SGS releases new guidance for goods exported to the Republic of Ivory Coast

SGS, the world’s leading testing, inspection and verification company, has released fresh guidance for exporters looking to trade with the Republic of Ivory Coast. In response to increasing calls for clarity from its global clients, SGS aims to enlighten organizations looking to access the country’s Verification of Conformity (VOC) program.

The VoC program was introduced by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Promotion of Small and Medium Enterprises (MCIPPME) in July 2019, to improve product safety, prevent counterfeits, ensure environmental and consumer protection, and promote fair competition. It requires exporters to ensure that goods imported into Ivory Coast are subject to verification of their compliance with mandatory standards.

SGS, as a certified body awarding Certificates of Conformity (CoC) for the country, plays a vital role in helping exporters gain trade compliance. Its global teams stress that, as the entire conformity assessment procedure must take place in the country of departure of goods, exporters must first obtain their CoC before shipping their goods to Ivory Coast.

SGS has identified three areas where exporters to Ivory Coast typically seek further understanding of the program: product categories, process and assessment.

Product categories

As not all regulated goods are subject to the VOC, the MCIPPME publishes a list of all goods which are included. This list is available on the official website of the Ministry of Commerce:

In addition, SGS lists the products exempted under the VOC program:

  • Gold and other precious metals
  • Precious stones
  • Explosives, weapons, ammunition, and other war materials intended for national armed forces and for police forces
  • Live animals
  • Fresh vegetables and fruits
  • Fresh, deep frozen and frozen fish
  • Fresh, deep frozen and frozen meat
  • Plants and floricultural products
  • Raw products and traditional handicraft of community origin
  • Drugs and materials used to manufacture drugs
  • Newspapers and periodicals, postage or tax stamps, stamp paper, banknotes, check books, passports and certain printed documents
  • Personal effects and used household items
  • Used vehicles
  • Crude or partially refined petroleum
  • Commercial samples
  • Supplies for diplomatic and consular missions, or international organizations, imported for their own needs
  • Production machines subject to, or benefiting from, exemption (as part of the code of investments through a request made to the Monitoring Committee of the VOC program)
  • Imported equipment, goods and materials intended for petroleum and mining operations (benefiting from the advantages of the mining and petroleum codes)
  • Imports related to free regimes/zones


Exporters first need to submit to SGS a Request for Certification indicating the point of entry into Ivory Coast; followed by a PROFORMA invoice or final invoice; Quality Management System certification; and additional conformity documents such as test reports, quality certificates, certificates of analysis and technical data sheets.

To obtain evidence that all requirements are met, products must undergo one, or a combination of the following verification processes:

  • Documentary verification
  • Physical inspection
  • Laboratory testing by the accepted laboratories which are SGS ISO/IEC 17025 accredited laboratories; third-party ISO/IEC 17025 accredited laboratories operating as per the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC) guidelines; third party non-accredited laboratories and manufacturer’s internal laboratory
  • Factory audit

After the verification process is complete and the results are satisfactory, the exporter must submit the final invoice and the foreign direct investment (FDI) document.

Assessment methods

Exporters can select from three routes to demonstrate the compliance of their products and to obtain a CoC:

  • Route A: applicable to all products, sensitive products and to all sellers
  • Route B: recommended for frequent exporters with homogeneous products
  • Route C: for certified products

Routine physical inspections are required on a quarterly basis for shipments benefiting from Route B, and on a semi-annual basis for shipments benefiting from Route C.

Learn more about SGS’s Ivory Coast – Verification of Conformity (VOC) services.

For more information, please contact:

Sosthene Compaore

Contract Manager

Trade Facilitation Services, SGS


About SGS

We are SGS – the world’s leading testing, inspection and certification company. We are recognized as the global benchmark for quality and integrity. Our 96,000 employees operate a network of 2,700 offices and laboratories, working together to enable a better, safer and more interconnected world.

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