribution - Transportation of goods - Standards - Patents and brands

Import regulations and customs duties

2 cartons of cigarettes and 2 litres of alcohol beverages may be freely imported for every person older than 16 years. Pets, dogs and cats must be accompanied by a veterinarian health certificate issued in the country of origin. Dogs must be vaccinated against rabies. Pets may enter as passenger's checked baggage, in the cabin or as cargo.


Customs duties
Rwanda has significantly liberalised its trade regime. In 1999, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), tariffs ranged from 0% to 25%, and from 0% to 60% from 1995 to 1997. Consequently, the average tariff rate has declined from 31.9% in 1995 to 11.3% in 1999. The IMF reports that there are no significant non-tariff barriers and that, overall, Rwanda's progression in trade liberalisation has been faster than most sub-Saharan African countries. As a result of the drop in the tariff rate and the evidence that non-tariff barriers have been eliminated, Rwanda's trade policy score is 2 points better in 2001 as compared to 2000.


Import taxes
An airport tax or service fee for international flights will be levied upon departure by the "Regie des Aéroports du Rwanda". The fee amounts to around USD 20.


Regulations governing payments


Transportation of goods

By road
Traffic drives on the right. The network is sparse and most roads are in bad condition, although the roads linking the capital with Butare, Bugarana and the frontier posts are of a better quality. Driving is not recommended and visitors are advised to exercise extreme caution. Bus services are operated by the "Office National des Transports en Commun" and are classified into three groups: Urban (route numbers prefixed by A, B or C); Suburban (D routes); and Interurban. Cabs are available in Kigali and other large towns. Fares should be agreed in advance. Tips are not expected. Concerning car hire, there are some limited facilities in Rwanda. There are no international car hire firms operating, but there are local companies in Kigali. An International Driving License is required.

By air
Rwanda Airlines (9R) runs internal services to the main towns. Chartered planes are also available, though these are expensive. There is no direct commercial air service to Rwanda from the UK at present. Airlines serving Rwanda include Cameroonian Airlines, Ethiopian Airlines, Kenyan Airlines, Sabena (operating 2 flights a week, direct from Brussels) and Ugandan Airlines.

Patents and brands

Private property is virtually non existent in Rwanda, and property is subject to frequent confiscation by warring clans and corrupt government officials. Many properties were occupied by squatters after the genocide, reports the US Department of Commerce, and while the law states that such properties should be returned to the owners on their return to Rwanda, the execution of the law turns to be difficult, given the shortage of housing and commercial properties. According to the US Department of State, The judicial is subject to executive influence and suffers from inefficiency, a lack of resources, and some corruption.


Last modified in 2006 - ongoing update
Export Entreprises©, All rights reserved