How to Import Spaghetti into Ivory Coast

After a long political conflict, business is now booming in Ivory Coast. Ivory Coast represents the most powerful and significant economy in the West Africa. It shows about 40% GDP in the African Monetary Unit and West African Economy. The country’s several attractive initiatives offer a huge potential to the investors. Already, there are many international businesses operating in the country.
If you are enthusiast to know more about how to import spaghetti into Ivory Coast, the following will help you a lot. You should know that pasta products such as spaghetti are free from excise duties. The overall discussion will accelerate your importing into Ivory Coast.

Economy and Trade: Connected to Import Spaghetti into Ivory Coast

Following several years of civil conflict and serious political turmoil, business is back in Ivory Coast. The overall economy of Ivory Coast is strong and stable. In recent decades, the world has noticed the salient economical growth in the West Africa. In 2016, Ivory Coast became the fastest growing economy among African countries.

Along with the economical development, the Ivorian people have developed their lifestyle, culture, and food habits. People are seriously influenced by Western culture as well as food habits. Many restaurants and food courts are available in most of the Ivorian cities. Due to European influence, they began to consume fast foods like burger, sandwich, pizza, pasta, and more other foods. In recent years, Ivorian youths started to take spaghetti in a large amount; spaghetti is a special type of Italian pasta. Only import spaghetti into Ivory Coast fulfills the demand of the consumers.

The following is a brief about the economical change and the current economical condition of Ivory Coast.

The Ivory Coast mostly depends on the market-based economy and agricultural sector. Almost 75% people are directly or indirectly engaged with various forms of agriculture based earnings. A noticeable change was made in GDP after 1960s, per capita GDP increased to 300% in the 1970s. The change was not regular and it proved unsustainable in the 1980s and later in the 1990s. High population growth and the worst per capita GDP resulted in a pertinacious fall of living standard. GDP per capita increased in 1996, it was US$727 and basically, from this time Ivory Coast economy started to grow.

After crawling performance, the Ivorian economy started a comeback in 1996. The great devaluation of the franc made a huge impact and other considerable changes that influenced the Ivory Coast economy positively are – increased prices of coffee and cocoa, growth in primary exports of non-traditional goods, banking liberalization, limited trade, offshore gas discoveries, and external financing by France and other multilateral lenders.

During the 1st decade of 21st century, the county took various initiatives to attract business investors from different countries. Various projects and business initiatives started to contribute into the overall development of the country.

The Ivorian government is still continuing to maintain a friendly business environment. The exporting and importing terms are comparatively easier to maintain. Various relevant fees are also lower than other African countries. Coffee, cocoa, and tropical woods are the main export items. Plastic materials, Kraft paper, chemicals, telecommunication, gas and oil equipments, and food items are primary imported products.

Spaghetti and Its Demand in Ivory Coast

Spaghetti is Italian solid pasta of traditional cuisine. It is a special type of thinner, longer, and cylindrical pasta. Spaghetti is prepared with milled wheat and pure water like other pasta. Generally, the core ingredients of Italian spaghetti come from durum wheat semolina, though many other different flours may be used to prepare this delicious item.

The spaghetti is genuinely thinner and longer. During the 20th century, the shorter spaghetti obtained a huge popularity. The common type spaghetti is 25–30 cm longer and various dishes are prepared based on this. Basically, three different types of spaghetti available in the market such as ground grain and water based, whole-wheat, and multigrain spaghetti.

In the Europe and North America, the stuffed pasta and spaghetti gained vast popularity in the 19th century. Italy was the first where the mass production of this special pasta began. During the 20th century, it began to spread all over the world. African countries enjoyed its flavors due to various European colonial countries. Most notably, the Ivory Coast was a colony of France and it was highly influenced by the French culture.

The spaghetti can be made in home, but it is mostly produced in bulk. The large volume of dried spaghetti is manufactured in industries using auger extruders. While the process needs consideration to details to assure that the combining and rubbing of the elements is a homogeneous mix, without air pockets. The developing needs to be cooled to avoid spoiling of the spaghetti by extended heating.
Drying the new spaghetti pasta has to be carefully managed to avoid lengths sticking together and the process also ensure that the pasta is enough wet. Paper wrapping, plastic bags and sometimes boxes are used for secure packaging.

Like other processed foods, spaghetti has notably suffered from a slowdown in expansion due to saturation in the Western market. However, the opportunity of imported pasta still exists in food markets all over the world. Where the opportunity lies?
Most of the consumers of spaghetti are from Italy. Between 2010 and 2016, the per capita consumption was 25kg – the average serving was 100gm. Each Italian takes spaghetti 2 times in every 3 days. So it is not possible to increase the consumption amount in Italy, Italians already consume sufficient amount.
Therefore, manufacturers and exporters should look at other parts of the world. They should think about new areas to import spaghetti. African lifestyle and food habits have been improved noticeably. Due to the influences of various European cuisines, the preferred food habits have been changed to millet, wheat, sorghum, rice and mostly corn based processed foods such as spaghetti.

