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Morocco - Selling and buying

Contents extracted from the comprehensive atlas of international trade by Export Entreprises

Reaching the consumers

Marketing opportunities

Consumer behavior: Moroccans are particularly sensitive to price. Accustomed to a traditional method of supply, the availability and confidence of the sellers are important choice criteria. All the same, it is better if the point of sale is recommended by their close relations.
Consumer profile: Morocco has a young population and large households (4.5 people on average).
Consumer expenditure is unequally distributed: it is concentrated in the urban areas and in the fringe of the most well-off population.
Main advertising agencies:

Distribution network

Evolution of the sector: The distribution market in Morocco has developed since the Nineties rapidly. It accounts for 13% of the GDP.
The share of the small traditional brands nevertheless dominates the market. General and special interest mass distribution have developed only recently. Special interest mass distribution seems to have an important potential.
Types of outlet: Retail distribution, normally independent and specialized are very heterogeneous structures predominated by small family run shops.
Supermarkets and hypermarkets have recently developed in the cities of Casablanca, Rabat and Marrakech and in some other big cities, and they represent currently about 10% of the sales.
These groups market primarily local products (70 to 80% of the products). Morocco has approximately 200 stores with area larger than 300 m² and 17 hypermarkets. In 2010, the Moroccan holding Best Financiere acquired the assets of the German-owned Metro, which has stores in large cities including Casablanca, Rabat, Fes, Tangier and Agadir. The same holding signed a franchise agreement with Carrefour (France). The new Morocco Mall, the largest mall in Africa, opened in 2012.
Specialised mass distribution has developed one after another: The furniture and household electric appliances sector followed by the do-it-yourself sector which is currently experiencing a strong growth.

Market access procedures

Economic Cooperation: Free Trade Agreement with the United States since 2005
Free Trade Agreement with the European Union since 2004.
In December 2009, Morocco and the EU signed an agreement to liberalize their trade in agri-food and fisheries. The agreement involved the removal of tariffs for 55% of total imports from Morocco.
The country 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.
The country has signed a trade agreement with 21 other countries in the São Paulo Round of the Global System of Trade Preferences among Developing Countries (GSTP).
Non tariff barriers: Pursuant to provisions of article 1 of the law no. 13-89 relating to foreign trade, goods are free to import. However, there are quantitative restrictions on imports relating to certain particular products such as powders and explosives, secondhand clothes or the retreads or used tyres these goods requiring import licenses. The list of goods subject to quantitative restriction as regards imports is available on the Ministry of Foreign Trade Website.
Average Customs Duty (excluding agricultural products): In 2007, the simple average of the tariff range was 23% (42% for agricultural produce) and weighted average 9.3% according to the World Bank.
You can have access to the Moroccan customs tariff.
Customs classification: Morocco applies the Harmonised Customs System. 
Import procedures: For free imports, the importer must sign a commitment for imports on form "Commitment for Import, Import license, Preliminary Import Declaration". The Commitment for Import must be drawn up in 5 specimens and accompanied by a proforma invoice in 5 copies specifying:
- the unit price expressed in ex-works value, FOB, FAS;
- quantity expressed in units of appropriate measures;
- trade description of the goods.

The importer must present it for domiciliation to a selected approved bank. After domiciliation, the bank gives the importer its copy and two copies, in a closed envelop, intended for the customs office. The Commitment for Import is valid for 6 months as from the date of its domiciliation and facilitates passing through customs and the financial settlement of the goods.

Finally, an application for exemption from customs duties is necessary for free imports allowed as duty-free within the framework of the tariff and commercial Agreements and Accords concluded between Morocco and certain countries, products belonging to tariff quotas envisaged by the Association and Free trade Agreements concluded between Morocco and the European Community and Morocco and the States of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), and products belonging to tariff quotas envisaged by the Multilateral Agreements.

Application for exemption from customs duties is to be made in 4 copies on a form called "Customs Exemption Application" and accompanied by a pro forma invoice in 3 copies, specifying:
- the unit price expressed in ex-works value, FOB, FAS;
- quantity expressed in units of appropriate measures;
- trade description of the goods.
Application for exemption from customs duties is deposited with the Ministry of Foreign Trade; it is delivered by this department after consultation with the concerned Ministry. The decision to grant or refuse exemption from customs duties is notified to the concerned party by the Ministry of Foreign Trade. Exemption from customs duties is valid for a maximum of 6 months as from the date of the stamp of the Ministry for Foreign Trade.

Import of goods is further subject to the invoice, the import title and, if necessary other documents required according to the nature of the products, on presentation at the customs office within 60 days as from the deposit of the summary declaration, a detailed declaration on a form called "Unique Declaration of Merchandise" (D.U.M).

In the case of imports you can make an advance payment up to 40% of the transaction. The advance payment is authorized for certain products to the limit of the value of DH 200,000 (see Circular 1718 of 1st August, 2007). For more information on the framework of the exchange transactions regulation, consult the Moroccan Changes Office's website.

Organizing goods transport

Organizing goods transport to and from: Roadways dominate inland transport in Morocco, providing 90% of the mobility of the people and 75% of flows of goods except phosphate, on a 57,500 km long highway network of which 32,100 is paved, in addition to nearly 800 km of highways.
Railways, almost 2000km long, ensures annual transport of more than 30 million tons of goods and 1 million travelers.
Bestowed with a 3,500 km long coastline distributed on the Atlantic and the Mediterranean Ocean, Morocco has 27 harbor cities and 30 ports to which the Tangier Med port will be added (in 2015), providing a traffic of almost 60 Million tons and transport of 4 million people. Nearly 90% of Moroccan exports expressed in tonnage pass through the seas. Morocco has about fifteen airports, domestic and international annually ensuring transport of 7 million travelers and 51 Million tons of freight.
Link to a specialized information portal.
Rail transport organizations:

Domestic business directories

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