Guinea Market Entry

Guinea 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

Establishing a relationship with a local reliable partner (importer, distributor, representative) with good contacts and acquaintances is a basic condition for successful business.

According to cheeroutdoor.com, consumer goods are mostly imported and distributed by wholesalers (Lebanese, Chinese).

Importers of luxury goods, like mining companies, usually buy and import goods directly from the manufacturer. An importer of goods over USD 5,000 needs an import permit (Demande descriptive d’importation). The import duty is 33% on most items, but investors have a number of exemptions. Basic foodstuffs have a customs duty rate of 1-2%. There is a surcharge of 20-70% on luxury goods (tobacco, alcohol, cars…).

The importation of handguns and drugs is prohibited. The import of military equipment is subject to the approval of the relevant authorities in the Czech Republic. Export of currency above 100,000 GNF and more than 5,000 USD is prohibited.

Forms and conditions of operation on the market

Setting up a company is relatively simple:

– deposit the share capital into a bank account and receive a confirmation
– check the company name in the Commercial Register
– prepare the articles of association with a notary (fee million GNF)
– register the company in the One-Stop Shop (APIP, Agence de promotion des investissements privés) and through APIP to receive an entry in the Commercial Register, the Tax Office (local IČO=NIF) and Social Security
– notify the Labor Office (AGUIPE, Agence Guinéenne pour la Promotion de l’Emploi) of its employees (the fee for establishing a SARL is approximately 800,000 GNF in total)
– publish in the official gazette (a fee of 200,000 GNF normally included in notary services)
– purchase a company stamp (20,000 GNF)

The total process theoretically takes 16 working days. More information can be found on the World Bank’s Doing Business website here: https://www.worldbank.org/en/programs/business-enabling-environment

Marketing and communication

Promotional materials must be prepared in French.
Good photo documentation should be an essential part.

The most popular form of promotion in Guinea is radio ads or TV spots (also given the widespread illiteracy and the availability of newspapers).
Billboards can be used, and promotion on social networks (especially among young people) is also of increasing importance.

Issues of intellectual property protection

Guinea is a member of the Mez. organization for the protection of souls. property (World Intellectual Property Organization, WIPO; African Intellectual Property Organization, OAPI). OAPI is a signatory of the 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, Patent Cooperation Treaty, TRIPS Agreement). Currently, almost 70% of brands of goods and services sold on the Guinean market are protected under the OAPI.

Incorporation of obligations into the national legal order was carried out by Guinea in 2000, but the protection of intellectual property is not one of the government’s priorities. Office for the Protection of Souls. ownership (Service national de la propriété des marques et licenses) is underfunded and understaffed. Debt enforcement is problematic. The representation of counterfeit goods of global brands (mostly of Asian origin) is high.

Competent organizations:
-Guinean Copyright Authority (BGDA) / Ministry of Sports, Culture and Historical Heritage
National Industrial Property Administration (SPI) / Ministry of Industry, Small and Medium Enterprises and Private Sector Support

Public procurement market

Announcements of public contracts can be found in the daily press.

Donors usually set the terms of tenders themselves (in the case of an investment over USD 1 million, the tender is managed by the Central Procurement Agency). Ministries issue tenders for the purchase of services and materials for their projects directly. The government often does not pay for services or goods delivered – payment in advance is recommended.

More information here: https://mef.gov.gn/index.php/direction-nationale-du-control-des-marches-publics#

Payment terms, payment ethics and resolution of commercial disputes

Invoicing can be done in both EUR and USD. Obtaining information on the solvency of a potential buyer is usually difficult, not much information about entities is published in Guinea, and those that are in circulation tend to be unreliable. Advance payment is recommended, otherwise an irrevocable letter of credit is a good way to pay.

The Guinean Court of Arbitration, independent of the Ministry of Justice, was established in 1999. Its activity is based on the French practice of selecting arbitrators from the commercial, not the judicial, sphere. The Chamber of Commerce supervises the court. However, the Guinean judicial system is highly corrupt (and foreigners are the targets of corruption), subject to political pressure (especially in the mining sector). Enforcement of cases is sporadic. Cases often end with the expropriation of the property of a foreign company.

In relation to Czech companies, we have not yet recorded a case of a commercial dispute that would have to be resolved by a third party (court). When resolving business disputes, it is always desirable to give preference to out-of-court proceedings, to include in the contract a provision on the basis of which any arbitration would take place outside the country.

Visas, fees, specific conditions for traveling to the territory

A passport valid for 6 months after the planned end of the trip and a visa are required to enter the country. It is possible to apply for a visa at the Embassy of Guinea in Berlin and now also online. More information here: https://www.paf.gov.gn/visa

Yellow fever vaccination is required to enter the country. Vaccination against hepatitis A and B, meningitis, polio, tetanus, diphtheria is recommended, an update of the typhus vaccination is recommended. Guinea is a heavily malarious region. Cases of cholera are repeatedly recorded. The incidence of AIDS/HIV is high. Ebola has been present in Guinea since 2016, with the last localized cases recorded in the southeastern region of Guinée forestière in February 2021. You can follow the latest information on the Twitter account of the Ministry of Health here: https://twitter.com/gouvgn/status/1013718172199981056

A common mode of transportation is a taxi.

General caution is advised in Guinea, especially in Conakry, security conditions are worsening. Vigilance is in order in the markets due to pickpocketing, unlit and unpopulated places should be avoided at night. Driving at night is not recommended in the entire territory, armed robbery and car theft may occur, resistance is not recommended.

Homosexuality is illegal in Guinea and extreme caution is necessary in public discussions and behavior.

Before the trip, it is a good idea to take out a good travel insurance incl. repatriation and take regular medicines with you. For treatment in local hospitals and clinics (which can only be recommended in absolutely urgent cases), it is necessary to have cash with you. In all serious cases (traumatology, coronary disease) it is recommended to fly to the Czech Republic. It is advisable to take with you in sufficient quantities repellents, sun and anti-fungal creams and disinfection (also for washing fruits and vegetables – it is recommended to consume only peeled ones).

Employment of citizens from the Czech Republic

Guinea has a relatively strict labor code (1988), protecting the rights of employees (wage payment system, vacation, sick leave, overtime work…). It is strictest in the case of mining companies. An employer can dismiss an employee without the consent of the labor office (in reality, however, this is relatively difficult).

An employer wishing to hire foreigners in Guinea (other than citizens from ECOWAS countries) must obtain prior authorization from the local labor office (AGUIPE). This permit is mandatory and the issuance of a work visa depends on it. It is issued for a period of 12 months for an annual fee of $1,000, paid by the employer.

To obtain this permit, the following must be attached to the foreign worker’s employment contract: –
extract from the employee’s criminal record of less than 3 months
– certificate of nationality
– medical certificate of less than 3 months
– legalized copies of diplomas and work certificates
– curriculum
vitae – two passport photos – so-
called. “Africanization plan” for the position to be filled by the foreign worker.

The duration of the contract concluded with a foreigner may not exceed 4 years, including extensions.

More information HERE

Social insurance is 23% of the salary (18% is paid by the employer).

Trade unions are one of the most powerful organizations in Guinea.

Fairs and events

Guinea International Fair – https://foireinternationaledeguinee.com

International Transport and Logistics Fair – http://sitral.org.gn/

International Construction Fair – http://sihaco.org.gn/

International Fair of Agriculture and Fisheries – http://siaprag.com.gn/

Guinea Market Entry