West African country, Ivory Coast is influenced by French culture and food habits. According to a recent study, consumption of spaghetti is expected to increase at 5% volume in the next 5 years. It is surely good news for the exporters of Italian spaghetti. Based on the population growth, improved food habits, and further modernization – the consumption amount will be increased much and more in near future.

Various Taxes Required to Import in Ivory Coast

Customs Duties

Customs duties can be varied depending on the types of the imported products. It can be changed from 0% to 35% by Ivory Coast customs tariff. Other types of taxes are also paid for imported goods and those types are the VAT, statistical duty, and community levy. Depending on the product types, the special taxes like excise duties may apply.

Value-added Tax (VAT)

VAT is regulated by Ivory Coast tax authority depending on the sales of goods. It is non-cumulative and recoverable; the VAT rate is 18%. For particular products, the rate can be reduced up to 9%. Generally for milk, wheat, and pasta products – the VAT is straight 9%.

Statistical Duty

During the customs clearance process, the statistical duty is also levied on the imported goods. The statistical duty depends on the products cost, insurance, and freight value (CIF) of the imports.

Community Levy

The community levy is also levied during the customs clearance. The rate can be changed depending on the origin of the imported products. The community levy rate is determined according on the CIF value of the products. It is 0.5% for the member countries of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). Products imported from the outside countries of ECOWAS are subject to pay 1% community levy for five years from 2015.

Excise Duties

Excise duties only apply on particular types of products including alcoholic products, non-alcoholic beverages, cigarette, and oil equipments. Pasta products like spaghetti are not subject to pay excise duties. So, you don’t need to pay any excise duties to import spaghetti into Ivory Coast.

Getting Started to Import into Ivory Coast

If you are going to start new import business in Ivory Coast, first step is to contact with the Ministry of Trade and register your business. Once you have done this, you have to obtain your register for taxes, importer status, and secure your expected import code.
Next step, you will need to register your spaghetti business as an importer and for this, apply to the authority of the Tribunal de Commerce d’Abidjan. When you are ready, bring necessary documentations including:

  • Application,
  • Registration form,
  • Previous business experiences, better if that is connected to imports,
  • Two certified articles of your incorporation,
  • Certification of your tax clearance,
  • A notarized payment declaration or a compliance certificate,
  • The certified list of company’s managing directors who will work on behalf of the company,
  • Criminal records of the listed directors.

To register as an importer, it is required to pay 50,000 CFA.

Obtaining Taxpayer Number and Import Code

To obtain taxpayer number, you need to go to the office of the Directorate General for Taxation. Bring your trade registration certificate, your national ID card or passport, and Ivorian citizenship certificate. Getting the taxpayer secure number proves that you will be responsible for tax impartial to the remaining times until the closing of the current fiscal year.

To secure your import code and valid taxpayer number, you will go to the Ministry of Trade. You will get the exact instruction from the Direction de la Promotion du Commerce Extérieur.

Obtaining import code means that you can import valid goods into the country. The code may charge a payment of 10,000 CFA. Bring other documents with the money:

  • A professional handwritten application to be submitted to the Foreign Trade director,
  • Trade registration copy in Ivory Coast,
  • Fiscal registration certificate and declaration,
  • Your certificate of fiscal payments existence,
  • Charged taxes and patent,
  • Certificate of non-tax arrears,
  • Tax clearance certificate,
  • A copy of your residence permit or National ID.

You need a local bank account in Ivory Coast. And finally, look for a clearing agent or a customs broker who will work as your company’s intermediary. He will be also responsible to manage the entire trade procedure in the country, releasing goods from the ports and distributing in different parts of the country.

Single Window for Foreign Trade

Webb Fontaine operates the Single Window for foreign trades. It is an effective platform that brings together all stakeholders in the trading procedure. It makes the imports easy and secure. Importers can observe every point of the procedure. Moreover, importer can obtain licenses and certificates, request exemption license, obtain e-delivery, pay transaction fees, and a lot more.

Registration as an importer is required to get benefits from this site. If you want, you can start your registration here by downloading the specific form. Fill this form with exact information, it requires the sign of the legal representatives of the interested company, and finally submit it to Webb Fontaine.
Make sure to send scanned copies of representative’s legal ID card, applicant’s details including ID or passport, fiscal import code certificate, Ivory Coast customs broker’s authorized certificate, and authorization for legal shipping agents.

