Buying and Selling

flag Togo Togo: Buying and Selling

In this page: Market Access Procedures | Reaching the Consumers | Distributing a Product | E-commerce | Organizing Goods Transport | Identifying a Supplier

 

Market Access Procedures

International Conventions
Member of World Trade Organisation
International Economic Cooperation
Togo is a member of ECOWAS - Economic Community of West African States, the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA) and WTO.
Non Tariff Barriers
OECD’s Trade Facilitation Indicators show that Togo exceeds or is closest to the average performance of Sub Saharan countries in areas such as documents, procedures, fees and charges, governance and impartiality; with a general improvement between 2015 and 2017. According to the 2018 World Bank's Logistics Performance Index - which measures countries’ trade logistics efficiency - Togo was ranked 118th out of 160 countries.
Customs Duties and Taxes on Imports
Togo is a member of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), which has a common external tariff scheme with 5 tariff rates, as follows:
0% - essential social commodities;
5% - essential commodities, raw materials, capital goods
10% - intermediate products
20% - consumer goods
35% - specific goods for economic development
According to data by the World Bank, the applied average tariff in Togo was 13.31% (2017, latest data available).


Customs Classification
Togo is a member of the World Customs Organisation and does comply with the harmonised customs system.
Import Procedures
Typical documents required to import goods in Togo include:

  • Pro Forma Invoice
  • Importation Intention Slip (DPI)
  • Freight Invoice
  • Statistics Records Slips
  • License
  • Certificate of Movement or Free Practice
  • Bills of Lading (B/L)
  • Inspection Certificates from Bureau Veritas — BIVAC (all goods are subject to BIVAC inspection before embarking)
  • Authorization of Temporary Admission
  • Certificate of Origin
  • Exit Justification
  • Certificate of Quality or Packaging Control
  • Sanitary or Phytosanitary Certificate, if required
  • Requisite licenses, if needed


For further information, consult the website of the Guichet Unique.

Importing Samples
Togo is not part of the Carnet ATA convention.
Products allowed for temporary admission are not subject to custom duties. After their use, they must be re-exported or destroyed, with the process being certified by a custom agent.
 
 
For Further Information
Togolese Revenue Office - Customs
Guichet Unique for International Trade
Business Portal for Africa

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Reaching the Consumers

Marketing opportunities

Consumer Profile
Togo has a population of around 8.49 million people, with a GDP per capita (PPP) estimated at USD 2,260 by the IMF (2021), one of the lowest in the world. The country is classified as low-income by the World Bank, with 46.2% of the population below the poverty line (with a higher rate in rural households) (World Bank, 2020). Income inequalities are evident, and men generally earn higher wages and business profits than women.
The Togolese consumers are relatively young: according to data by the CIA, the proportion of children below the age of 14 is 39.73%, 19.03% of the population is between 15 and 24, 33.26% between 25 and 54, while only 7.99% are 55 or older; and it is equally split between men and women (2020 est.).
Togo is one of the more densely populated African nations. With most of the population residing in rural communities, density is highest near the Atlantic coast. The urban population is 42.8% of the total (CIA World Factbook - 2020). Around 63.7% of the population aged 15 and over can read and write (World Bank, latest data available).
Consumer Behaviour
Due to the limited budget, price is the main purchasing driver for Togolese consumers. The vast majority of households’ baskets is composed of essential products (such as foodstuff, for the part that cannot be produced through subsistence farming). In fact, many Togolese cultivate the food they eat, or else buy from local markets, making availability and proximity two important purchasing factors. However, the process of urbanization and the birth of a middle class is gradually shifting buying habits towards industrial (and imported) products.
Advertising is carried on mainly through radio, television and newspaper, which allow reaching a bigger audience. Online advertising is not very common, as the internet penetration rate is still low. Consumer credit is still not developed.
Consumers Associations
Togolese Consumer Association (Association Togolaise des Consommateurs - ATC)
Main Advertising Agencies
Uk & Partners
First Digital Impact

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Distributing a Product

Evolution of the Sector
The retail market in Togo is relatively developed. Although reliable figures about the market’s size are not available, several local and foreign chains operate in the country, such as Ramco (who has been present in Togo for more than 40 years), Leader Price, and Champion. The majority of supermarkets are concentrated in the capital Lomé. However, most people in the country buy from neighbours or in local markets (for the food that they cannot cultivate themselves by subsistence farming), especially outside bigger towns. The majority of products sold in supermarkets are imported.
Market share

The following supermarket chains are active in Togo:

  •  Agroboss
  •  Assan's
  •  Champion
  •  CitiMart
  •  Cora
  •  De La Paix
  •  Eco Shop
  •  Global Mart
  •  King Cash
  •  Leader Price
  •  Ramco
Retail Sector Organisations
Association of Big Enterprises of Togo (AGET - Association des Grandes Entreprises du Togo)

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E-commerce

Internet access

According to the Digital 2019 report for Togo by Hootsuite and WeAreSocial, out of a population of 8 million people, only 12% have access to the internet.
In the country there are around 6.7 million mobile subscriptions (but only 910,000 have a mobile internet subscription). 8.3% of the population are active social media users (670,000), of which 610,000 are mobile social media users.
Facebook is by far the most used social network, with 650,000 users, with much lower figures for the other platforms: LinkedIn (150,000), Instagram (74,000), and Twitter (14,400). According to the
Mobile Connectivity Index, Togo has an overall index score of 32 out of a maximum of 100.
There are generally no restrictions on access to the internet in the country, although in 2017 the government cut off the internet in response to protests against the president.
The most popular web search engines in Madagascar are Google (95.6%), Bing and Yahoo (2.6% and 1.6%, respectively).

E-commerce market
E-commerce in Togo is still in its infancy. Although there are no official figures about the market size, according to the Digital 2019 report only 1.7% of the population made online purchases, while a mere 1% has a credit card. Nevertheless, according to the UNCTAD, 45% of the population over 15 years old have an account with a financial institution or a mobile money account making the west African country one of the countries with higher financial inclusion.
IT infrastructures are still weak (though good for regional standards), and the delivery of goods is made more complicated by the quality of roads (especially outside the capital Lomé).
UNCTAD's 2018 Business-to-Consumer E-commerce Index ranked Togo 21st in Africa and 121st worldwide.
In order to improve the situation, in 2018 the Togolese ministry of trade and private sector, UNCTAD and German cooperation GIZS carried on a study to evaluate the Togo's performance in seven areas: digital infrastructures, logistics (delivery), online payment, legal and regulatory framework, reinforcement of financing and capacities. A strategic document for e-commerce should result from the process, to be used as a guideline for government policies.
Some of the main e-commerce websites are Miaplenou, Assigame, Assihub, Boenli, Lomé Shopping, and Tchacs.

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Identifying a Supplier

Type of Production
According to data by the World Bank, the agricultural sector accounts for an estimated 41.8% of Togo’s GDP. The main cultivations are cassava, yams, maize, millet, and sorghum, with cocoa, coffee and cotton as cash crops (generating about 20% of export earnings). Industry contributes 17% of GDP, mainly due to the mining and food-processing sub-sectors. The services sector accounts 30.1% of the country’s GDP and has been growing in recent years.

Business Directories

Multi-sector Directories
Togo YP - Togo's business directory
 

To search directories by industry in Togo, check out our service Business Directories.

 
 
Trade Agencies and Their Representations Abroad
Ministry of Commerce
Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Togo (Chambre de Commerce et d'Industrie du Togo)
General Professional Associations
Association of Big Enterprises of Togo (AGET - Association des Grandes Entreprises du Togo)
 
 

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Latest Update: November 2022