Opening an International Business in Tunisia

Milk

Well-Known Member
#1
I'm looking to open up an international business in Tunisia when I go over again. OK, I'm actually considering....95% sure that I'm moving to Tunisia this year and NO it's not for my friend. I'm doing it because I have a desire to move there with my family....just to answer the once with the curious questions...lol

I have a question which I know a few of you have some knowledge about in this area and can help me.

Can you help me with the know how's and how to's, to start a business in Tunisia using my Canadian Business. I'm looking at opening an international business in Tunisia once I get there.

Thank you for all the help and resources that you provide as they are very much appreciated.
 

Scottochott

Well-Known Member
#2
It all depends on the type of business as different sectors have different regulations. Go to your nearest API office in Tunisia, they are very helpful and is a bit of a one stop shop for information.
 

Kris

Administrator
Staff member
#3
All depends what you want to do "international" seems a bit vague.

If your exporting products manufactured in Tunisia you will be welcomed with open arms.
 

Milk

Well-Known Member
#4
Immigration Consultant and photography on the side.

I would like to import products that I sell here to tunisia but the shipping would be way to expensive. The products are amazing that I sell and would sell very well in Tunisia, just the cost of shipping is crazy, unless you know of a cheap way to do it? Exporting products out of Tunisia, would be a great idea but the same problem, cost of shipping. I know many dealers here that would buy foreign good quality products, especially the rugs.

What does API stand for, unless that's the actual name?
 

Scottochott

Well-Known Member
#5
API are government agencies where you can get advice on regulations, customs, tax, etc. I have used the one in Sousse and they were very useful.

Importing goods would be subject to import tax. Shipping goods is cheap if you are talking about bulk quantities.

Not sure what you mean by immigration consultant, do you mean advising Tunisians how to get abroad? Trust me they already know!
 

Kris

Administrator
Staff member
#6
Importing anything to Tunisia is difficult and open to corruption.

Its normal to have a Tunisian partner one with family/friends working in customs.

I had in folks i know working in this field and at one time making a lot of money.

A change is staff caused a increase in the backhanders required and that was that.
 

YouOnlyLive Once!

Active Member
#7
FIPA is another organisation you can contact, they are actually quite informative, well in my experience they were. We ship product all around the world, including from Tunisia, so if you want to give me an idea as to what you were told shipping would cost and what the product is, i can try to help. You can PM me if it is confidential. Could the product be made out there? If so you would fall under the tax free category i would imagine.
 
C

ConstantFlyer

Guest
#8
I import and export without any shipping costs. How? Because I deal in knowledge transfer, research and consultancy. There is a growing high-tech economy using design, processes and innovation as goods alongside traditional business, legal and financial services. Making, keeping and developing contacts in Tunisia has really helped me too.
 

Essem

Moderator
Staff member
#9
Immigration Consultant and photography on the side.

I would like to import products that I sell here to tunisia but the shipping would be way to expensive. The products are amazing that I sell and would sell very well in Tunisia, just the cost of shipping is crazy, unless you know of a cheap way to do it? Exporting products out of Tunisia, would be a great idea but the same problem, cost of shipping. I know many dealers here that would buy foreign good quality products, especially the rugs.

What does API stand for, unless that's the actual name?
API stands for L'Agence de Promotion de l'Industrie et de l'Innovation

I took STC to the one in Sousse as I'd used it before and they really are very helpful, give out lots of information and can point you in the right direction.

What they do:

API : a network of services for entrepreneurs and enterprises

The Agency for the Promotion of Industry and Innovation is a public establishment, which is responsible for the implementation of the Government’s policies relative to the promotion of the industrial sector. API provides a support structure for companies and promoters.

API’s services are focused on 6 major categories :

  • Company Incorporation and Investment Advantages Management
  • Training for Company Creators and Business Incubation Centers (BIC)
  • Task Force- Industry Modernization and Upgrading
  • Studies
  • Industrial Information
  • API / TIC Package
http://www.tunisianindustry.nat.tn/en/home.asp

Contact details are:

API Sousse, Rue de Rabat, Immeuble CNRPS, 4000 Sousse. Tel: 00 216 73231800 or 73234600.
www.tunisieindustrie.nat.tn.

API Tunis , 63 Rue de Syrie, 1002 Tunis Belvédère - Tunisia. Tel.: 00 216 71 792 144
 

Milk

Well-Known Member
#10
Thank you for the great information :)
 

Abu revert

New Member
#11
Hello,

I am a Canadian married to a Tunisian. I plan to move to Tunisia down the line in few years or so in Shaa Allah, ie when business pick up. Currently my wife is living in Tunisia, and living in Gabes.

- I been looking into starting a business, importing clothes from China to Tunisia, but can't find information about the importing tax. I have been having issues relating to the start up process. I will inform you of the problems and how i solved some of them.