Certification of Insurance and Other Permissions

Import into Ivory Coast requires an insurance certificate that will actually protect your business in the country. It will work as a protection for losses during the entire shipment regardless the type of shipping ways.

For the regulated or restricted goods, you must obtain the special permission from the Ivorian government. The certificate of the permission needs to be shown during the release of the goods in the ports. There are two types of regulated goods –

  1. Goods require the permission of government
  2. Goods require only an import license

The government permission is strictly required for fish, meat, oil seeds, maize, arms, ammunition, and pharmaceutical products. An import license is required for cotton, mineral oils, wheat flour, pasta and noodles, and iodized salt. For importing spaghetti, you need only an import license, not government’s special permission.

General Customs Overview

Although, the customs broker is responsible to manage everything in Ivory Coast, but as an importer you have to be also careful about his activity. You will need to make sure that your selected broker is doing the right things. On behalf of the importer, broker will apply for the SYDAM registration to the General customs Directorate.

If your imported spaghetti shipped by sea, you require a tracking note called Bordereau de Suivi Cargaison (BSC). It is basically the electronic cargo tracking note (CTN). It contains cargo information and you can monitor cargo’s movement of every stage, from port to port. The Ivory Coast’s Customs Single Window will provide the BSC. Your broker will apply and collect the tracking note and it should be attached to all related documentations.

Your broker agent will require submitting the CTN/ BSC at the loading port in order that it may be mentioned on both the reveal and invoice of lading. The CTN number is required to collect prior to all shipments in Ivory Coast. It should be validated before the arrival of the cargo to its last port. Without the CTN, you actually violate the Ivory Coast import regulations and you may need to pay high fines.
Your broker will collect and submit the Import Declaration Form (IDF). Like other documents, it can be collected and submitted easily through the Ivorian Single Window for Foreign Trade.

Getting the Final Classification and Valuation Report (FCVR) is another vital step in the import procedure. The FCVR is must for any imports over 1,000,000 FCFA. Once the final report on your hand as well as other necessary documents, you will submit the Final Documents Delivery Advice Form (AD). Along with the following documents, you will submit the form to the Webb Fontaine Ruling Center in Abidjan.

  • Import declaration form (IDF)
  • Final invoice
  • Bill of lading
  • Packing list
  • Freight invoice

Documents for Imported Goods into Ivory Coast

Must-need documents to import into Ivory Coast are following –
Commercial Invoice: The freight invoices (two copies) are essential to submit in French. It doesn’t require any specific form, but the invoice should contain clearly the name of the importer and consignee, types of products, number of packages, marks on the packages, gross and net weight, terms of sale, CIF values, and a comprehensible detail of the merchandise.
The importer needs a duplicate copy of signed invoice to speed up the releasing procedure of the products from customs. It should be sent by air mail or via courier and need to arrive in Ivory Coast prior to coming of the products.

Certificate of Origin: It is required to clearly mention the origin of the products by two copies authorized certificate.

Packing List: A packing list reduces the time for customs clearance. It is not required document by customs, but helpful to import goods easily and quickly.

Bill of Lading: There is no clear instruction in Ivory Coast import regulations for mentioning data of a bill of lading. Importers just need to include marks of identification of the products, the name and the address of the consignee. Shipping marks on the products must write correctly to numbers on lading bills.

Pro-forma Invoice: An effective application is required to get an import license. Importers are required to collect six copies of the invoices and attach them to the application. A particular type of pro-forma invoice is essential when submitting an application to the authorities to ship imported products throughout the country.

Inspection Certificate: This certificate is issued by the Webb Fontaine Ruling Center and finally, delivered to the importer in Ivory Coast.

Within five days after submitting above required documents, Webb Fontaine will contact you with the FCVR. This report will include Webb Fontaine’s assessment and HS code. If there is any lack in your submitted documents, Webb Fontaine will contact you again for more information.

Finally, the payment of a duty is required for any Ivorian import. This amount will be a specific percentage of your import’s price. After clearing the payment, you can get the imported spaghetti into Ivory Coast. Multiple examining may be applied based on the types of goods.

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Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast) Waiver Certificate Requirement, African Waivers,
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Elaboration of Procedure and Edition of BSC Online: User’s Guide, OIC,
Guichet Unique Pour Le Commerce Extérieur,
Guide for Exporting to Cote d’Ivoire, IZF,
Hariesh Manaadiar, Cargo Tracking Note—What Is It? Shipping and Freight Resource, 19 October 2010,
Office Ivoirien Des Chargeurs (OIC),
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