Republic of Tunisia  | Ministry of Industry and Trade

Exemption from customs duty for Tunisians resident abroad

Eligibility for obtaining exemption from customs duty

    Under article 115 of the finance law governing the 1993 budget, exemption from customs duty on imported equipment and rolling stock is available to Tunisians who have lived abroad on a continual basis for more than two years and who have invested in one of the activities listed in the investment incentives code upon definitive or provisional return to Tunisia.

    The relevant file should be submitted to:

    • API (industrial promotion agency) for equipment to be imported in the framework of initiatives in any of the following fields: industry, transport, communications, education, vocational training, health, film/theater/television/radio production, recreational activities for young people and children, environmental conservation, public works, real estate, computer services, studies/consulting/appraisal/assistance, research/development.
    • APIA (agricultural investment promotion agency) for initiatives in agriculture and fishing
    • ONTT (national Tunisian tourism board) for initiatives in tourism
    • ONA (national handicrafts board) for initiatives in the handicrafts sector

Documents to be provided:

    A) For private individuals

      1. Duly completed form relating to declaration of an initiative
      2. Photocopy of national identity card
      3. Photocopy of the first three pages of passport
      4. Commitment on one’s honor (form available at API), signed and legalized
      5. Notice attesting to arrival of equipment and transport material
      6. Certified copy of the customs service’s official statement regarding the imported equipment
      7. If the equipment is purchased locally, a copy of the invoice or purchase contract along with an official statement issued by a notary public

    B) For a corporate entity
    In addition to the documents listed above:

      1. The statutes of the company to be set up or the company in which the Tunisian resident abroad plans to invest are to be provided.
      2. The share that the Tunisian resident abroad holds in the company’s capital must be at least as much as the value of the imported equipment and transport material for which exemption from customs duty is requested.
      3. The equipment and transport material that are the object of the request for exemption from customs duty must be listed in the statutes as inputs in kind, and these inputs need to be assessed by an input auditor, as per article 100 of the commercial company code.
      4. The Tunisian resident abroad needs to make a commitment that the shares he or she holds in the company will not be sold for a period of five years.
      5. The manager needs to make a commitment that the equipment that is exempted from customs duty will not be sold before expiration of the five year period.
      6. The value of transport material must be assessed by the Directorate General of Customs.

Customs duty on transport material

    Exemption from customs duty for transport material is granted by decree signed by the Minister of Finance.

    Conditions:

    • Transport material must be imported in the framework of an investment initiative in one of the activities listed in the investment incentives code.
    • Transport material must be no more than five years old at the time of arrival in Tunisia, as per article 2 of decree n°95-2434 of 11 December 1995.
    Submitting the file:

    The file is to be submitted to the Office of Tunisians Abroad (BTE) / Customs:

      1. Request addressed to the Minister of Finance
      2. Photocopy of the document certifying that a declaration of intention to invest has been submitted
      3. Photocopy of the national identity card
      4. Certified copy of the official document issued by the customs service regarding the equipment to be exempted from duty
      If the equipment is purchased locally, a certified copy of the invoice or of the purchase contract regarding the relevant equipment is to be provided, along with the official document issued by a notary public.
      5. Photocopy of the passport
      6. Notice that the equipment and transport material have arrived
      7. Photocopy of the transport material’s registration
      8. Commitment that the equipment and transport material will not be sold for a period of five years
      9. Commitment that the equipment and transport material will be used solely for the activities outlined in the request for exemption from customs duty

Important:

    Tunisians resident abroad can take advantage of exemption from customs duty on imported equipment required to carry out a project several times in the framework of a definitive or provisional return. Exemption from customs duty on transport material is granted only once.