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Major Change in Cameroon – Extension of Cameroon Pre-Shipment Conformity Assessment Program to all Imported Goods

March 25, 2022

On November 15, 2021, Cameroon put into force its decision to extend its Pre-Shipment Conformity Assessment Program to cover all imported goods. How will this affect your business?

Cameroon Government Decree No. 2021/3306/PM of May 31, 2021 modifies and completes the dispositions of Decree No. 2015/1875/PM of July 1, 2015 regarding the implementation of the Cameroon Pre-shipment Conformity Assessment Program. Consequently, the government has taken the significant decision to extend the PCA Program to ALL goods imported into the Republic of Cameroon. The date of enforcement was set for November 15, 2021, the date of the bill of lading (BL/AWB).

In this article, we look at the key questions asked by stakeholders and users of this program following the extension.

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, the Cameroon Pre-shipment Conformity Assessment Program applied only to regulated products covered by 290 mandatory standards. There was also the possibility of voluntary certification on request.

Operationally, the program process has not changed. Its objectives, the assessment methods (routes), the list of exempted products and the inspection costs remain unchanged.

Will existing exemptions be removed?

No, the list of exemptions remains the same:

  • Weapons and ammunition
  • Goods and objects referred to in the exemptions of Act No. 2/92-UDEAC-556-CD-SE-1, notably goods returned to the customs territory
  • Consignments made within the international relations of state to state, gifts offered to the heads of state and government
  • Gifts offered to states
  • Effects 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 objects in use coming from an inheritance
  • Pupils' and wedding trousseaux, consignments intended for works of solidarity of a national nature
  • 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 examining any file submitted, the State of Cameroon may, in a self-governing and discretionary manner, grant temporary or definitive exemptions to economic entities from the execution of any of the Programs.

What are the fundamental differences between the Cameroon Pre-Shipment Conformity Assessment Program and the Import Verification Program (IVP)?

For the import of goods and merchandise into Cameroon, two contiguous and compulsory programs have been put into place by the government: the Import Verification Program (IVP) and the Cameroon Pre-Shipment Conformity Assessment Program.

The IVP aims at securing customs revenues, and the PCA aims at ensuring that goods imported into the Republic of Cameroon comply with enforced standards and technical regulations.

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

Are there any changes in the conformity assessment fees?

No, the fees remain unchanged and are always charged to the exporter.

Can you conduct conformity assessment at destination?

No, the Cameroon Pre-shipment Conformity Assessment Program is a “country-exporter” program, which means that the entire conformity assessment process must take place in the country of origin. It is highly recommended that exporters obtain their Certificate of Conformity (CoC) prior to shipping.

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

Learn more about SGS’s Cameroon Pre-Shipment Evaluation of Conformity (PECAE) services.

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

For more information, please contact:

Thierno Bah
Contract Manager
Trade Facilitation Services, SGS
t: +237 691 457 902

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