[1] Access To The Business Market In Benin

There are many reasons to invest in Benin.

• A strategic geographical location

Benin enjoys a strategic geographical position in the West African space. Open to the Gulf of Guinea, it is a maritime gateway for the landlocked countries of the hinterland: Niger, Burkina-Faso and Mali. Its membership in UEMOA and ECOWAS opens up a potential market of over 200 million consumers. It also has privileged access to the international market: advantages of the African Opportunities and Growth Act (AGOA), free access to the European market duty-free and quota-free thanks to the “Everything But Arms” initiative. “(TSA).

• A liberal economy

Benin has made great efforts to improve its political and legal environment, its business climate and its facilitation services to investors. The marked improvement in the investment framework and the vast privatization and liberalization program have enabled Benin to record a significant increase in inflows of Foreign Direct Investments (FDI), although they still remain low. The recovery in cotton production could also help support economic growth.

• Growing investment areas

Benin is endowed with a large untapped potential in several sectors of activity: agro-industry, tourism, mining, energy and hydrocarbons. The cautious disengagement of the State in certain sectors with potential such as agriculture (cotton), telecommunications, port activities (management of the port of Cotonou), the banking sector or that of energy is also an opportunity for companies. companies wishing to set up in Benin.

Investors are welcome

The authorities are clearly committed to attracting FDI. The investment code guarantees any natural or legal person, national or foreign, the freedom to undertake, the freedom of management and transfer of capital, grants advantages to companies developing local resources, the creation of jobs and value. added.  In addition, an initiative called “Market of Territories” born of the national plan of regional planning organizes the cities of Benin in regional poles whose vocations are determined by the local potentialities. It is a Private-Public Partnership tool.


There are several real investment possibilities in Benin.

Regarding agriculture and agrifood, Benin has 80% of arable land of which only 20% is used. The cashew sector is an emerging sector in Benin, like those of pineapple, coffee, rice or cassava, thus offering enormous development potential. The cotton sector is the most developed in Benin. Cotton ginning offers real opportunities in two still under-exploited industrial sectors: textile fiber and oilseeds, which in Benin are examples of development and exploitation that are certainly limited in number, but very convincing.

Concerning the field of breeding, there are possibilities for investors in the establishment of breeding farms and production of dairy products. Regarding fisheries, the current level of production is around 12,000 tonnes at sea and 30,000 tonnes in inland waters. There is a gap which could be filled by the development and promotion of fish farming. Thus, the creation of cold chains for the conservation of fishery products represents a promising niche.

Tourism in Benin is growing and presents very significant operating possibilities, particularly in terms of hotel infrastructure, as well as in terms of leisure and discovery (coastal rims, lagoons, waterfalls). Safari-tourism and cultural tourism (“slave route”, voodoo worship, fishing route, villages of kings) can also, according to experts, be developed.

The liberalization of the telecommunications sector by the State has made it possible to diversify the offer, offering investors niches to develop. The mining sector has enormous potential for investors. Several prospecting programs have been carried out and a mapping drawn up accordingly. Various resources have been identified (gold, iron, phosphates, building materials and fossil fuels such as petroleum).

The same is true for real estate, where construction sites are scheduled or launched in housing, buildings and public works (BTP), low-cost housing, hotels, etc.


The local market, made up of much more production from the primary sector (breeding, subsistence farming, etc.) is the first pillar on which the Benin economy is based, according to recent statistics on the Benin economy.

The export market is also a significant source of the national economy with products such as cotton which, for a long time, remains the main product for export. Pineapple, cashew, cassava, textile products, palm products, cocoa and timber are also listed.


ProductionsAchievements in 2015 (in tonnes)
Vegetable crops 633,862
Cotton281 853
Oil palm tree 116,331
Cashew nut225,230
Eggs14 746
Milk112 958
Pisces45 281

Source: PSRSA evaluation report, 2016


Benin’s agricultural exports are dominated by three commodity groups: cotton, oil seeds and fruits (shea, cotton seeds, palm kernels) and edible fruits (cashews and pineapples). Cashew nut exports, for example, experienced a significant increase of 156% from 2011 to 2015. They increased from 51,348 tonnes in 2011 to 131,241 tonnes in 2015, with an annual average of 102,127 tonnes.


Market information systems facilitate market access. They help reduce information asymmetry and transaction costs. They improve individual decisions and help balance the forces involved. Among the information mechanisms are:

  • newsletters published by offices such as the National Office for Food Security or by projects such as the Milk and Meat Sector Support Project (PAFILAV);
  • the ESOKO platform, access to which is facilitated for certain producers by technical and financial partners such as the Belgian Technical Cooperation.


