Customs regulations for your trip to Lebanon

Last modified: July 25, 2023
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Customs regulations

Used Household Goods and Personal Effects

Documents Required

  • Original Lebanese Passport showing entry date into Lebanon (returning citizens)
  • Statement by the Lebanese Embassy or Consulate at the country of origin, specifying that owner has resided in the country of origin for more than 3 years and he is moving back to the home country (returning citizens)
  • Original Bill of Lading (OBL) / Air Waybill (AWB) (returning citizens, foreigners)
  • Delivery Order
  • Detailed Packing List
  • Transfer letter from employer at origin and at destination (foreigner)
  • Sales Contract / Lease Agreement attested from the local municipality (returning citizens, foreigners)
  • Employment Contract with Lebanese firm (foreigners)
  • Work Permit issued by the Lebanese Labor Office (foreigners)
  • Residence Permit issued by the Lebanese General Security Office (foreigners)
  • Visa, if applicable

Shipments Sent / Received in the Name of Personnel

  • Copy of Identity Card (shipments sent or received by a company / organization)
  • Copy of Registration Certificate at the Ministry of Finance (shipments sent or received by a company / organization)
  • Copy of the last get well certificate from the social security authority (shipments sent or received by a company / organization)
  • Copy of the company registration in the commercial register (shipments sent or received by a company / organization)
  • Copy of the commercial circular (shipments sent or received by a company / organization)
  • Copy of the company certificate registration at the ministry of Finances (shipments sent or received by a company / organization)
  • Customs Clearance Form including a description of shipment items, signed and stamped (shipments sent or received by a company / organization)
  • Copy of the Identity Card of the company / organization authority signing the documents (shipments sent or received by a company / organization)

Specific Information

  •  The shipment must arrive within 3 months of the owner’s entry date.
  • All used household goods shipments are subject to Customs duties and value added tax (VAT), unless documents for exemption are provided.
  • All diplomatic shipments are duty free.
  • Shipper and consignee should be the same name showing on the OBL / AWB.
  • The shipper must be present for Customs clearance (returning citizens, foreigners).
  • The detailed packing list must be duly authenticated by the Lebanese Embassy in the country of origin for returning citizens.
  • An exemption from duties for a returning citizens is allowed only once in a lifetime.
  • There are no exemptions on new household goods and personal effects.
  • The name of the shipper should match identically on the Passport and OBL / AWB.
  • If exemption clearing documents are not available or complete and the shipment has arrived to the Beirut sea port, the shipment can be cleared under a refundable Bank Guarantee Letter, valid for 3 months, to be withdrawn against presentation of the clearing documents required when available. The client must have a rental contract for apartment residence in Lebanon,
  • Failure to provide the documents required for Customs clearance will result in customary duties and taxes per the Customs tariff code issued by the Lebanese Customs authorities.
  • All videotapes, CDs books, records, are inspected by the General Security Office.
  • Satellite dish, receivers, fax machines and wireless telephone machines, are inspected by Ministry of Post and Telecommunications prior to delivery of shipment (it takes approximately 3-4 days).

Lebanon’s people are diverse, with many different Muslim and Christian sects represented. You should respect local traditions, customs, laws and religions at all times and be aware of your actions to ensure they do not offend, especially during the holy month of Ramadan or if you intend to visit religious areas.

In many areas you will find dress codes more relaxed than in other countries of the region, but you should still dress modestly when visiting religious sites and when it’s clear that local people expect it.

Possession, use and trafficking of illegal drugs including small quantities are all serious offences in Lebanon. You can expect a prison sentence if you are caught.

Photography should be limited to tourist sites. Photographing military sites may result in your arrest.

The Lebanese Criminal Code includes a general provision concerning ‘every sexual act against nature’. Lebanese courts consider that this provision includes homosexuality. A criminal offence under this provision is punishable by a prison sentence of up to a year. See our information and advice page for the LGBT community before you travel.

Child abduction and travel bans

One of the most common requests for consular assistance in Lebanon is from British mothers seeking help in overturning travel bans placed on their children or themselves by their fathers or husbands. Lebanese family law is very different from UK law and particular care is needed if child custody becomes an issue.

If you have concerns about child custody you should seek advice before travelling to Lebanon about ‘travel bans’ that can be imposed by male heads of family. Even if you or your child holds a British passport you may be subject to Lebanese laws and regulations.

