Gambia Market Entry

Gambia Market Entry

Subchapters:

  • Market entry
  • Forms and conditions of operation on the market
  • Marketing and Communications
  • Issues of intellectual property protection
  • Public procurement market
  • Payment terms, payment ethics and resolution of commercial disputes
  • Visas, fees, specific conditions of travel to the territory
  • Employment of citizens from the Czech Republic
  • Fairs and events

Market entry

A condition for successful business is establishing a relationship with a local, reliable partner (importer, distributor, representative) with good contacts. In addition to the factors operating in all countries of the region (low purchasing power, geographical distance, time and administrative burden, question of seriousness of the partner, corruption, etc.), there are also specific factors such as orientation towards traditional (mainly Senegalese, Taiwanese) suppliers. In case of interest, we recommend contacting the Honorary Consul in The Gambia, viz. Chapter 6 Contacts.

According to cheeroutdoor.com, the Gambian government implements an open economic model, supports private sector development and market pricing. No distinction is made between domestic and foreign investors. The restrictions apply only to sensitive areas – defense and TV broadcasting (both of which are the domain of the state) and currency exchanges (where foreign ownership is limited). There is an embargo on the establishment of private security agencies (private security companies), existing companies operate without restrictions.

Consumer goods are mostly imported and distributed by wholesalers (Lebanese, Indians, Mauritanians, Kuwaitis, Senegalese, Nigerians). Importers of luxury goods usually buy and import goods directly from the manufacturer. The national trade fair plays an important role.

The Gambia Revenue Authority is the authority responsible for the management and administration of customs, the administration of taxes and import duties and the application of customs controls.

Import documentation required for customs purposes includes: bill of lading; certificate of origin; cargo release order; commercial invoice; list of goods; customs import declaration; and, if necessary, technical standard / health or environmental certificate.

For more information consult the Gambia Trade Portal website: http://gambiatradeinfo.org/business-requirements/import-procedures-documentations

Forms and conditions of operation on the market

The Gambia Investment and Export Promotion Agency (Gambia Investment and Export Promotion Agency: https://www.accessgambia.com/information/gipfza.html ) is working to speed up procedures for setting up companies and joint investment projects (‘One-Stop-Shop’). It is advisable to find a reliable local partner, representative or at least a distributor.

The basic steps are:
-register the company in the Companies register, this is to verify that there is no company with the same name
-notarize the company’s statute (Form CO1)
-obtain a Gambian identification number (TIN) from the Gambia Revenue Authority
-register employees with of the social security administration
– register the company with the Chamber of Commerce (Commercial registry)
– obtain an operating license from the city office, this license must be renewed every year

The Gambia Investing Manual: https://www.gambia.pl/files/An%20Introduction%20to%20Doing%20Business%20in%20The%20Gambia.pdf

Marketing and communication

All promotional materials must be prepared in the English language. Good photo documentation should be an essential part of promotional materials.

The most widespread form of product promotion in The Gambia is advertisements in the printed press, advertising on radio and television. Online promotion is also of increasing importance.

Issues of intellectual property protection

The Gambia has signed both conventions on the protection of intellectual property (Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, Bern Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works). The Gambian National Copyright Act has been in force since 2003. The government also signed and ratified basic agreements on the protection of copyrights (WIPO Copyrights Treaty, WTO TRIPS Agreement). The Gambia has not yet ratified the WIPO Internet Treaties.

The fact is, however, that due to the lack of resources and experience, the implementation of measures in practice is still inadequate. The representation of counterfeit goods of global brands (mostly of Asian origin) is high.

Public procurement market

Since the early 2000s, Gambia’s public procurement system has undergone significant changes. In the old complex public procurement system, it was necessary to award the contract to both central and local government bodies through a centralized system based on major and minor selection boards. The current Public Procurement Law includes a simpler public procurement system, based on four pillars: legal and regulatory framework, market evaluation and performance, procurement system integrity and capacity building.

Tenders are published in the daily press.
www.gppa.gm
www.gambia.gm

Payment terms, payment ethics and resolution of commercial disputes

In general, it is recommended to exercise caution and secure payment as best as possible (e.g. advance payment, confirmed irrevocable letter of credit, etc.). Payment morale is very different, but usually unstable.

It is recommended to avoid disputes with quality contracts and the services of a reliable local lawyer. In any case, it is recommended to include a provision in the contract, on the basis of which any arbitration would take place outside the country and to give priority to out-of-court negotiations when resolving disputes.

The Companies Act is consistently applied in The Gambia. Decisions of foreign courts (Foreign Arbitral Awards) are accepted, property rights enforceable. However, lawsuits can be costly and time-consuming.

Visas, fees, specific conditions for traveling to the territory

The visa requirement for citizens of the Czech Republic was abolished by the decision of President Jammeh at the end of 2006.

A short-term visa is issued free of charge upon arrival on Gambian territory, including at land border crossings. The Gambian authorities issue free short-term visas for a period of fifteen days with the possibility of extension for 3 months.

About a permit for a longer stay/work. residence can be requested after 56 days in the country. The applicant must submit a completed application, a copy of the passport and a fee (DAL 1,000/EUR 26/CZK 645 for a residence permit / DAL 1,800/EUR 47/CZK 1,160 for a residence permit plus work permit). The Gambian Immigration Authority will confirm the validity of the permit in the applicant’s passport every 28 days.

If you want to secure a visa in advance, it is possible to request it from the Honorary Consul of the Czech Republic in Gambia, Dr. Adama Ahmadou Sallah(a) (mobile: +220 996 44 18 / +220 720 29 29, E-mail: [email protected] / [email protected]) or at the Gambian Embassy in Brussels (https://www.gambiaembassy.eu/).

It is recommended to drink only bottled water throughout The Gambia.

Gambia’s roads and fleet are dilapidated, accidents abound and traffic rules are not always followed. It is recommended to take extra care (seat belt, motorcycle helmet, child car seat, speed limit at all times, locked doors and closed windows while driving) and avoid driving at night. During the rainy season, ie from June to October, there may be flooding and traffic restrictions. Taxis are the most reliable means of transport.

Petty crimes are frequent, especially in tourist areas where pickpockets roam. It is recommended not to travel with valuables and large amounts of cash, keep travel documents in a safe place (for example in a hotel safe, only carry a photocopy) and avoid gatherings and demonstrations.

Swimming in the sea can be dangerous due to strong currents and strong waves.

Health infrastructure is very limited in The Gambia and medical costs incl. repatriations can be very high. Appropriate travel insurance with full risk coverage is absolutely essential (legal assistance, medical care and repatriation). Car insurance (civil liability) is mandatory for passengers using their own car.

Employment of citizens from the Czech Republic

You will need a work visa to work in The Gambia. It is recommended that you get the job first before applying, your new employer will help process your application.

You can contact the Honorary Consul in Banjul with questions, viz. Chapter 6 Contacts. Visas for citizens of the Czech Republic are issued by the Gambian Embassy in Brussels. More info at https://www.gambiaembassy.eu/

Employees pay 5% of their monthly salary to social security. The employer contributes 10% of the employees’ wages.

Fairs and events

The Gambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry is organizing an international trade fair for the 15th year between February 26 and March 20, 2022. This year’s theme is “Accelerating Intra-Africa Trade for the realization of AFCFTA through innovation”.

Gambia Market Entry