Import regulations and customs duties
The majority of imports to Burundi require import licenses. These licences are used for payment and statistical control purposes and are automatically granted. Applications for licenses must be submitted to the Central Bank through an authorised bank. Licenses are valid for four months and are assessed an administrative tax of 1% of the FOB value of the goods. Import Duties: Burundi maintains a two-column tariff schedule based on the Customs Co-operation Council Nomenclature ( CCCN ) system of commodity classification. The two customs duties are the revenue duty and the import duty which; they are both applied on an ad valorem basis. The revenue duty averages between 15 and 35% and the import duty ranges from 2% to 5% on selected items. Duties can be as high as 100% for some luxury goods. In addition, the government levies a 4% ad valorem statistical tax on all imports and a transaction tax of 15 percent on all commercial transactions. Burundi is part of the Lome Convention, and, as such, its goods receive preferential entry into the European Community ( EC ). Imports from the EC and the Franc Zone are not generally exempt from import duties. Documentation : Shipments to Burundi require two copies of the commercial invoice and bill of lading. When requested, two copies of the certificate of origin must be presented.
In order to encourage development of non-traditional activities, the Burundi government passed legislation on August 31st, 1992, making the entire country a duty-free zone for companies that may promote potential export from Burundi. Eligible companies must complete a form entitled Request for "Free-Trade Zone Regime", and send it to the Ministry of Commerce along with the company by-laws and document of incorporation. They will receive a response within 30 days. Very generous incentives are provided. Exchange controls : The Bank of the Republic of Burundi controls foreign exchange transactions. Foreign exchange is typically obtainable upon the shipment of goods. For exports made under global license, foreign exchange is available only after customs clearance. Profit may be transferred as follows : Up to 50 percent of after-tax, distributed dividends and income from bonds. Up to 50 percent of commissions paid to resident foreign administrators and auditors. 100 percent of fees paid to non-resident foreign administrators and auditors. The remaining 50 percent, if marked for the purchase of local savings, is transferable with interest as follows : 50% after two years ; 60% after four years; and 100% after five years. Burundi's average tariff rate is 17.6%. Non-tariff barriers include difficult border crossing, an inefficient customs service, and border thieves.
The Business to Consumer (B to C) market
The Business to Business (B to B) market
Transportation of goods
Burundi is a part of the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property. Patents are valid from the date of contract signature and importation patents are valid for up to 20 years. Patents must be worked within 2 years or face revocation. Trademarks : Registration of trademarks is granted for an unlimited duration. The first public user applying receives the trademark rights. In addition, Burundi is signatory to the World Intellectual Property Organisation ( WIPO ) and the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works.
Patents and brands