Are you coming from abroad to Togo? Do you live in Togo and want to travel abroad? This information is intended to you, it describes briefly the formalities you must comply with.
While crossing the border at entrance or exit of the territory, you can be controlled by customs officers identifiable by their uniform (Article 80 of the Customs Code: "Code des Douanes (CD)"), and by circulating within the territory or within the border radius (Article 50 CD). Some customs officers in charge of travelers' control do not wear uniforms. In any case, the customs officers have to present at the first check their professional ID card called "Commission d'emploi" (Article 38 CD).
Travelers control by customs aims in particular at:
- the protection of national economy
- the preservation of national heritage
- the regularization of transactions
- the safety and health of the traveler and the populations
- the protection of wildlife and flora products
Customs control is therefore necessary; however it must be conducted in an understanding and mutual respect climate. In this way, inconveniences that might arise will be minimized.
To achieve that, the traveler has an important role to play by facilitating the opening and search through his⁄her luggage and vehicle trunks.
Authorities of the customs officers
Customs officers in charge of travelers' control can check:
- transport means
Article 42 CD, Article 32 CD "UEMOA" (West African Economic and Monetary Union − WAEMU).
They can also check identity (Article 50 CD, Article 37 CD UEMOA) by requesting identity papers (passport or national identity card).
Nature of control
Customs control is not automatic, it is carried out at random or in full.
During any customs control, the customs officer will ask the traditional question: "DO YOU HAVE ANYTHING TO DECLARE?" Your answer constitutes a declaration to customs (Article 77/1c CD UEMOA), which implies your responsibility.
Items and personal belongings imported by occasional travelers, are admitted duty and tax free when these are entirely non-commercial and only for personal use. Article 165 CD UEMOA; Decree No. 67‐113 of May 18, 1967.
EXEMPTIONS are granted to travelers (Decree No. 67‐113, Articles 21, 22 and 18), if only the imported objects are subject to a prior and regular declaration:
- Remaining of travel provisions.
- 50 cigars or 100 cigarettes or 200 grams of tobacco for men, without possibility of accumulation; 100 cigarettes for women.
- Clothing and personal items, worn‐out or looking new, which match up the social rank of the traveler (e.g.: suit, tie, shoes, belt ⋯).
- Shopping items (drinks, perfumes, jewelries, watches, bracelets ⋯) subject to a non‐commercial importation.
- Dogs and other pets with no prejudice to police and health formalities.
N.B.: The following items are excluded from duty-free entry and therefore liable to duty and tax:
- Fabrics in pieces
- Jewelries of great value, even being worn, when they exceed the social standing of the traveler.
Import and export prohibitions are, in particular, on:
- Weapons, ammunitions, explosives
- Pornographic magazines and movies
- National treasures (paintings, sculptures)
- Drugs and narcotics
- Endangered wildlife and flora products (Article 11 CD), (Article 23 CD UEMOA).
N.B.: The possession of narcotics, whatever the quantity, will lead to your incarceration and immediate trial in court.
Temporary import and export
If you are entering Togo for a temporary stay, you are allowed to import, duty and tax free, non‐prohibited everyday items such as video camera, camera or other appliances. Such devices are granted temporary admission and must be re‐exported at the end of the stay or within a year (Article 151 CD), (Article 156 CD UEMOA).
If you are traveling out of Togo for a temporary stay abroad, taking with you a machine and an appliance for repair, you must declare these objects to export, since they are subject to be returned back, and a detailed permit will be delivered to you. Upon re‐importation within a year, you will only pay duties and taxes on the cost of repair (Article 153 CD), (Decree No. 67‐113), (Article 157 CD UEMOA).
Travelers are also required to comply with the regulations of foreign trade control as well as the legislation concerning foreign financial relations of the member states of WAEMU (Article 26 CD), (Article 24 CD UEMOA), (Regulation No. 09⁄CM⁄UEMOA of November 20, 1998).
For resident travelers
- Free circulation of the CFA franc within WAEMU, no declaration for the manual transport of "BCEAO" notes when traveling from one member state to another.
- When traveling to a non‐member state, currency notes up to two million (2,000,000) CFA francs (approximately 3,049 €) are allocated. The excess from this limit can be taken in the form of a certified check or other means of payment.
- Free importation of franc zone notes or other currencies, with obligation to sell them, within eight days, to a bank when their exchange value exceeds 300,000 CFA francs (about 458 €).
- Authorization to use credit cards abroad.
For non-resident travelers
- Free importation of franc zone currencies and bank notes, with obligation to declare in writing, all payment means in possession to Customs, when their exchange value exceeds 1,000,000 CFA francs (about 1,524 €).
- Currency outflow permitted up to 500,000 CFA francs (about 762 €) as well as letters of credit and travelers checks in their name.
- Justification for the excess of currency notes at the customs office on exit.
- If duly declared excess funds can not be taken away, they can be deposited by the traveler in a local bank in order for them to be freely transferred for his benefit.