Any child travelling from Lebanon without their father (even if the mother is accompanying them) may need to provide proof that permission to travel has been given by the child’s father.

If you’re a British national involved in international parental child abductions or custody disputes, you should contact the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) for consular assistance. This leaflet on International Parental Child Abduction includes information on how the FCDO can help, and contact details. The FCDO strongly advises against attempting to remove your child yourself, as this may be considered abduction (or ‘re-abduction’). This may be illegal and can put your child at risk.

Lebanon employs a harmonized tariff schedule for the valuation of goods and the levying of customs duties.  In 2018, the High Customs Council proposed a reform strategy to improve operations, although this has not been implemented.  The reforms focus on 1) simplifying procedures, 2) accepting e-payments, 3) enhancing electronic data entry, and 4) establishing an online e-single window for coordinated service with all of Lebanon’s border agencies.  When fully implemented, users will be able to register online, as well as assess and pay declarations directly from their bank accounts.  Local customs agents may assist exporters to navigate the clearance process.

Import regulations:

Free import (once per six months) for all passengers as of 18 years of age (passengers below 18 years of age are allowed half the specified quantities of all products other than tobacco and alcoholic beverages):

  • 800 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 100 cigarillos or 1000 grams of tobacco;
  • 2 liters of champagne, cognac, whisky or similar products, or max. 4 liters of other alcoholic beverages;
  • 1 liter of eau de cologne and 100 grams of perfume;
  • medicine (in prescribed dosages for personal use).
  • personal belongings in non-commercial quantities. For nationals and residents of Jordan, Lebanon and Syria and other passengers arriving from Jordan and Syria: up to LBP 500,000.-.

For all other passengers: up to LBP 2,000.000.-.

Free import for crew and Merchant Seamen:

  • 20 cigarettes in open package(s) – no other tobacco articles;
  • no alcoholic beverages;
  • c. a reasonable quantity of perfume

Dutiable Items

  • All animals being imported into the country will require a government authorized health certificate and an additional certificate proving the animal’s vaccination against Rabies.
  • Travellers holding an Israeli passport or passports containing a visa for Israel are banned from entering the country.
    Food items (subject to inspection by the Agricultural Research Institute and require a Visa from the Ministry of Agriculture, Health and Economy)
  • Electronic components (subject to inspection by the Industrial Research Institute)
  • Dangerous goods (a preliminary authorization from the carrier line or airline is required for import and should be classified as non-restricted cargo)
  • Alcohol is permitted but is taxable.

Prohibited Items

  • narcotics, immoral publications and recordings.
  • fruits and vegetables in passengers’ baggage.
  • Firearms and ammunitions
  • Drugs and narcotics
  • Ivory
  • Pornographic materials
  • Swords (including ornamental), knives

Miscellaneous (Pets, Motors, and others.)

Arms and Ammunition regulations:

Passengers can import firearms and ammunition if holding a permit issued by the airport security in Lebanon. They must be transported as check-in luggage and be declared on arrival.

Pets:

All pets must be accompanied by a valid health certificate, issued by a veterinarian in the country of origin. This certificate is to be approved and stamped by an appropriate government authority of that country. A Rabies Inoculation Certificate is also required.

Baggage Clearance regulations:

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

Exempt: baggage of transit passengers with a destination outside of Lebanon if the onward flight is on the same calendar day.

Currency

Currency Import regulations:

Local currency (Lebanese Pound-LBP) and foreign currencies in any form without restrictions. Gold coins must be declared.

Currency Export regulations:

Local currency (Lebanese Pound-LBP) and foreign currencies in any form without restrictions, with the exception of gold coins. However, if a quantity of gold (coins) is declared on arrival, the same quantity may be exported.

Motor Vehicles

Documents Required

  • Vehicle Title / Registration
  • OBL
  • Purchase Invoice

Specific Information

  • Automobiles and boats are subject to Customs duties and value added tax (VAT), unless documents for exemption are provided.
  • Cars older than 8 years cannot be imported; all cars less than 8 years will be taxable at a minimum of USD 5000 except for diplomats who are exempt from this prohibition.

Pets

Documents Required

  • Vaccination Record
  • Veterinary Health Certificate

 Specific Information

  • The documents required must prove vaccination against rabies.
  • Pets are subject to taxes.
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