1. The 51/49 percent Tunisian, is true,. Found out It doesn't have to be 51/49 in the Tunisian favor. If the foreigner has the higher share percentage, he/she will be able to send the money out of the country. Please note if you want to send the money out of the country it has to be (40,000k the minimum to be sent at a time), anything less would not be able to be sent at a time. 40,000 Tnd, alot so if you best hope your making alot of money ln shaa Allah

2. The problem I am having is custom taxes, for clothes, how do they derive at the amounts. Anyone have a list of their VAT chart, or a estimate or so. The items will be coming from China.

3. Have other ideas going back and forth from them but always one thing or the next........

My question, does anyone have information or know anyone that has connections that would make this process easier from importing clothes from china? any lawyers,
 

Kris

Administrator
Staff member
#12
There is being able to import things via Tunisian customs... and there is knowing people in customs well enough to actually import things via Tunisian customs.

Clothes seem attractive as they are more expensive in Tunisia than outside.

But the reason for that is the duties and this leaves a massive gap between large companies with all the contacts and ex pats bringing their clothes into the country and selling on the black market. Nearly every Tunisian woman knows a few folks who go to either France or more likely Turkey where clothes are very cheap also.

If you visit the front pages of Tunisia there is a company called EXPAT solution which are relocation agents and business consultants.

Hopefully someone will have more information that you require here. But in my experience every single shipment in is a different story and has different bills despite what the actual stated rates are.

Any business of scale that interfaces with Tunisian customs is a business best avoided in my book.

Best of luck
 

Essem

Moderator
Staff member
#13
Try the Tunisian Chamber of Commerce and the API (L’Agence de Promotion de l’Industrie et de l’Innovation) for information.

Also one of our members imports clothes from the UK said that not only has she to pay tax on the country from where they were imported/came but also the country where they were made.

I've never heard of the 51/49% split being in favour of the foreigner but maybe things have changed.

Hope this helps.
 

Abu revert

New Member
#15
My wife tried the API, I was about to establish the company to be assessed. Thought it would have taken a couple days, but its a 4 month waiting time to establish it ......the custom tax scared made me and made me rethink it.

- Bought something for 1 cdn and paid 14 tnd at customs, then others more in value that was 2 or so dinars, like no sort of correlation in what they charge. Was sent for personal use. Obviously may be different when doing it legally.

- The Api provided just basic information. I tested the market a bit before, just sending items to Tunisia, but the prices changes. Heard when you do it legally, its way more taxes.

As for the split they told her that I can have the 51 percent split, as having the larger split Is the only way I could transfer money out of the country. Well one of the ways. As most information I received have received some contradicting information. Seems all information online is wrong lol,and some from API. I am looking for some clarity.

So would like to atleast know the process.

From what I was told once you establish the busienss, this is the process.

1. You find a supplier.
2. Contact agree on price with supplier.
3. Company gives you a receipt of invoice
4. You provide that information to the banks. They withdraw the money from the your bank account
5. They transfer the amount to the supplier.
6. Then customs receive the items,
7. They contact you
8. You provide ID and bill of landing and all related information
9. You pay the custom tax,
10. Bring it whatever........

- Is this correct?
 

Essem

Moderator
Staff member
#16
Sorry I have no idea. Perhaps some of our other members will be able to help when they next come on.
 

Scottochott

Well-Known Member
#17
Sounds about right.

I found the API to be very helpful and able to give detailed information, maybe a visit there yourself would help, there are very different regulations and incentives for different business sectors.

I assume you are talking about a foreign off shore company, then you must own the majority. Do you realise the tax advantages? You won't pay tax for years, again API or govt websites will give the latest information, you can import vehicles for business use tax free too among other benefits.
 

Scottochott

Well-Known Member
#18
Check very carefully the consequences of Tunisian residency as far as tax liability and the ability to set up a foreign off shore company, you made need to retain UK residency, but then you would be liable for UK tax
 

Abu revert

New Member
#19
Check very carefully the consequences of Tunisian residency as far as tax liability and the ability to set up a foreign off shore company, you made need to retain UK residency, but then you would be liable for UK tax

I am actually living in Canada a little further away from Uk lol. I read about the 10 year tax levy, but isnt that mainly exporting companies. Exporting Tunisian products outside of the country?

In my case I am kind of taking money out of Tunisians mouth instead of stimulating the economy(employing and so forth). I was thinking of a exporting idea but haven't found a product niche as yet. Haven't found a gap.

If you have any information on customs would be happy.
 

Scottochott

Well-Known Member
#20
As I said, different industry sectors have different regulations, so I wouldn't want to mislead you. Your wife could go to the local customs office with any specific enquiries. It is one of the many frustrations about Tunisia that there is no one stop shop that can give you all the information you need, and often you get conflicting advice. I realise Canada is a long way, but I think a visit is a must before you invest substantial sums. Best of luck and keep us informed.
 
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