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Doing Business in Cameroon
 

Exporting to Cameroon

President Obama announced the National Export Initiative (NEI) http://www.export.gov/ in 2010, with the goal of doubling exports by 2014. The U.S. Embassy Yaounde is committed to supporting U.S. companies to start exporting or grow their exports to Cameroon. In this section, you’ll find a quick description of Cameroon as an export market and some suggestions for getting started.

Getting Started

  1.  Entrants to the Cameroonian market might consider engaging locally hired representatives to provide guidance on the business environment, identify customers, and obtain market information.  For products requiring after-sales service and spare parts, the Embassy recommends that exporters consider operating through a distributor or dealership.  Agents and distributors must register with the government and their contracts must be notarized and published in the local press.

    Once the decision to open a business in Cameroon is made, the U.S. businessperson will require legal counsel and a Notary Public for all the legal formalities associated with the incorporation of a company.  The Embassy has available a list of Lawyers and Notaries.  It is advisable that U.S. firms approach firms specializing in financial and tax advisory services.  Well-qualified representatives of major U.S. and international auditing and business consulting firms are located in Cameroon.
  2. Visit the export.gov page on Cameroon to get an overview of economic conditions and opportunities.  Access the U.S. Commercial Service Market Research Library containing more than 100,000 industry and country-specific market reports, authored by our specialists working in overseas posts.Visit the export.gov page on Cameroon to get an overview of economic conditions and opportunities 

    The Library Includes:

  3. Contact your local U.S. Export Assistance Center for advice and support on exporting to Cameroon. Contact a Trade Specialist Near You.
  4. Contact your local Small Business Development Center (SBDCs). Starting a business can be a challenge, but there is help for you in your area. Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) are partnerships primarily between the government and colleges/universities administered by the Small Business Administration and aims at giving educational services for small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs. 
  5. Contact in-country business support organizations such as the American Chamber of Commerce in Cameroon 

    Make use of business matchmaking services 

    • The Gold Key Service
    • International Partner Search
    • International Company Profile

Investing in Cameroon

This section provides information for current and potential investors in Cameroon.

Potential investors: Getting Started. 

If you are considering investment in Cameroon, here are some steps you may wish to consider as you get started:

  • Register with the U.S. Embassy – If you are planning a visit to consider investment, let us know by sending an email to the contact addresses on this page.
  • Visit host country resources, such as The Investment Promotion Agency  
  • Contact local U.S. business support organizations, such as the American Chamber of Commerce in Cameroon
  • Subscribe to our embassy Facebook page

Current investors: Staying Connected.

If you are a current U.S. investor in Cameroon, the U.S. Embassy wants to stay in touch. Here are a few steps you can take to keep the channels of communication open:

  • Register with the U.S. Embassy – If you are active in Cameroon, let us know by sending an email to the contact addresses on this page.
  • Add us to your mailing lists – we are always happy to stay informed
  • Subscribe to our embassy Facebook page 
  • Set up a meeting with our economic or commercial team to discuss any issues that arise

Working in Cameroon

Work and Residency Permits:  American citizens who expect to work in Cameroon for an extended period of time must apply for a work permit (carte de séjour) at the local immigration office.  The following documents should support the application:

  • Photocopy of the passport
  • Birth certificate
  • Police or criminal record
  • Completed application form
  • Proof of employment
  • Medical certificate

Business Visas

For information on obtaining a visa to visit Cameroon, visit the Cameroonian Embassy website  http://www.cameroonembassyusa.org/

A passport and proof of return/onward ticket is required.  Cameroon does not grant airport entry visas to nationals in whose country is located a Cameroonian Embassy. Evidence of a vaccination for yellow fever may be required at the port of entry.

Travelers should obtain the latest information on entry requirements from the Embassy of the Republic of Cameroon, 3400 International Drive, NW, Washington, DC 20008, Phone: 202-286-0984, Fax: (202) 387-3826 Email: mail@cameroonembassyusa.org.  Overseas inquiries should be made at the nearest Cameroonian embassy or consulate.

Travel Advisories

Make sure to check the current State Department travel advisoryhttp://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/tw/tw_1764.htmlfor Cameroon

 FCPA

The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) is an important anti-corruption tool designed to discourage corrupt business practices in favor of free and fair markets.  The FCPA prohibits promising, offering, giving or authorizing giving anything of value to a foreign government official where the purpose is to obtain or retain business.  These prohibitions apply to U.S. persons, both individuals and companies, and companies that are listed on U.S. exchanges. The statute also requires companies publicly traded in the U.S. to keep accurate books and records and implement appropriate internal controls.   

More information on the FCPA can be found here:  http://www.fcpa.us/

A party to a transaction seeking to know whether a proposed course of conduct would violate the FCPA can take advantage of the opinion procedure established by the statue.  Within 30 days of receiving a description of a proposed course of conduct in writing, the Attorney General will provide the party with a written opinion on whether the proposed conduct would violate the FCPA.  Not only do opinions provide the requesting party with a rebuttable presumption that the conduct does not violate the FCPA, but DOJ publishes past opinions which can provide guidance for other companies facing similar situations.

More information on the DOJ opinion procedure can be found here:http://www.morganlewis.com/documents/fcpa/FCPAOpinionProcedureReleases.pdf

Upcoming events

  • INTERNATIONAL EXHIBITION FOR ENTERPRISES, SMEs AND PARTNERSHIPS OF YAOUNDE: PROMOTE 2014, Official website of Promote 2014

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