12 Feb 2018
Import/Export Procedures of Brunei
Brunei adopts an open trade policy and views free trade agreements (FTAs) as a vital part of its foreign trade policy. To maximise the potential of its free trade and open trading regime, the Brunei government has secured the following FTAs:
- Regional FTAs signed under the auspices of ASEAN with seven economies individually, including China (the Chinese mainland), Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, India, Australia and New Zealand.
- Other trade agreements include its bilateral agreement with Japan and a plurilateral agreement with Chile, New Zealand and Singapore (Trans Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership). Brunei also participates in the negotiation of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).
Brunei’s major exports are crude oil and gas, accounting for more than 90% of merchandise exports and key export markets include Japan, Korea, India, Australia and Indonesia. Brunei’s major imports include manufactured goods, machinery and transport equipment, which are sourced from Malaysia, Singapore, China, the US and Korea. For a full analysis on trade policy, see the Brunei Market Profile on the HKTDC website.
Import and Export Requirements
Only companies registered to do business in Brunei can export or import goods. Generally, the following procedures should be followed when importing into or exporting from Brunei:
1. Registration with RCED (through its Customer Services Counter) – this is free of charge and copies of business certificates/certificates of incorporation and evidence of residency in Brunei (e.g. Smart Identify Card) is needed.
2. Application for permit of controlled goods – this is required from the appropriate responsible agency before importing/exporting. The responsible agency can be found on the website of RCED. Usually these permits are free of charge.
3. Complete an online Customs Import/Export Declaration. All Customs Import/Export Declarations must be submitted via the Brunei Darussalam National Single Window (BDNSW). With BDNSW, multiple trade-related applications are consolidated into single applications to be submitted and approved electronically.
4. Payment of Dutiable Goods. Duties can be paid either at the Customs Payment Counter or as a Bill Payment over Bank’s Channel.
5. Inspection and Clearance. For every importation/exportation, the Approved Customs Import/Export Declaration and supporting documentation (e.g. invoice, permits, bill of lading) are required.
To encourage the use of Muara port, Brunei’s major deep-water port, the government has reduced a number of fees related to import/export trade, including the reduction by more than one-third the charge on laden containers entering the port. Furthermore, charges on stevedoring, lift on/lift-off and wharfage fees are all reduced by similar proportions, while the free storage time for containers in the port has been increased from 48 to 120 hours.
Prohibited goods are listed on the website of RCED and they include weapons, dangerous narcotics, stone and gravel.
Tariff Classification and Import/Export Duties
Brunei adopts the Harmonised System (HS) and duties are collected on imports only. In addition to import duty, some imports are subject to excise tax (e.g. gasoline, electrical appliances).
Brunei has very low import tariffs and its average Most Favoured Nation (MFN) applied tariff was 1.2% in 2015 (WTO, 2016). All tariff rates are documented in the Brunei Darussalam Tariff and Trade Classification, 2017.
Product Standards and Labelling Requirements
Brunei adheres to a number of international standards, including the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) regimes. Brunei’s National Standards Centre of the Energy and Industry Department is responsible for facilitating and regulating matters related to Standards and Conformance.
Basic packing and marking requirements are generally required for all categories of products, but more specific requirements for food products are required, which can be found on the website of the Ministry of Health.
- Regulatory Environment
- Establishing a Presence
- Intellectual Property Protection
- Staff Recruitment
- Tax Considerations
- Import/Export Procedures
- Further Information