Customs regulations for your trip to Burundi

Last modified: July 26, 2023
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Customs Regulations

Homosexual acts have been criminalised since 2009. Punishment includes a prison sentence of between three months and two years, and a fine, although there have been no prosecutions to date. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people are not accepted at all in local culture.

There are severe penalties for drug offences.

Documents Required

  • Copy of passport
  • Letter of employment
  • Original packing list
  • Original bill of lading (OBL) – no express release accepted / air waybill (AWB)
  • Freight invoice or OBL showing freight charges
  • Original valued inventory in English or French, dated, and signed by the owner of the goods
  • Invoice for electrical items and appliances
  • Copy of Burundi visa to benefit from exemption
  • Certificate of free entry from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (diplomats)

Specific Information

  • All documents must be provided to agent prior to the arrival of the shipment to obtain duty-free clearance.
  • If the owner of the goods works for an NGO, Embassy, or international organization a “taxe de voirie” is applicable on all diplomatic shipments at 0.85% of the CIF value.
  • All used household goods for non-diplomatic shipments are subject to import duties and taxes of approximately 7.5% of the CIF value.
  • All new household goods for non-diplomatic shipments will be charged duty and taxes as any commercial goods.
    • Average duties are approximately 40% of the CIF value.
      • Handling                       4% CIF Value
      • Transactional tax          17% of (CIF + duties + handling)
      • Clothes                         40% CIF
      • Food                             40% CIF
      • Furniture                       40% CIF
      • Personal effects            25% CIF
  • Diplomats must obtain a certificate of free entry from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

If granted, the owner of the goods will only be liable for statistic tax which is 1.5% of the CIF value

Dutiable Items

Free import of:

  • 250 grams of tobacco products;
  • 1 liter of alcoholic beverage

Alcohol (only “Fond de Cave”) is acceptable and is duty free (max 20 bottles).

If value is more than 500 USD, a pre-shipment inspection will be requested as well as an import license.

A veterinary health certificate will also be required if importing Dogs or Cats into the country. A rabies vaccination certificate from the country of origin will also be required.

Free export of gifts and travel souvenirs with a value up to BIF 300

Prohibited Items

  • Firearms and ammunitions (authorization from the territorial administration is required)
  • Transmission equipment
  • Illegal drugs
  • Weapons, explosives and ammunition
  • Knives and deadly weapons
  • Plant and plant products
  • Meat and meat products
  • Hazardous materials
  • Counterfeit money and goods
  • Pornographic materials

Miscellaneous (Pets, Motors, and others.)

Arms and Ammunition regulations:

It is not allowed to import arms and/or ammunition.

Wild Fauna and Flora:

The import of certain endangered species of plant, live animals and their products is prohibited or restricted under CITES.

Pets:

Dogs and cats require:

  • a veterinary health certificate issued at the point of origin not more than 15 days before departure; and
  • an import permit.

On arrival a veterinary inspection will take place. The health certificate must state: country of origin, names and Christian name and address of owner, species, sex of animal, that animal is free from ticks and has not been exposed to contagious diseases.
The health certificate must state that they have been vaccinated against rabies:

  • over one month but less than 12 months before departure if an activated or Kelev
    vaccine has been used, or
  • 36 months before departure if an avianized (Flury) vaccine has been used.

Baggage Clearance regulations:

Baggage is cleared at the first airport of entry in Burundi.

Exempt: baggage of transit passengers with a destination outside of Burundi, if the passengers do not leave the transit area.

Currency

Currency Import regulations:

Local currency (Burundese Franc-BIF): no restrictions.
Foreign currencies: up to USD 10,000.-

Currency Export regulations:

Local currency (Burundese Franc-BIF): no restrictions.
Foreign currencies: up to USD 10,000.-

Motor Vehicles

Documents Required

  • Original registration card
  • Copy of passport
  • Original purchaseinvoice
  • OBL

Specific Information

  • The OBL must show chassis number, engine number, cubic capacity, year of manufacture, brand and model.
  • A car older than 8 years is not allowed for importation in Burundi.
    • If imported, there will be a fine of $1000 to be paid to Customs.
  • The duty rates on cars are as follows:
    • Diplomat                                               1% handling charge
    • Vehicle more than 10 passengers          15% CIF
    • Tourism vehicle                                    Between 40% and 100% CIF
    • Handling                                               4% CIF value
    • Transactional tax                                  17% of (CIF + duties + handling)
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