Lebanon flag Lebanon: Buying and Selling

International convention and customs procedures of Lebanon

International Conventions
Party to the Kyoto Protocol
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
International Economic Cooperation
Lebanon is a member of the following international economic organisations: IMF, Arab Fund for Economic and Development (AFESD), ICC, Arab Monetary Fund (AMF), G-24, G-77, Arab League, WTO, among others. For the full list of economic and other international organisations in which participates Lebanon click here. International organisation membership of Lebanon is also outlined here.
Non Tariff Barriers
Less than 1% of imported products are subject to trade restrictions (license, technical, medical or phytosanitary certificates...) which can be similar to non tariff barriers. Importing some products, like arms for example, is forbidden in Lebanon even if they are only in transit. All these restrictions can be consulted on the website of the Lebanese Customs. In addition, Lebanon applies the boycott decided by the Arab League against Israeli products and some foreign companies may be blacklisted if they are thought to be helping the military development of that country. However, the boycott is relative since a considerable number of prohibited products can be found on the Lebanese market today.
Customs Duties and Taxes on Imports
More than 83% of imported goods are subject to duties equal to or below 5%. Customs duties vary depending on the nature of goods and their origin. Based on Budget Law 2019, 3% in additional custom fees is enforced for three years on imported goods that are subject to VAT, except for fuel, industrial equipment, and raw materials used in manufacturing and agriculture. The tariffs are set by the Lebanese Customs.
Customs Classification
The customs system is the Harmonized System (HS).
Import Procedures
Any customs declaration must include the following documents:

  • Declaration form based on the Single Administrative Document (SAD)
  • Bill of lading
  • Packing list
  • Commercial invoice (original)
  • Delivery order (to prove ownership of goods)
  • Quietus from the Social Security Office (must not have expired at the day of registration of SAD), required only for commercial and trade establishments
  • Contract of sale between importer and seller in the country of exportation, or a letter of credit from the bank stating that the invoice value is paid or will be paid in a specified time limit (may be requested for value verification only in case customs officers doubt the invoice value)
  • Certificate of origin issued by the authorized party of the country of exportation if the invoice does not mention the origin of the goods, or in case the importer wishes to benefit from preferential treatment if the exporter is not approved by the customs authorities of the exporting country

Depending on the type of imported good, a number of other documents may also be required, including import licenses, certificates of conformity to mandatory standards, or phytosanitary certificates.

For more information on the other documents or the procedures required by the other authorities such as the measures of prohibition, the import license, the certificates and all other conditions, it is necessary to refer to the "Restrictions and Prohibitions-Circular 1" accessible on the website of the Lebanese Customs Administration.

Importing Samples
Samples with no commercial value are exempt from customs duty. Lebanon accepts the ATA carnet.
There are two types of permits for the temporary entry of goods into Lebanon: a regular temporary entry permit for foreign products that will be manufactured or processed in Lebanon in order to be re-exported (permit valid for six months, renewable for up to two years); or the Director General of Customs may grant a special temporary entry permit for certain products intended for temporary use.

To go further, check out our service Import controls and Export controls.

For Further Information
Lebanon Trade Portal

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Latest Update: July 2024