Cameroon exempts imported PV components from customs duties

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Cameroon‘s government has decided to exempt from customs duties the imports of the PV components needed to build rooftop PV systems.

The new provisions, introduced in the country's 2024 Finance Law published on Dec. 19, 2023, are now backed by a circular from Finance Minister Louis Paul Motaze. He signed a definitive list of goods and equipment covered.

Consultant Albert Léonard Dikoume said in January that the total exemption from customs duties and taxes on imports will be applied for 24 months. This aims to boost national production of goods and gradually replace imported goods with locally produced ones.

The new circular, dated March 13, 2024, makes it possible to formalize an exhaustive list of goods. The Alpha Eco newspaper indicated that the exemption concerns, in total, nearly 220 pieces of equipment and that it will be in place until 2025.

It includes, among others, domestic or industrial photovoltaic cables and modules, solar inverters, charge controllers and batteries. Only products that are not manufactured locally may be subject to the exemption.

For context, Cameroon recently announced the establishment of a three-year integrated import-substitution plan, called Piisah, which will last for the period 2024-2026. The program aims to increase the share of the manufacturing sector and high value added services in GDP and is part of the national development strategy 2020-2030 (SND30).

According to the latest figures released by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the Sub-Saharan country had approximately 50 MW of installed PV capacity at the end of 2023. Of this, around 36 MW was deployed last year alone.

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