Written requests must accompany the invoice and bill of lading. When importers receive import authorization, they then purchase an Import Permit Declaration (IPD) from Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP). Importers then arrange pre-shipment through a pre-shipment inspection company (currently Bureau Veritas or BIVAC), at a cost of 1.5 percent of the shipment's value. BIVAC – Bureau Veritas Group is the exclusive pre-shipment inspection (PSI) provider for Liberia.
Pre-shipment inspections are required for goods valued at US$3,500.00 and above. The penalty for importers who fail to complete the pre-shipment inspection ranges from 10 percent to 30 percent of the shipment's value. When those steps are completed, the IPD is issued and the import is approved. After clearing customs, importers present cost information to the MOCI for price approval.
BIVAC has listed the following products as items exempted from import duties (customs): Goods imported with a value below the threshold of US$1,000 free on board (FOB);Reasonable amount of personal effects and household items;Supplies for diplomatic missions, and United Nations organizations;Gold, precious stones, objects of art;Explosives, pyrotechnic products, arms, ammunition, weapons, and implements of war imported by the Liberian Armed Forces and other security and/or law enforcement entitiesFresh fish caught by local Liberian fishermen; andGoods imported by parcel post not exceeding US$1,000.