Are you looking to import IT and tech equipment into Algeria?

Importing to Algeria can be a daunting process due to the country's unique regulations and customs. Imported items must meet specific rules, like in most countries. However, Algeria is known for its hard-to-crack tariffs that favour local production and trade over importation.

For instance, if you are importing cosmetics and hygiene-related products, you must tell the Algerian authorities what ingredients you used, and a lab will check if they are safe. If the products are made in another country, you must share with the Algerian authorities the information regarding the lab that did the tests to verify safety and quality. There are various other restrictions, including the bank domiciliation charges and complex customs clearance procedures, that you should be aware of.

Not to worry, this article discusses Algerian import regulations, required documents, and customs clearance procedures. You will also learn the taxes, duties, and charges imposed on imported goods. Let's make a start. 

Import regulations and restrictions in Algeria

Like in most countries, several authorities govern the importation of goods to Algeria to ensure compliance with safety, quality and trade, and environmental standards.

Regulation authorities and standard organisations

Here are the key authorities responsible for the importation procedures in Algeria.

  • Ministry of Trade (Ministère du commerce): sets trade policies, oversees import and export controls, and ensures imports align with Algeria's economic goals.
  • Algerian customs (Customs Service - Douanes Algériennes): Enforces customs laws and procedures ensuring imported goods comply with established regulations. This includes assessing import duties, verifying documentation and inspecting imported goods. 
  • Algerian Institute for Standardisation (IANOR - Institut Algérien de Normalisation): This is the Algerians National Standard body. It defines technical standards and norms for various products to ensure quality and safety. 
  • Algerian Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (ARPCE): Verifies telecommunications and electronic products to ensure they adhere to Algerian technical requirements and standards. ARPCE issues a certification (Homologation) as a mark for verification. 

Importation rules and requirements 

A successful importation to Algeria is subject to various rules, customs, and procedures. The procedures and regulations can be challenging, causing delayed shipments or even rendering the process unsuccessful. As such, you must know the critical requirements to prepare for.

Here are some of the importation rules and procedures for a successful importation.

#1 Restricted and prohibited goods 

Like in many countries, goods imported to Algeria can be subject to inspection after clearance of the customs procedures. Imported goods are rendered prohibited if they meet the following criteria:

  • They lack a valid title, certificate of origin or authorisation accompanying the goods.
  • The importer presents an irrelevant license or certificate that applies to the goods.
  • The importer fails to fulfil the import procedures.

You can check the list of other prohibited goods, goods requiring special procedures, and items requiring declaration as stated by the US Embassy in Algeria. 

#2 Payment Rules

Algeria has various rules regulating payments for imported goods. Various updates have been made to encourage importation to Algeria, including the following:

  • There was a rule that required importers to extend their payment terms for final products to 45 days after the shipment date. The rule has been eliminated. 
  • Bank domiciliation: Importers are now obliged to establish and register an account with a local bank before initiating any payment, bank transfer, or customs clearance processes. The registration should be completed at least 30 days before the shipment date. Also, the registration account must maintain a balance of at least 1.3 times the total import payment. 
  • Invoice deposit request: The maximum deposit that foreign exporters can request remains limited to 15% of the invoice amount. 
  • Allowable payment: The maximum allowable period for local importers is 360 days after the shipment date.  

#3 Customs clearance procedures

Goods should be officially declared once they have been unloaded and are situated in warehouses, temporary storage areas, or dry ports. The goods can remain in the locations for a maximum of twenty-one days. The deadline for submitting the declaration is twenty-one days following the unloading of the goods. Failure to submit the declaration within 21 days allows the customs collector to automatically designate the goods under the deposit regime for 2 months. After two months, the goods are seized and become the property of the public treasury.

Required documentation when importing to Algeria 

There are various documents required for a successful importation to Algeria.

Here are the essential documents that you should prepare.

#1 Customs declaration documents

Customs declarations are a must and should be submitted in writing and signed by the declarant. The declarant can be the owner, customs agent, or carrier. They provide essential information about the imported goods, including their value and end-use. 

The customs declarations must be submitted to the customs office within 21 days from the date of document registration to facilitate customs clearance.

#2 Customs clearance file

The customs clearance form comprises several documents required to streamline the customs clearance process.

Here are the critical documents expected in the file:

  • Bank domiciliation and invoice: An invoice showing the invoice, payments and bank details.
  • Company's trade registration copy: Proof of the importing company's legal registration.
  • Tax card copy: A certificate or card issued by fiscal authorities showing compliance with tax regulations and requirements.
  • Border inspection document: A document confirming compliance with safety and quality standards.
  • Documentary evidence of origin: Proof of the origin of the imported goods.
  • An itemised list of imported goods: A detailed list of the quantity and type of goods imported.
  • Certificate of conformity and quality: Certifications demonstrating adherence to Algerian standards, often from an independent third party. 
  • Customs agent approval mandate: Authorisation from a customs agent for representation in the customs process.

#3 Certificate of free marketing

The Certificate of Free Marketing is one of the quality and safety compliance documents introduced in Algeria in 2018. It proves that a product has already been legally marketed in its country of origin or another third country before being imported into Algeria.

The certificate should be issued at the importer’s local chamber of commerce.

Understanding import taxes and duties in Algeria 

Algeria introduced the defence additional protection tax (DAPS) for imported products in 2018. The protection tax grants the Ministry of ecommerce authority to levy additional tariffs ranging from 30%-200% annually. The measure aimed to cut over-dependence on imports and promote local production.

On the same concern, a temporary additional defence tax imposed on 992 imported products has been effective since October 4, 2021. The tax may be extended to 2608 imported products in the future. Additionally, since 2018, Algeria has legislated to impose a 1% mutual aid tax on imported consumer products to subsidise the payment of pensions. Effective 2022, the law increased the contribution from 1% to 2%.

The Algerian Finance Law includes other taxes and charges, including bank domiciliation rates, computer software royalties, and online sales VAT. You can learn more about the additional taxes.

PWC also summarises Algerian corporate taxes, including customs duties and the bank domiciliation tax.

Overcome the importation hassle to Algeria with an experienced Importer of Record (IOR)

Algeria is known to be one of the leading countries with challenging import rules and procedures.

Although there are a few categories of restricted goods, customs clearance, and payment procedures can render your importation unsuccessful. Hence, it would help if you worked with an established importer of record, a licensed customs broker, or a consignee with a local entity in Algeria.

Here’s what Blackthorne’s Algeria IOR service offers you when importing to Algeria:

  • Handle the customs clearance on your behalf: We handle all the required paperwork, permits, and duties to ensure strict adherence to the local laws and regulations.
    Besides, we have established our entity in Algeria and have staff residing there who are well-versed with Algeria's customs requirements, guaranteeing hassle-free clearance.
  • Managing your taxes, duties, and related payments: We calculate the taxes, duties, and any related charges accurately, ensuring timely payment and mitigating the risk of delayed delivery and penalties.
  • Preparing the import documentation and paperwork: We offer invaluable assistance in the preparation and submission of invoices, packing lists, and relevant certifications. This ensures seamless customs clearance and eliminates any chances of goods prohibition.
  • Representing you in Algeria: As mentioned, we have staff residing in Algeria. We are your trusted legal representative, managing all legal and administrative responsibilities to ensure you remain compliant.
  • Handle logistics and transportation: We ensure efficient movement of your products, from the port of entry to their final destination within Algeria.

Hence, should you need assistance with an Importer of Record to Algeria, we are happy to assist, please get in touch.


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