Benin has a competent food safety authority, the Agence Béninoise de Sécurité Sanitaire des Aliments (ABSSA), set up by decree n ° 2011-113 of 8 May 2012.

[2] Trade Agreements

 CountryCCI Agreements ObjectSignature Date
 CHADChamber of Commerce, Industry, Agriculture, Mines and Handicrafts ofCHAD.Framework Agreement ConventionCooperationPromotion of bilateral cooperation with a view to fostering increased trade, industry and service exchanges between adhering members.20-09-2000
  TUNISIATunisian Union of Industry, Trade and Handicrafts (UTICA)Memorandum of understanding for cooperationEstablishment of a basis and mechanisms for cooperation, for strengthening the competitiveness of enterprises within the framework of the development of the private sector of the two countries. The organization of fairs and trade exhibition days.March 28, 2002
GUINEAEQUATORIALGuinean Chamber of Commerce and IndustryEquatorialCooperation agreementPromotion of trade and development of trade, industrial and service provision relations between any Equatorial Guinean and Beninese person or organization.08-27-2009
   TUNISIA Central Chamber of Commerce and IndustrySOUSSEMemorandum of Understanding for CooperationPromotion of investment opportunities in the respective economic regions of the two parties and support the establishment of companies.19-05-2010
SFAX Chamber of Commerce and IndustryCooperation agreementPromotion of commercial relations and economic partnership projects between companies by focusing on products and growth sectors, facilitating exchanges in terms of technology and know-how transfer.06-06-2011
 TUNISIATunis Chamber of Commerce and IndustryCooperation agreementPromotion of exchanges of economic missions, conferences and economic and cultural events. Promotion of participation in specialized fairs and exhibitions.02-11-2011
SOUTH AFRICAJohannesburg Chamber of Commerce and IndustryDeclaration of mutual cooperationPromotion of trade and market information exchange, trade and economic cooperation.02-12-2014
  MOROCCOMoroccan Center ofPromotion of Exports(MOROCCO EXPORT)Memorandum of Understanding for CooperationPromotion of exports between the two countries, development of business flows to third markets, promotion of direct contacts through networking between Moroccan and Benin businessmen.22-07-2015
Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Services of the Region of Fes MeknesProtocol of agreementPromotion of opportunities for investment, trade and partnership between member members04-01-2016
ALGERIAAlgerian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Memorandum of Understanding for CooperationDevelopment and strengthening of business and partnership relations between the economic operators of the two States and establishment of privileged links for the supervision and organization of the private sector.22-07-2016
 BELGIUMChamber of Commerce, Industry and AgricultureBelgium-Luxembourg-Africa-Caribbean-PacificMemorandum of Understanding for CooperationIntensification and diversification of commercial and industrial exchanges and the provision of services between members of the two chambers.26-01-1999
Walloon Chamber of Commerce and IndustryFramework agreementStrengthening of their role as intermediaries and guides for Beninese and Walloon companies respectively, and their modernization, diversification and expansion projects.05-07-2016
CUBAChamber of Commerce of the Republic of CUBACooperation agreementPromotion of bilateral cooperation with a view to fostering increased trade, industry and service exchanges between members of the two chambers.02-01-2002
VIETNAMVietnam Chamber of Commerce and IndustryCooperation AgreementStrengthening of economic, cultural and human ties, and promotion of collaborative actions in the interest of both parties.11-11-2003
CHINAChinese Chamber for the Import and Export ofTools and Mechanical and Electronic Products.Cooperation agreementStrengthening mutual understanding and friendly cooperation between the economic operators of the two consular chambers (the Chinese Chamber for the import and export of tools and mechanical and electronic products, the CCI Benin for objectives based on the principles of friendship, equality and mutual benefit).03-07-2003
BRAZILBrazilian Chamber of Commerce and IndustryAgreement relating to the creation of a BENIN-BRAZIL Common Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Economic DevelopmentFacilitation of interaction between the private sectors of Benin and Brazil, development of commercial, economic, technological, cultural, tourist and sports exchanges, encouragement of the creation of institutional cooperation mechanisms or partnerships between companies in Benin and Brazil.25-07-2011
 Economic, Commercial and Tourist Cooperation Agreement between the Commercial Association of Rio de Janeiro and the Common ChamberBenin-Brazil, Trade, Industry and Economic Development 25-07-2011
ItalyUnion for the Development of Relations between Italy and Africa (UNIAFRICA)Collaboration protocolSupport for Beninese economic operators and entrepreneurs in the development of trade and industry, support for development, financing of Beninese economic operators and entrepreneurs whose projects are viable and profitable25-02-2015
RUSSIARussian Federation Chamber of Commerce and IndustryMemorandum of CooperationPromotion of the exchange of business information; assistance and development of contacts between companies in the two countries; the organization of business missions, forums, seminars, round tables.13-05-2015

[3] Cross-Border Trade


In Benin, several measures have been taken to improve cross-border trade: the Single Window of the Port – GUP (or Single Window for Foreign Trade -GUCE) in October 2011 and the dematerialization of pre-clearance procedures, since April 2015 .


