Moving to Benin

Used Household Goods and Personal Effects

Documents Required

  • Packing list
  • Copy of passport
  • Original bill of lading (OBL) – no express release accepted / air waybill (AWB) (2 originals)
  • Bordereau de Suivi de Cargaisons (BSC) / Cargo Tracking Note (CTN)
  • Original valued inventory in French, dated, and signed by the owner of the goods
  • Invoice for all electrical items less than 6 months old
  • Resident / work permit / letter of employment
  • Certificate for change of residence
  • Non-sale certificate
  • Diplomatic exemption certificate (diplomats)

Specific Information

  • The OBL must clearly indicate the weight in kilograms, the number of items, and also state “personal belongings.”
  • The weight of the vehicle, if applicable, must be shown separately from weight of the personal effects.
  • The BSC must be attached to the OBL.
    • If BSC is not available, a penalty of 200 Euro will have to be paid in Benin.
  • Resident / work permit / or letter of employment must explain that owner of the goods is starting a new contract in Benin.
  • The non-sale certificate must state that the owner of the goods will not sell personal effects in Benin.
  • Certificate for change of residence must be obtained at the country of origin by the owner of the goods from either the City Hall or the embassy of passport country (if the owner of the goods is not a citizen of the country from which they are moving).
  • All import shipments are subject to Customs inspection.
  • Household goods are allowed in Benin duty free if they have been in the owner of the goods’ possession for at least 6 months.
  • All diplomatic shipments are subject to a 0.15% import tax based on the declared value.
  • All non-diplomatic shipments are subject to a 3.15% import tax based on the declared value.
  • A diplomatic exemption certificate must be obtained before arrival of the goods to avoid storage charges.

IAM Note: Documents must be provided to agent 3 weeks prior to the arrival of the shipment to obtain duty-free clearance.

Motor Vehicles

Documents Required

  • Original registration card
  • Original bill of lading / freight invoice
  • Non-sale certificate
  • Origin certificate

Specific Information

  • Taxes on car will depend on age, power, etc.
    • Approximately 50% CIF if no exemption
    • 0.85% if diplomatic


Documents Required

  • Veterinarian health certificate
  • Rabies vaccination certificate from origin country

Specific Information

  • Documents must be received by agent prior to import.

Restricted/Dutiable Items

  • Firearms and ammunitions (authorization from the territorial administration required)
  • Drugs
  • Alcohol (only “Fond de Cave”) is acceptable and duty free (maximum 12 bottles)
  • Cigarettes (200), cigars (25), cigarillos (100), tobacco (250 g)
  • Eau de toilette (500 ml)
  • Perfume (250 ml)
  • Guns, explosives and ammunition (authorization required)
  • Knives and deadly weapons (authorization required)
  • Plant and plant products (authorization is required)
  • Meat and meat products (authorization is required)

Prohibited Items

  • Illegal drugs
  • Firearms, ammunitions (unless authorized by territorial administration)
  • Hazardous materials
  • Animals and pets
  • Asbestos
  • Precious metals and stones
  • Ivory
  • Furs
  • Gambling devices
  • Counterfeit money and goods
  • Pornographic materials

Consignment Instructions

Recommended: Contact the destination agent to ensure all requirements have been met prior to import, especially for differences regarding air / sea shipments.

Cultural and Other Information