Customs regulations and required documents
Personal effects import regulations
Religions have a strong influence on life in Côte d’Ivoire, which has a tradition of respecting different beliefs and faiths. You should always respect local religious customs and traditions and be aware of your actions to ensure they do not cause offence. There are conservative standards of dress and behaviour in the country and you should take care not to offend.
Possession use or trafficking in illegal drugs is a serious offence and can result in lengthy prison sentences and heavy fines.
Homosexuality is not illegal in Côte d’Ivoire, but there is no legal recognition of LGBT couples. The government doesn’t recognise same sex marriage and there are no specific anti-discrimination laws protecting lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender individuals. As public attitudes may be less tolerant, you should be discreet. See our information and advice page for the LGBT community before you travel.
It’s prohibited to take photographs near sensitive installations, including military sites and government buildings, e, g radio and TV stations, the Presidency building, airport, de Gaulle and Houphouet-Boigny bridges in Abidjan.
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The import of certain endangered species of plant, live animals and their products is prohibited or restricted under CITES.
For further details please refer to CITES: www.cites.org.
Cats and dogs must hold:
Baggage is cleared at the airport of the final destination in Cote d’Ivoire, if this is an international airport.
Exempt: baggage of transit passengers with a destination outside of Cote d’Ivoire, which is transferred automatically to the other aeroplane.
Currency Import regulations:
Local currency (CFA Franc-XOF): unlimited.
Foreign currencies: Euro – EUR: unlimited; other currencies: declaration required (currencies declared to be exchanged into XOF within 8 days).
Local currency: unlimited.
Foreign currencies: Euro – EUR: unlimited; other currencies: unlimited, but declaration of amount that will be exported when leaving.
RESIDENTS: if traveling to countries within the French Monetary Area: local currency (CFA Franc-XOF): unlimited; if traveling to countries outside the French Monetary Area: up to XOF 2,000,000.- or equivalent in foreign currencies.
Local currency: XOF 10,000.- or equivalent in EUR.
Foreign currencies: the equivalent of XOF 500,000.- (currency in excess of limit may be exported, if declaration at time of entry has been made); Traveler’s cheques, letters of credit unlimited, if issued abroad in traveler’s name.
Click here to view : Airport tax regulations
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is levied on passengers embarking in Cote d’Ivoire from:
Abidjan airport for destinations:
Any other airport for destinations:
Place of payment: Airport of departure.
Click here to view : Airport tax regulations
Biometric in-person visa services at the Côte d’Ivoire Embassy in London are suspended due to COVID-19. Anyone wishing to enter Côte d’Ivoire who does not already have a visa should make their visa application through the e-visa service online before travel, available in English. If you are not an ECOWAS national, you must hold a valid visa or have had your application for an e-visa approved for Côte d’Ivoire before you travel.
After registering and paying online, you’ll be able to collect your visa on arrival at Abidjan airport. You’ll need to apply for the e-visa online several days before your date of travel to allow time for your application to be processed. Make sure you follow instructions on the website carefully to avoid any difficulties with airlines or immigration authorities.
If you are arriving in Côte d’Ivoire, you must provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 test result, dated a maximum of 5 days prior to travel, before being allowed to board your flight. You should not use the NHS testing service to get a test in order to facilitate your travel to another country. You should arrange to take a private test.
You’ll also need to complete the DDVA form prior to arrival at a cost of 2000 XOF, available online. You’ll need to hand in this form on arrival and comply with the medical monitoring system which has been put in place by the authorities for anyone arriving in Côte d’Ivoire from outside. This includes providing temperature readings and registering your contact details. If you have a temperature below 38 degrees and a valid negative COVID-19 test result, you may be permitted to enter Côte d’Ivoire. You will be monitored by SMS tracking for 14 days. If you have a temperature high than 38 degrees and/or an invalid COVID-19 test result on arrival, you’ll be required to take a COVID-19 test at your own expense.
Measures are subject to frequent review so may change at short notice.
If you’re departing Côte d’Ivoire you’ll need to complete the online DDVA form at a cost of 2000 XOF. All travellers aged 11 and over who are departing Côte d’Ivoire will also need to pay 48,000 XOF online for a COVID-19 test at a COVID-19 test centre.
Once you have taken the COVID-19 test, you’ll receive an SMS within 48 hours if your results are negative. The test must be taken no more than 7 days before your date and time of departure. The Ministry of Health and Public Hygiene will issue a negative COVID-19 test certificate to passengers, which will be available online to download. You must present this certificate at the airport on the day of travel.
If you return a positive COVID-19 test, you will not be permitted to travel for a 14-day period.
You will not require a visa for any airside transit.
You may be advised to self-isolate in your own accommodation for 14 days on arrival in Côte d’Ivoire.
On arrival, you will be required to register your contact details before exiting the airport at the ‘Stop COVID-19’ facility.
For departures, you’ll need to complete the DDVA (air travel declaration) form at a cost of 2000 XOF. If you are aged 11 or over, you’ll also need to pay 48000 XOF online for a COVID-19 test at any of the approved test centres in Abidjan including:
Centre de Cocody St. Jean: Dr. Kragbé – 09 02 87 49
Centre de Marcory: Dr. Vé – 49 35 57 33
Centre du Plateau: Dr. Méné – 09 72 39 54
Centre de Yopougon: Dr. Diakité – 07 75 65 47
Centre du CHU de Treichville (SMIT): Pr. Eholié – 08 641 080
The test must be taken no more than 7 days before your date and time of departure. If you’re departing Côte d’Ivoire, you’ll receive an SMS within 48 hours if your COVID-19 test results are negative. The Ministry of Health and Public Hygiene will also issue a negative COVID-19 test certificate to passengers, which will be available online to download.