By setting up the GUP, the main objectives of the State were to (1) better secure the (customs) revenue of the State, through a single invoicing mechanism, the Single Fee Schedule (BFU) and (2 ) accelerate the passage of goods.

Thus, instead of going physically to the 7 administrations involved in the process (Customs, SOBEMAP, CNCB, PAC, etc.) to obtain invoices there, users benefit from an electronic platform – the GUP – in which all these administrations have been present since October 2011. Note that the Electronic Cargo Tracking Note (BESC) is no longer required in paper form.


Since April 2015, Benin has fully dematerialized all pre-clearance documents (certificates, permits, licenses, authorizations, etc.), through the use of the electronic platform of the Single Window for Foreign Trade Operations (GUOCE –BENIN): www.guocebenin.bj

This reform is legally based on Decree No. 2015-259 of May 15, 2015 establishing the framework applicable to the dematerialization of the pre-clearance documentary package in the Republic of Benin and the Interministerial Order Year 2015 No. 097 of May 22, 2015 on the scale of the costs of issuing certificates, permits and authorizations relating to the dematerialization of documentary packages for pre-clearance of goods and vehicles, for import, export, in transit at the port of Cotonou, through the mechanism of electronic signature.


APIEx General Directorate located in Scoa Gbéto Pavé Lane BOA Zongo – 2nd street after the ZONGO Pharmacy – COCODY building –
01 BP 5160 Cotonou BENIN

Telephone: (229) 21 31 07 04 or (229) 21 31 86 50
Fax: (229) 21 31 86 59

[4] Export Info/Licenses


In Benin, any natural or legal person of any nationality can freely export products authorized for export. However, the export of gold, diamonds and all other precious metals is subject to the prior opinion of the Minister in charge of finance.

Exports of goods from the territory of the Republic of Benin are carried out on simple authorization from the Directorate in charge of Foreign Trade by issuing the certificate of origin or export title.
Obtaining the certificate of origin or export document is subject to the presentation of the following documents:
– Form of the certificate of origin duly completed
– Application for export authorization
– Customs document
– Foreign exchange commitment relating to an export
– Photocopy of the customs declaration duly signed by customs
– EUR1 movement certificate and the generalized system of preference form for products destined for Europe
Exports are not subject to checks on shipment.
Important: The certificate of origin or export document is issued free of charge .

[5] Import Licenses


In Benin, importing requires formalities and procedures.

They include 2 stages:

The necessary documents:
– two copies of the registered Statutes;
– a copy of the legal announcements journal;
– receipt of payment of registration fees to the Registry;
– a copy of the legal announcements journal;
– the receipt of the license paid in taxes;

– an extract from the criminal record dated less than three months (for natural persons);
– the receipt of the license;
– a civil status document.

To be paid
– 20 US dollars for national companies
– 15 US dollars for foreign companies
– 10 US dollars for nationals
– 15 US dollars for foreigners

Documents to be provided:
– a copy of the articles of association;
– a copy of the extract from the trade register;
– an extract from the criminal record of the country of origin of the manager or director of the Company;
– a photocopy of the residence permit for foreigners;
– the receipt for payment of a deposit in respect of the BIC tax for the current year;
– the receipt for payment of the importer’s license for the current year (Tax Service);
– receipt of payment of contributions to the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Benin (CCIB) for the current year;
– receipt or certificate from the National Social Security Fund;
– fiscal stamp of two US dollars;
– fixed fee: 60 US dollars

Established on request, without restriction, it is valid for 6 months and renewable once for three months.
following are required:
– intention to import;
– two copies of invoice;
– domiciliation of the transaction with an authorized bank in accordance with foreign exchange regulations.
Goods imported from countries other than those in the franc zone and with an FOB value greater than or equal to ten thousand US dollars (10,000 US dollars) must be domiciled with an approved intermediary bank. and its payment is conditional on the visa of an import certificate.