Export to Lebanon:

Foreign trade and customs regimes have been substantially simplified in recent years. Currently, the Lebanese government applies the lowest ad valorem rates in the region. It is within this framework that the Lebanese government abolished all discriminatory barriers against foreign imports.

Lebanon does not impose any import quotas. Oil and oil products imports are restricted to twenty local firms. Import or export licenses cannot be transferred to third parties.

Goods prohibited to be exported to Lebanon are as follows:

*  Narcotics,

*  Arms and military equipment;

*  Cars older than eight years;

*  Products threatening public morals;

*  Products threatening public health;

*  Certain agricultural products.

There are three categories of licenses that are required for the import of agricultural products:

Goods banned for import: All kind of citrus produce, apples, quince, sweet tomatoes, cherries, plums, almonds, strawberries, leaf vegetables, parsley, mint, coriander, spinach, thyme, lettuce, green onion, carrots, radish and olives.

Lebanon has planned to prohibit in the course of 1997, the import of trucks and buses that are more than five years old.

The following products require import licenses (obtained by importer) that should be obtained from:

–   The Ministry of Foreign Trade: Wheat, wheat by-products, olive oil, orange, juice, apple juice, mustard seed, silk worms.

–   The Ministry of Industry: White cement, gypsum, tar, petroleum, fuels, fuels oils, gas kerosene, silk thread, pyjamas, electrical wire, unprocessed leather, telecom wire, copper wire, industrial machinery and equipment.

–   Other Ministries: Pharmaceutical (Ministry of Health), Chemicals (Ministry of environment). In compliance with Lebanese customs regulations, imported pharmaceutical products and foodstuffs must bear specific labels containing the following information:

  • The manufacturing and expiry date of the product;
  • The product’s country of origin.

Violations of the labeling rules are liable to sanctions under article 358 of the Lebanese Customs Code and can lead to the re-exportation of the infringing products.

The Regie des Tabacs enjoys monopoly rights to import or export tobacco in Lebanon.

Commercial invoice : The original or at least two copies usually are required.

Certificate of origin: The original or at least two copies are often required.

Packing list: Packing list may be required by the consignee and are recommended in case.

Bill of lading: The number of bills of lading required depends upon the carrier. Therefore there are no regulations specifying the form or number of bills of lading required for shipments. A bill of lading must show the name of the shipper, the name and address of the consignee, port of destination, description of the good, listing of the freight and other charges, the number of the bills of lading in full set and the date and the signature of the carrier’s official acknowledging receipt on board of the goods for shipment. The airway bill replaces the bill of lading on air cargo shipments.

HALAL Certificate: For all meat products (to get more details about HALAL Certification please visit HALAL section in the Islamic Chamber website).

Other formalities and documents

In January 1996, Lebanon adopted the Revised Harmonized Commodity Description/Coding system in compliance with the Customs Co-operation Council in Brussels.

In January 1997, Lebanon introduced a new Customs Declaration form, which conforms to the international Single Administrative Document. In January 1997/98, the customs authorities will begin the installation of an Automated System of Customs Data Entry (ASYCUDA). The first pilot unit will be installed at the port of Beirut.