You should bring this certificate with you to the airport when you travel. Your temperature may be checked at the airport. If the temperature reading is higher than 38 degrees, passengers will be transferred to the airport medical facilities for further investigation.
All those requiring a visa will need to apply via the online e-visa service. Biometric in-person visas at the Côte d’Ivoire Embassy in London are suspended due to COVID-19.
If you are already in Côte d’Ivoire and your visa is about to expire, for a fee you can apply for an extension in person to the Sûreté Nationale office in the Plateau district in Abidjan. Opening hours are from 8 am to 2 pm Monday to Friday.
You will need to get a visa before you travel.
It is possible to apply for a visa online, available in English. After registering and paying online, the visa is collected on arrival at Abidjan airport. You’ll need to apply for the e-visa online several days before your date of travel to allow time for your application to be processed. Make sure you follow instructions on the website carefully to avoid any difficulties with airlines or immigration authorities.
Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of six months from the date of entry into Côte d’Ivoire. Keep your passport safe, if criminals have possession of your passport, they may use your identity to commit crimes.
UK Emergency Travel Documents (ETDs) aren’t valid for entry or transit through Côte d’Ivoire. However, ETDs are accepted for exit from Côte d’Ivoire.
Check whether you need a yellow fever certificate by visiting the National Travel Health Network and Centre’s TravelHealthPro website.
Click here to view : Entry requirements
Legislative elections will be held on 6 March 2021. You should exercise caution and avoid all demonstrations, large crowds, political gatherings and rallies, particularly following the announcement of the results. Crowds can gather quickly and road blocks are common. In the event of unrest, monitor local media and follow instructions and announcements from the local authorities. You should comply with any additional checks or security measures introduced by the authorities, which may be introduced at short notice.
A reinforced police presence is likely to continue in Abidjan and nationally following the election.
Presidential elections took place on Saturday 31 October 2020. There were outbreaks of violence (including between communities), which caused a number of civilian deaths. In Dabou, there were at least 16 deaths. You should be vigilant near military barracks, military installations, large crowds and demonstrations. There were several incidents of violence and protest related to the military during 2017 and 2018.
If you’re staying longer in Côte d’Ivoire you should regularly review personal security arrangements and seek professional security advice. You should keep a stock of food and water.
There’s a risk of crime in Abidjan, including violent crime, car-jackings, armed break-ins to private residences, hold-ups in the street, and theft from cars. These incidents aren’t common, but they do occur.
In vehicles, keep doors locked, windows shut and valuables out of sight. If possible, avoid using public transport, shared taxis, or walking around after dark.
On bridges to and from the Le Plateau areas of Abidjan, pedestrians have been attacked and robbed even during the day. Avoid displaying your wallet; for instance, have money to hand to tip supermarket trolley attendants.
Attacks by armed robbers have occurred on the main road between Yamoussoukro and Korogho.
Attacks have been reported in the west of the country, during daylight hours as well as night.
Northern border with Mali and Burkina Faso (including Comoé national park area)
The FCDO advises against all but essential travel to within 40km of the border with Mali and Burkina Faso, due to the security situation in these neighbouring countries. See Terrorism
Border with Liberia
The FCDO advises against all but essential travel to within 20km of the border with Liberia owing to the risk of serious violence by local militias. Fatal clashes between militias and the security forces have taken place in this area in the past. Seek professional local advice before embarking on any travel to these areas. Take care if you intend to travel to any rural areas.
Driving standards and road conditions in Côte d’Ivoire are poor, although they are improving in Abidjan where the road infrastructure is being upgraded. Avoid driving outside towns and cities at night as roads and vehicles can be poorly lit, and unlit broken-down vehicles can block the road. You should be alert to the risk of stray livestock that could cause a safety hazard. Grass or leaves strewn on the carriageway often means an accident or other hazard in the road ahead. During the rainy season roads, especially those that are minor and unpaved, may become impassable.
Take care when using public transport; driving standards and vehicle maintenance are poor. Unskilled drivers, poorly maintained vehicles and overloaded vehicles and inadequate lighting make driving conditions hazardous. Taxis are available in main cities but are likely to be in bad mechanical condition. There is an online taxi booking service operated in Abidjan by Africa, whose service is becoming increasingly popular. Always wear a seat belt.
Roadblocks and checkpoints
You might still occasionally encounter checkpoints in and around Abidjan. You might also find official and unofficial roadblocks and checkpoints on the major routes outside of Abidjan. Take care and co-operate with those operating them.
The European Commission has published a list of air carriers that are subject to an operating ban or restrictions within the European Union. You should check the list to see whether this will affect your travel.
You should monitor changes to travel restrictions and make sure that you have adequate and flexible travel arrangements in place for your onward journey from Côte d’Ivoire.
Ocean currents are strong along the coast, and many swimming accidents are caused by rip tides. There is no lifeboat service, and many drownings occur each year.