Customs formalities

Customs proceedings

20 days after vessel arrival, customs issue a document that notifies that the cargo is under customs authority in a bonded area. Units are not moved from stack. However, Safmarine can no longer control the cargo (reshipment, auctions...) in order to obtain payment of sea freight and other charges. 2 months after this notification, containers are withheld by customs. Here and after, customs are allowed to auction the cargo. The proceeds from an auction are allocated to payment of various customs fees.

Customs release cargo without Safmarine delivery order.

On a regular basis, Safmarine Côte d'Ivoire will advise on cargo under customs authority.

Pre-Shipment Inspection (PSI)

According to Customs Circular No 1158, (clarification on cargo inspection) Pre-Shipment Inspection (PSI) has to be performed in the country of origin. Exporters and importers in country of origin are responsible for the PSI. Export cargo to Côte d'Ivoire is subject to Pre-Shipment Inspection (PSI) as per the Ministerial decree 93-313, dated 11 March 1993.

Companies selected for PSI are:


Inspections performed in transhipment ports or at destination are no longer valid (only one yearly inspection at destination will be allowed per customer).

List of goods exempted from PSI:

  • Imports with a FOB (Freight On Board) value or below EUR 763
  • Gold, precious stones
  • Objects of art
  • Scrap metal
  • Explosives, weapons and material for regular army and police
  • Live animals
  • Fish, vegetables and fresh fruit (also refrigerated)
  • Plants and flowers
  • Cinematographic films
  • Newspapers, stamps, bank notes, passports, post parcels
  • Used personal and household effects, used personal vehicles
  • Personal gifts
  • Crude oil
  • Commercial samples
  • Donations offered by foreign governments or international organisations
  • Imports for diplomatic entities and for the United Nations

More information:

  • Bivac International (cargo for consumption)
  • Cotecna (cargo destined for temporary depots)

F.R.I. number

According to the directive number 1062 dated 4 September 2001 from the Customs General Direction regarding the cargo manifest follow-up, the F.R.I. number (Fiche de Rensignement a l'Importation) is required on the b/l. This procedure only applies for cargo controlled by Bivac or Cotecna (with a cargo value larger than or equal to EUR 762.22) and excludes cargoes manifested for destinations out of Côte d'Ivoire.

The following steps apply for the shipper/consignee:

  • A profoma commercial invoice has to be sent by the shipper to the consignee in Abidjan
  • The consignee gives the profoma commercial invoice to Cotecna or Bivac
  • Cotecna or Bivac establish the F.R.I. and transmit the F.R.I. number to their correspondent at origin
  • The shipper gives Maersk Line the F.R.I. number (b/l instructions) and this number should appear on the b/l
  • The cargo inspection is performed at origin

Tracking Note

In order to monitor all Côte d'Ivoire volumes, the Office Ivoirien des Chargeurs (OIC - the Ivorian Shippers Council) has introduced a Bordereau de Suivi de Cargaison (BSC) - a cargo tracking note. Custom clearance is not possible without the BSC and cargo can consequently not be delivered.

Also to speed on clearances within 48 hrs Ivory Coast Customs has set new import procedure which allows importers to get the BSC number locally and thus anticipate clearance process. No BSC requested for cargo into transit for Mali or Burkina Faso.

Freight collect procedures in Côte d'Ivoire

The Freight Collect is accepted in Côte d'Ivoire.

Freight Collect Administrative Fee: 5% of Total Amount to be collected (Freight+Local Charges)

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Boulevard de Vridi Zone portuaire
01 B.P. 6939 Abidjan 01
Ivory Coast
+225 21 219305 +225 21219149
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