Country Guide: Burundi

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Updated: August 18, 2016

Household Goods and Personal Effects

Documents Required

  • Copy of passport
  • Letter of employment
  • Original packing list
  • Original bill of lading (OBL) - no express release accepted / air waybill (AWB)
  • Freight invoice or OBL showing freight charges
  • Original valued inventory in English or French, dated, and signed by the owner of the goods
  • Invoice for electrical items and appliances
  • Copy of Burundi visa to benefit from exemption
  • Certificate of free entry from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (diplomats)


Specific Information

  • All documents must be provided to agent prior to the arrival of the shipment to obtain duty-free clearance.
  • If the owner of the goods works for an NGO, Embassy, or international organization a “taxe de voirie” is applicable on all diplomatic shipments at 0.85% of the CIF value.
  • All used household goods for non-diplomatic shipments are subject to import duties and taxes of approximately 7.5% of the CIF value.
  • All new household goods for non-diplomatic shipments will be charged duty and taxes as any commercial goods.
    • Average duties are approximately 40% of the CIF value.
      • Handling                       4% CIF Value
      • Transactional tax          17% of (CIF + duties + handling)
      • Clothes                         40% CIF
      • Food                             40% CIF
      • Furniture                       40% CIF
      • Personal effects            25% CIF
  • Diplomats must obtain a certificate of free entry from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
    • If granted, the owner of the goods will only be liable for statistic tax which is 1.5% of the CIF value 

Motor Vehicles

Documents Required

  • Original registration card
  • Copy of passport
  • Original purchaseinvoice
  • OBL 


Specific Information

  • The OBL must show chassis number, engine number, cubic capacity, year of manufacture, brand and model.
  • A car older than 8 years is not allowed for importation in Burundi.
    • If imported, there will be a fine of $1000 to be paid to Customs.
  • The duty rates on cars are as follows:
    • Diplomat                                               1% handling charge
    • Vehicle more than 10 passengers          15% CIF
    • Tourism vehicle                                    Between 40% and 100% CIF
    • Handling                                               4% CIF value
    • Transactional tax                                  17% of (CIF + duties + handling) 


Documents Required

  • Veterinary health certificate
  • Rabies vaccination certificate

Specific Information

  • Veterinary health certificate and rabies vaccination certificate are required from the country of origin.

Restricted/Dutiable Items

  • Alcohol (only “Fond de Cave”) is acceptable and is duty free (max 20 bottles). 
    • If value is more than 500 USD, a pre-shipment inspection will be requested as well as an import license.

Prohibited Items

  • Firearms and ammunitions (authorization from the territorial administration is required)
  • Transmission equipment
  • Illegal drugs
  • Weapons, explosives and ammunition
  • Knives and deadly weapons
  • Plant and plant products
  • Meat and meat products
  • Hazardous materials
  • Counterfeit money and goods
  • Pornographic materials

Consignment Instructions

Recommended: Contact the destination agent to ensure all requirements have been met prior to import, especially for differences regarding air / sea shipments.


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IAM Note: Customs regulations can change at any time with or without notice. This document is provided as a guide and for information only. While IAM has exercised reasonable care in publishing this document, IAM makes no representation, either expressed or implied, as to its accuracy or applicability.