Import Procedures & Documentations

The Gambia Revenue Authority is responsible for the management and administration of customs, the administration of taxes and duties on imports, the application of customs controls and other connected matters. The Commissioner of Customs is responsible for the day-to-day administration of customs. The Commissioner-General of the GRA is responsible for granting permission to manufacture goods subject to excise duties.

Import documentation required for customs purposes comprises: the bill of lading; certificate of origin; cargo release order; commercial invoice; packing list; customs import declaration; and technical standard/health or environmental certificate, where appropriate.

Import prohibitions and restrictions

Prohibited imports include false or counterfeit money; indecent or obscene articles, matches containing white phosphorous; denatured spirits, unless duly certified; articles deceptively marked with Gambian coats of arms; advertisements for cures for cancer, tuberculosis or venereal/sexual diseases or complaints; distilled spirits containing specified essential oils or chemicals that are injurious to health; manufactures falsely labelled as of Gambian origin; firearms, ammunition etc., imported by post; goods that do not meet the Gambian Bureau of Standards requirements or that are certified by a public medical officer as hazardous to health; seditious, scandalous or immoral literature; waste and sludge deposits; any goods prohibited under the terms of any international convention to which The Gambia is a signatory; skimmed milk, if not clearly identified; any organic phosphorous compound; and "exhausted" tea.

Under the provisions of the Rotterdam Convention, The Gambia has banned imports of DNOC, parathion, dustable powders of benomyl, thiram and carbofuram, ethylene dichloride and oxide, and monocrotophos. Under the Stockholm Convention, The Gambia bans all imports of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) listed in Annex A (see Chapter II(3) for The Gambia's participation in these Conventions.

The Gambia maintains no specific quotas on any imports. Imports of the following goods are conditionally restricted: tear gas and similar substances, and their propellants, other than permitted by the Minister of Interior; alcoholic spirits, unless certified as aged in wood for at least three years (however, no certificate is needed for bitters, liqueurs, cordials, gin, Geneva, hollands schnapps, rum, or spirits imported for medical, industrial or scientific purposes); postal franking machines, except as permitted by GAMPOST; Boy Scout or Girl Guide badges, except under permission of the relevant Commissioner; firearms silencers, except as permitted by the Minister of Interior; precious metals from Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea Conakry, Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria, Niger, Mauritania, Cape Verde, except under permit from the Minister of Finance; used motor vehicles, except with official certificate of roadworthiness; machines for duplicating keys; handcuffs, except under licence by the Minister of Interior; live fish not native to The Gambia, except under licence by the Minister of Fisheries; and any goods prohibited under the terms of any international convention to which The Gambia is a signatory.

Import licensing

The Gambia maintains import certification provisions regarding food products, in connection with health and sanitary provisions of the Food Act 2005.

All imports of animals, marine life, plants, their products, and processed foods of plant or animal origin, must be accompanied by an import certificate issued in accordance with Codex Alimentarius quality control requirements. In addition, no food item may be imported into The Gambia without: a certificate from the manufacturer that it was manufactured in accordance with an existing standard or code of conduct pertaining to the product; or where such standard or code of conduct does not exist, any international standard laid down by the Codex Alimentarius Commission; or a certificate issued by the government of the exporting country that its sale in that country would not contravene the law.

Imports of cereals, pulses or legumes, including rice, require phytosanitary certificates issued by the national plant protection service of the country of origin, and fumigation certificates issued by the exporting company or an approved company. The Minister of Health may, at any time, issue regulations providing that food items may not be imported unless manufactured in accordance with specified standards.