The national standard and certification agency, Côte d’Ivoire Normalisation is a non-profit body created in September 1992 by the private sector with the Government of Côte d’Ivoire’s authorization. CODINORM provides standards for business development, risk prevention, health, fair commercial transactions, and consumer protection.
The CODINORM has the following functions:
- raising the safety, quality and competitiveness of products (services), rational use of fuel and energy resources, elimination of technical barriers to trade, protection the state and consumer interests;
- ensuring effective functioning and development of the systems for technical regulation and standardization; assurance of uniformity of measurements; accreditation; conformity attestation;
- pursuance of the overall coordination of technical regulations and governmental standards preparation, creation and approval of plans (programs) for their development taking into account the proposals of the republican public authorities, organizations;
- ensuring the creation, development and maintenance at the required level of technical base of standards of units, organization of state tests, metrological attestation, verification and calibration of measuring instruments;
- coordination and organization of works on certification of products, works, services, personnel, quality management systems, environmental management systems, occupational safety and health, energy consumption, food safety, etc.;
- formation of the state policy on the efficient use of fuel and energy resources, organization of development and implementation of national concepts and programs for energy saving;
- pursuance of the state supervision over observance of technical regulations and standards, over measuring instruments, rational use of fuel, electrical and heat energy;
- surveillance in construction and inspection of projects and estimates compliance with regulations and standards.
CODINORM requires that all products made in Côte d’Ivoire demonstrate proof of compliance with applicable laws and norms. Specifically, Norme Ivoirienne (NI) labeling, or a certificate of compliance delivered by a certification product body accredited on the basis of an international standard (such as ISO/CEI 65 OR EN 45011) is required.
In order to import or export different kinds of products, every importer/exporter has to prepare a number of documents which are required by the CODINORM. These documents include:
Two copies of the freight invoices in French are required. No specific form is required, but all invoices must contain the names of the exporter and consignee, number and types of packages, marks and numbers on the packages, net and gross weights, CIF value, terms of sale, and a thorough description of the merchandise. Note that the importer will usually need a signed duplicate invoice to speed the release of the imported goods from customs. This should be sent via air courier and arrive in Côte d’Ivoire prior to the arrival of the merchandise.
Certificate of Origin
Every importer or exporter has to prove the origin of the products buy preparing a Certificate of Origin. Two certified copies are required.
A packing list is not legally required, but such lists are usually considered essential in accelerating the time required for customs clearance.
Bill of Lading (Air Waybill)
There are no regulations specifying content of a bill of lading. Importers should include clear marks of identification and the name and address of the consignee of the goods. Shipping marks on the goods must correspond exactly to numbers on bills of lading/invoices.
Persons wishing to import goods are required to attach six copies of this invoice to the application for an import license and/or the intent to import. A pro-forma invoice may also be required when presenting an application to Ivoirian authorities to ship bonded goods through the country.
Webb Fontaine Inspection Certificate
Issued by the inspecting Webb Fontaine Ruling Center delivered to the importer in Abidjan.
IMPORT POLICIES AND TAXES
Cote d’Ivoire is a member of the WTO, the West African Economic and Monetary Union and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). In January 2000, Cote d’Ivoire eliminated tariffs on imports from the eight member countries of UEMOA when UEMOA’s Common External Tariff entered into effect. Imports from all other countries are subject to tariffs based on the Common External Tariff Schedule of five percent for raw materials and inputs for local manufacture, 10 percent for semifinished goods, and 20 percent for finished products.
In 2004, UEMOA suspended its practice of temporary duty-free status for imported goods destined for another country in the zone. This change means that goods entering UEMOA from non-member countries may no longer transit a UEMOA country duty-free en route to their final destination. Duties are now assessed at the first port of entry. A one percent statistical fee is levied on the CIF (cost, insurance, and freight) value of imports except those destined for re-export, transit, or donations for humanitarian purposes under international agreements. Another tax on imports into Cote d’Ivoire is an ECOWAS community levy (solidarity tax), assessed at the rate of one percent of the CIF value of imported goods. There are special taxes on fish (20 percent), rice (between 5 percent and 10 percent based on category), alcohol, tobacco, cigarettes, certain textile products, and petroleum products. These special taxes are designed to protect national industries. The Customs office collects a valueadded tax (VAT) of 18 percent on all imports, reduced from 20 percent in 2003. This tax computation is calculated on the CIF value added to the duty and the statistical fee. Cote d’Ivoire reportedly continues to apply minimum import prices (MIPs) to imports of certain products, though the WTO waiver it once had allowing it to apply MIPs for some products has long since expired.
There are no quotas on merchandise imports, although the following items are subject to import prohibitions, restrictions, or prior authorization: petroleum products, animal products, live plants, seeds, arms and munitions, plastic bags, distilling equipment, pornography, saccharin, narcotics, explosives, illicit drugs, and toxic waste.
Before importing of exporting FMCG and agricultural products, the seller has to present the labeling declaration with a number of requirenments, such as:
1) All the information about the product has to be printed on a label securely affixed to the package or printed on the package itself;
2) All lables on the package have to be printed in Engish;
3) All products with false, misleading or deceprive representation are not allowed to be placed on the market;
4) The content on the label has to be clear, prominent, indelible, and readily legible by the consumer.
The governance is sceptic about pre-packaged food. That is why, they have elaborated a number of items which have to be presented on the label before the products' export or import. These are:
1) The name of the food (the name of food shall include trade name or description of food contained in the package);
2) List of ingredients, except for single ingredient foods (the list shall be declared on the label, in descending order of their composition by weight or volume);
3) Nutritional information (all nutritional facts per 100 gram or 100 ml);
4) Declaration regarding vegetarian and non vegetarian (vegetarian food must have a symbol consisting of green color-filled circle inside a square with a green outline prominently displayed on the package; non-vegitarian must have a symbol of a brown color-filled circle inside a square with a brown outline prominently displayed on the package);
5) Declaration of food additives;
6) Name and address of the manufacturer (the label shall carry the name and complete address of the manufacturing or packing or bottling unit and also the name and complete address of the manufacturer or the company for and whose behalf it is manufactured or packed or bottled);
7) Net quantity (by weight or volume or number, shall be declared on every package of food);
8) Lot/code/batch identification (a mark of identification by which the food can be traced in the manufacture and identify in the distribution shall be given on the label);
9) Date of manufacture or packing (the date, month and year in which the commodity is manufactured, packed or pre-packed, shall be given on the label);
10) Best before date or use by date or date of expiry (the month and year in capital letters up to which the product is best for consumption);
11) Country of origin;
12) Instructions for use, if applicable (if necessary, shall be included on the label to ensure correct utilization of the food).
Raw agricultural commodities, spice mixes, condiments, non-nutritive products, alcoholic beverages, fruits and vegetables, processed pre-packaged vegetables and fruits are exempted from nutritional labeling requirements.