Trade Policy and Regulations in Lebanon
Foreign Trade in Figures
Lebanon has strengthened its openness to international trade by signing an Association Agreement with the EU, by working toward accession to the WTO, and by signing a free-trade agreement with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in May 2004. According to half-year figures published by the Lebanese Higher Council for Customs, the total value of imports and exports reached almost 11 billion USD at the end of June 2010, an increase of around 12% compared to the level reached at the end of June 2009. The current share of foreign trade in the country’s GDP is around 65%. Its three main export partners are Iraq, Switzerland, and Syria. Lebanon mainly exports pharmaceutical products, textiles, tobacco, pearls & precious stones, electric & electronic equipment, iron & steel, salt, sulfur and machinery. Its three main import partners are Italy, France and Germany. The country mainly imports mineral fuels, oil, vehicles, machinery, pearls & precious stones, electric and electronic equipment. In the first half of 2010, the trade deficit reached 9.8 billion USD, an increase of 12% which reflects a certain vigor of domestic demand.
|Foreign Trade Indicators||2006||2007||2008||2009||2010|
|Imports of Goods (million USD)||9,647||12,251||16,754||16,574||18,460|
|Exports of Goods (million USD)||2,814||3,574||4,454||4,187||5,021|
|Imports of Services (million USD)||8,720||9,973||13,445||14,301||-|
|Exports of Services (million USD)||11,565||12,744||17,558||16,869||-|
|Imports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change)||-3||18||17||6||-|
|Exports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change)||-3||14||14||5||-|
|Trade Balance (million USD)||-6,115||-7,880||-11,010||-11,179||-|
|Current Account (million USD)||-1,116||-1,605||-4,103||-7,555||-|
|Foreign Trade (in % of GDP)||63||71||78||69||-|
|Imports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP)||42||48||54||47||-|
|Exports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP)||21||23||25||22||-|
Source: WTO - World Trade Organization ; World Bank
Main Partner Countries
(% of Exports)
|United Arab Emirates||9.6%|
|Other partnersClose extended list||46.9%|
(% of Imports)
|United Arab Emirates||1.6%|
|Other partnersClose extended list||55.4%|
- Main International Economic Cooperation
- Lebanon is a country traditionally open to trade. Its efforts are concentrated, from this point of view, on three areas: the European Union, the United States and the other Arab countries. It has signed a framework agreement with the United States to favor trade and investment between the two countries. It has been trying for many years to join the World Trade Organization and since 1999 has had observer status. Its relations with the European Union are privileged; there is an association agreement between the two entities, also called Euro-Mediterranean partnership, which provides especially for the creation of a free trade area between Lebanon (as part of the agreement) and the European Union by 2014. Lebanon is also part of the Greater Arab Free Trade Area (GAFTA), a pact of the Arab League entered into force in January 2005 which aims to form an Arabic free trade area. It has signed numerous bilateral free trade agreements with Syria, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Iraq notably.
- Assessment of Commercial Policy
- Buy USA
- Average Customs Duty (Excluding Agricultural Products)
- Customs duties vary depending on the nature of goods and their origin. Surcharges may be applied on certain products such as textiles, alcoholic beverages, motor vehicles etc.. These tariffs are set by the Lebanese customs.
- Useful Resources
- National Organization of Intellectual Property
- At the national level, the National Office for the protection of intellectual property operates.
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Auditing, Accounting, Taxes, Lebanon