FAQ

An HTS (or HS) code is short for Harmonized System or Harmonized Tariff Schedule.
Developed by the World Customs Organization, these codes are used to classify and define goods traded internationally.

A Certificate of Origin (CO) is a document that declares in which country a good or product was manufactured.
The certificate of origin contains information about the product, its destination and the country of export.
For example, a product may be labeled “Made in the USA” or “Made in China”.
Required by many treaties relating to cross-border trade, the CO is an important form because it can help determine whether certain goods can be imported or if they are subject to duties.
We encourage you to contact local authorities who can help you classify your different types of goods before you start placing your reservations, so that you know what exact duty you can expect to be charged by the government when importing your cargo.

Customs clearance is the responsibility of both the exporter and the importer.
Both parties must ensure that they are able to produce the documents listed below in order for the shipment and delivery of the products.

Does customs open all packages to verify information?
No, customs officers will not open your package(s) without a valid reason.
Each package goes through a scanner or x-ray machine to verify that the items you are shipping match your customs forms.

Customs fees are determined by the following:
Customs Duty – This is a tax levied by a country on all imported goods.
It is a percentage of a product’s value, determined by its commodity code and the duty rate associated with it.
Tunisian commodity codes can be viewed on the Tunisian Customs website: https://www.douane.gov.tn/.
VAT – This is usually applied on the amount paid for goods, shipping costs and duties.
All of these elements are called “taxable imports”.
The VAT rate varies by country.
It is currently 19% in Tunisia.
Anti-dumping duty – Certain products may be subject to anti-dumping duty.
This duty is imposed by countries when they wish to protect the domestic manufacture of the product and, in return, discourage the importation of the product at a cost lower than that of the supplier’s local market.
Importers can find out if their goods are subject to anti-dumping duties (and at what amount) by consulting the customs website.
The Tunisian government also regularly updates its list of applicable products.

Prohibited products: Under special legislative or regulatory texts, certain products are absolutely prohibited on entry or exit, or are subject to restrictions, special control measures, special formalities, or are subject to monopolies, including:
• For general police and public safety reasons.
• To preserve hygiene, health and public morals.
• To fight against fraud in the exchange of goods and the manufacture of foodstuffs or agricultural, natural or industrial products.
• To preserve the artistic, historical or archaeological heritage or to protect natural diversity.
• To protect state monopolies.
• To protect industrial, commercial and artistic property.
• For economic and financial reasons.
In the absence of provisions to the contrary, these prohibitions, restrictions, special measures or monopolies apply to goods regardless of the customs procedure assigned to them.

The authorized economic operator is a status granted, under an agreement concluded between the General Directorate of Customs and the operator concerned, to any company established in Tunisia carrying out an activity related to foreign trade and / or a logistics activity. , having received the confidence of the customs administration and fulfilling the minimum conditions set by customs regulations.
The customs administration grants the status of authorized economic operator according to one of the following categories:
a) “Simplification of customs procedures».
b) “Security and Safety».
c) “Complete”.
Companies having obtained one of the categories of the status of authorized economic operator benefit, within the framework of the exercise of their activities, from simplification and facilitation in accordance with the provisions of this government decree.
Conditions for granting the status of authorized economic operator under the category of simplification of customs procedures and the resulting simplification
The General Directorate of Customs grants the status of authorized economic operator under the category of simplification of customs procedures to companies carrying out foreign trade operations as part of their activities.
For the attribution of the status of authorized economic operator under the simplification of customs procedures, the company must meet the following conditions:
• Have a regular customs situation, in particular during the three years immediately preceding the date of filing of his application.
• Have a regularized tax situation.
• Have had a solvent financial situation during the three years immediately preceding the date of filing the application for benefits; both for the company and for its managers.
• Have commercial accounting in accordance with the legislation in force and computerized stock accounting, meeting the requirements of customs controls; Reference: Government Decree No. 2018-612 of July 17, 2018, setting the conditions, procedures and terms for granting, suspending and withdrawing the status of authorized economic operator. 17
• Adopt reliable and customs-accepted procedures for archiving company records and information to protect them against loss, destruction or intrusion.
• Have a regular situation in terms of payment of social security contributions.
When the company has obtained the status of authorized economic operator under the simplification of customs procedures, it will benefit from a simplification of administrative formalities with the customs services, which consists in particular of:
• Allow him to immediately clear his goods without being subject to physical inspections at border posts, by means of simplified declarations issued in accordance with the provisions of the customs code;
• Allow him to dispose of his goods at the end of a period set by the agreement if he has not been notified by the customs services of the decision to carry out a physical inspection of his goods.
• The domiciliation of all its customs operations with a regional customs office called “designated office».
• Designation of a single point of contact among the customs officers of the company’s designated office, responsible in particular for resolving any difficulties and supporting it, if necessary, in carrying out customs formalities.
• Filing of advance customs declarations before the arrival of the goods.

Foreign trade transactions and their financial settlements are subject to a commercial invoice, with the exception of products excluded from the free import or export regime, which are subject to a trade. Unless otherwise provided by law.
The financial settlement must be carried out under the conditions set by the exchange regulations in force.
The foreign trade document is an administrative document which is personal to its beneficiary and non-transferable.
It is called import authorization when it concerns products excluded from the free import regime and export authorization when it concerns products excluded from the free export regime.
All products subject to import or export in the context of foreign trade must be designated in accordance with the general product nomenclature, as provided for by the customs clearance nomenclature of products.
Import authorization is also required for imports without payment.
These imports must not be of a commercial nature and may only be authorized exceptionally by the Ministry responsible for trade.