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flag Algeria Algeria: Selling and Buying

In this page: Market Access Procedures | Reaching the Consumers | Distributing a Product | Organizing Goods Transport | Identifying a Supplier


Market Access Procedures

International Conventions
Party to the Kyoto Protocol
Party to the Washington Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora
Party to the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal
Party to the Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer
Main International Economic Cooperation
Cooperation agreement with the European Union
Member of the African Union
Member of the Arab League
Member of the Arab Maghreb Union
Member of the Arab Free Trade Zone (AFTZ).
The country have signed a trade agreement with 21 other countries in the São Paulo Round of the Global System of Trade Preferences among Developing Countries (GSTP).
Non Tariff Barriers
Over the last few years, Algeria has intensified the liberalization of its trade with foreign countries. However, the country levies high Customs duties on some goods to protect national production. All import and export transactions of goods and services must be domiciled with a bank.
Customs Duties and Taxes on Imports
0, 5%, 15% and 30%. For more information, consult Customs Directorate website.

Customs Classification
The Algerian Customs tariff is applied on the HS nomenclature.
Import Procedures
To import or export goods, you must present a detailed declaration to the Customs office; it must be written and signed by the informant.
To consult import procedures, click here (in French).
Importing Samples
Samples can be exported without any control but they are subject to a customs declaration if they are sent from abroad to Algeria. For more information, consult the Algerian Customs Website.
For Further Information
The Algerian Customs website
Algeria Trade Portal
The Algerian Ministry of Commerce

Learn more about Traders, Agents in Algeria on, the Directory for International Trade Service Providers.

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Reaching the Consumers

Marketing Opportunities

Consumer Behavior
Price is the essential element in the Algerian consumer's decision to buy. The brand name becomes an element in choosing only if its price is reasonable. A not insignificant part of household budgets goes to housing and food expenses.
Consumer Profile and Purchasing Power
In spite of the marked improvement in the Algerians' purchasing power, the country is still quite far from being what is called a consumer society. Algerians are careful in the management of their income. Badly curbed inflation, especially on essential goods because of the rise in their prices on the world market, encourages households to practice a certain restraint.
Consumers Associations
List of 52 consumer associations , drawn up by the Algerian Ministry of Commerce.
Main Advertising Agencies
Publicis Group
Memac Ogilvy

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Distributing a Product

Evolution of the Sector
The distribution market has, for a long time, been the domain of public companies. But, for the last few years, thanks to a wave of privatization, foreign - and especially French - companies have been taking an interest in the Algerian market.
Market Shares
Algeria has a well developed distribution system which is shared between public and private companies. State firms sell mainly basic foodstuffs, pharmaceutical products and imported industrial material. The majority of distributors are private companies, especially in the equipment sector. As it were, in spite of the presence of public companies, the retail trade is exclusively controlled by private shopkeepers.
The Ardis group dominates the foodstuffs sector. It has taken over the stores which were previously managed by the State firm "les galeries algériennes". Alongside Ardia, there is a multitude of small retail outlets. For example, Danone products (40% market share for fresh dairy products) are sold above all in small local shops.
The UGCAA (General Union of Algerian Shopkeepers and Craftsmen) encourages foreign distributors to set up in Algeria, as, in its opinion, this would reduce the weight of unofficial trade; this is thought to have represented 35% of commercial activity in 2012 spread over hubdreds of unofficial markets (irrespective of the sector of activity) and 500 000 shopkeepers. As a comparison, at the Register of Commerce, only 648 supermarkets and mini-markets are registered. However, the large foreign stores are discouraged by the cost of the investment and the complexity of Customs. This is especially the case of Carrefour which is still hesitating about opening Champion stores in the country.
For their part, the small local shops are not worried about foreign companies setting up; they consider that mass marketing meets the needs of more well-to-do customers than theirs. Given that the purchasing power of most Algerians remains low, they continue to prefer shopping at the local shopkeeper's.

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Organizing Goods Transport

Main Useful Means of Transport
The main means of transport in Algeria, for import and export, is by sea. The main commercial ports are: Algiers, Oran, Annaba and Djendjen ; they total over 75% of port traffic (apart from hydrocarbons). The port of Algiers is the leading commercial port in the country. The global volume of traffic registered by these ports each year is more than 130 million tons. For further information, see the UNECE presentation of Algerian ports.

Nevertheless, according to the Ministry of Transport, all the airport services management companies (EGSA) together register an increase of 2% of the volume of freight handled every year. Air Algérie, the country's main airline, handles more than 30,000 tons in a year.

The distances to be traveled by land are long. The motorway network is still limited. In the absence of reliable statistics on the activity of private sector road transport, it is very difficult to estimate the real volume of goods traveling by road in Algeria.

The National Rail Transport Company (SNTF) carry an average of 5 million tons of goods each year.

List of all the Algerian ports and information sheets about them
Airport services management company of Algiers Airport (in French)
Airport services management company of Oran Airport
Airport services management company of Constantine Airport
Sea Transport Organizations
Algerian Ministry of Transport
Air Transport Organizations
National Air Navigation Establishment
Road Transport Organizations
Algerian Ministry of Transport
Rail Transport Organizations
Algerian Ministry of Transport

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Identifying a Supplier

Type of Production
In Algeria, industry represents 62.6% of the GDP and over 13.4% of employment. The main industries in Algeria are petroleum, natural gas, light industry, mining, electrical appliances, petrochemical products and transforming foodstuffs.

Business Directories

Multi-sector Directories
Algeria Phone Book - Algeria's business directory.
AnnuGate - Directory of Algerian companies.
El Mouchir Caci - Business directory of Algerian companies provided by the Network of Commercial & Industry Chambers.
Eldjazair - Useful resources in Algeria. B2B Business Directory - B2B directory index.
Eyoon - Business directory for several countries in Africa and in the Middle East.
The Algerian Yellow Pages - Find a business in Algeria.
The Maghreb pages - Find a business in Algeria.
Manufacturers Associations of the Main Industries
4 professional associations listed for Algeria.
Trade Agencies and Their Representations Abroad
The Algerian Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Enterprises Federation
Company Directors Forum
Algerian Employers Confederation (in French)

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Last Updates: November 2014