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SGS: Major Change in Cameroon – Extension of Cameroon’s Pre-shipment Conformity Assessment Program to all Imported Goods

On November 15, 2021, Cameroon implemented its decision to extend its pre-shipment conformity assessment program to all imported goods. How will this affect your business?

Decree of the Government of Cameroon n° 2021/3306/PM of May 31, 2021 modifies and supplements the provisions of decree n° 2015/1875/PM of July 1, 2015 relating to the implementation of the conformity assessment program before shipping from Cameroon. As a result, the government has taken the important decision to extend the PCA program to ALL goods imported into the Republic of Cameroon. The effective date has been set for November 15, 2021, date of the bill of lading (BL/AWB).

In this article, we take a look at the top questions posed by stakeholders and users of this program following the expansion.

What is the scope of this extension and how does it differ from the first phase?

The scope has been extended to ALL goods imported into the Republic of Cameroon.

Between its launch on August 31, 2016 and November 15, 2021, Cameroon’s pre-shipment conformity assessment program only applied to regulated products covered by 290 mandatory standards. There was also the possibility of voluntary certification upon request.

Operationally, the program process has not changed. Its objectives, the methods of evaluation (paths), the list of exempted products and the control costs remain unchanged.

Will existing exemptions be removed?

No, the list of derogations remains the same:

  • Weapons and ammunition

  • Goods and objects covered by the exemptions of Law No. 2/92-UDEAC-556-CD-SE-1, in particular goods returned to the customs territory

  • Shipments made within the framework of international State-to-State relations, gifts offered to Heads of State and Government

  • Gifts given to the States

  • Items benefiting from diplomatic privileges and immunities intended for diplomatic and consular missions, or international or United Nations organizations

  • Personal and household goods imported as part of a change of residence

  • Goods and useful objects from an inheritance

  • School kits and wedding trousseaux, shipments intended for national solidarity works

  • Products and objects intended for the celebration of religious services

  • Materials and products intended for certain privileged technical uses

  • Works of art and precious stones

  • Recovered metals

  • Current newspapers and periodicals

However, upon request and after examination of any file presented, the State of Cameroon may, autonomously and at its discretion, grant temporary or permanent exemptions to economic entities from the execution of any of the Programs.

What are the basic differences between Cameroon’s Preshipment Conformity Assessment Program and the Import Verification Program (IVP)?

For the importation of goods and merchandise into Cameroon, two contiguous and mandatory programs have been put in place by the government: the Import Verification Program (PVI) and the Cameroon Pre-shipment Conformity Assessment Program.

The IVP aims to secure customs revenue and the PCA aims to ensure that goods imported into the Republic of Cameroon comply with the standards and technical regulations in force.

Each of the two programs therefore has a specific and distinct objective.

Are there any changes to the conformity assessment fees?

No, the costs remain unchanged and are still the responsibility of the exporter.

Can you perform a destination compliance assessment?

No, Cameroon’s pre-shipment conformity assessment program is an “exporting country” program, which means that the entire conformity assessment process must take place in the country of origin. It is strongly recommended that exporters obtain their Certificate of Conformity (CoC) prior to shipment.

Note: Under Cameroon’s PCA program, there is no provision for destination inspection. Therefore, exporters are required to wait for approval from the SGS office before shipping goods.

Learn more about SGS Cameroon Preshipment Conformity Assessment Services (PECAE).

This article can also be found in our PCA newsletter – keeping you up to date on developments in technical barriers to trade and product conformity assessment.

Subscribe to the PCA newsletter by visiting our Subscription Center and topic selection Government and Trade Facilitation in step 2.

For more information please contact:

Thierry Bah
contract manager
Trade Facilitation Services, SMS
Phone. : +237 691 457 902

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