Import Procedures


CMA CGM offers a reliable and customized service to meet all its customers’ shipping needs. Our staff is ready to help you every step of the way.

You may find below all the information you need regarding import procedures with CMA CGM. This will give an enhanced visibility and assistance towards importing cargo to Lebanon.


1. Waybill

Waybills are allowed as per country regulation.

2. Telex release

Telex releases are allowed as per country regulation.

• Memo BL for Empties

Memo bill is not required for Empty containers (COC) at Import and Export side.

Memo bills it’s required for third party containers.

• Freighted bill

Not required.

• Freight Collect

“Personal Effects” Shipments that are on collect bases are subject to POD approval prior to loading. Transfer of Freight to POD (I.E. B/L initially issued as Prepaid then amended to Collect), is subject to the consent of the latter. Any transfer of Freight without the consent of the POD Agent is Null and Void.

Issuance requirements

1. Shipper/Consignee/Notify

Full Style address for Shipper / CNEE / Notify should be mentioned.

Phone / Fax No. are mandatory.

2. Description

General Labels are not authorized (i.e. Foodstuff, Etc…)

The Type of Package is compulsory

The mention “Package” alone is not allowed if not elaborate

i.e. 18 Packages (Not Authorized)

18 packages STC 15 Cartons + 03 Cases (Authorized)

3. Reefer

• For reefer containers, the mini/maxi temperatures are compulsory on the bill of lading.

• Only FCL/FCL or LCL/FCL traffic is accepted, no groupage cargo allowed.

• Termograph presence inside the reefer container is compulsory; the latter should be installed by the shipper and should be able to provide the cargo temperature for the whole carriage period. The Termograph Number should be mentioned on the B/L.

4. Hazardous

IMO containers must be loaded with IMO stickers/correct packaging following IMDG year 1992 (please refer to operations department).

CMA CGM will have to pay heavy penalties in event of wrong IMO stickers used on containers for Beirut discharge.

Restrictions: only CMA CGM guidelines

5. Ammunitions

To be treated on a case by case basis: Containers in « transit by sea » on board a vessel calling Beirut Port and laden with ammunitions, must be declared in advance to the local Authorities. A pre-arranged permit has to be secured too. Failing to declare these units will expose the vessel to heavy fines and potential arrest. POLs are strongly recommended to advise Beirut Office with any Container stuffed with ammunitions and calling Beirut Port en route to its final destination, upon vessel sailing from Port of Loading.

6. Cigarettes, Tobacco, Cigars

Cigarettes, tobacco, cigars, etc... are monopoly cargo which importation is subject to special rules and regulations, namely :

- Only the Lebanese monopoly is allowed to import such cargo, i.e.: Regie Co-Interessee Libanaise Des Tabacs Et Tombacs Beirut / Lebanon Or, Any Company or individual duly authorized by the Lebanese monopoly.

- Any carrier, vessel, carrying cigarettes or tobacco or cigars to any Lebanese Port, not consigned to the order of the Lebanese monopoly or to the authorized Consignee shall be exposed to customs penalties.

- However, Cigarettes, Tobacco, Cigars, Etc... cargo can be shipped to Beirut Free Zone for some authorized CNEE’s whom have been granted the authorization by the Lebanese Monopoly to import such cargo to their own warehouses in Beirut free zone area Only. The Warehouse Number should be clearly mentioned on the Bill Of Lading in the CNEE’s address field.

- Shipping documents (cargo manifests + copies b/l) issued in T/S ports or direct Ports of Call, and placed on board the vessels Calling/discharging at Lebanese ports, must show the full names/address of : Shippers - consignee - notify.

ONLY Straight B/Ls are accepted for Cigarette, tobacco, Cigars Shipments irrespective of the FPD « Local or Free Zone ».

Also note that containers in transit on board the vessel containing cigarettes, Weapons, guns, explosives, and military ammunitions must also be declared in writing in the cargo recapitulation form filed by the Master otherwise vessel will be heavily penalized / arrested.

The above items are heavily penalized if not observed.

Finally, cigarettes, tobacco, cigars shipments must be reported at least 24 hours before arrival of vessels (especially nearby direct service pol).

N.B. Acceptance of Cigarette, Tobacco, Cigars, Etc Shipments To Beirut Port Free Zone remains under the discretion of Beirut Office.

7. Beirut Free Zone

All cargo under free zone regulations should follow the following procedure :

• Both B/L and C/M must indicate that cargo / goods are for the free zone destination

• On B/L the mention free zone must be indicated in field "port of discharge" just after the name of the port i.e. "Beirut free zone". The code to be used "LBBEY" and amend the B/L location text in LARA to read: "Beirut free zone"

On cargo manifest same mention has to be inserted in column remark in front of the B/L involved.

• The mention “Free zone” is not acceptable if inserted on B/L in the column "marks & numbers" or in any other part of the B/L .

Any indication such as "transit", "in transit", etc. cannot replace the mention “Free zone” and will not be taken into consideration by Customs.

In case of non-compliance, the line will bear any costs, additional expenses for changing the status from local into free zone.

It is also confirmed that storage of FCL boxes in the free zone will not involve any additional charges for the line provided above customs regulations are strictly applied for the free-out or liner-out bills.

All port loading agents are requested to comply strictly with above mentioned requirements.

8. Vehicles

Cars :

Diesel Cars : Not Allowed

Used Car Age Limit : 8 YEARS OLD


That runs on gasoline : Accepted

Diesel engine pick-ups : 5 years age limit - payload should be at least 3,5 tons


That runs on gasoline : Accepted - (Diesel Not Accepted)

N.B.: vehicle is a cargo van /commercial (original not fitted)


- The import of used motorcycles with engine capacity under 125 CC is Banned

- The import of used motorcycles with engine capacity over 125 CC that are over 3 years of age is Banned

- The import of used ATV that are over 3 years of age is Banned

Exception: The motorcycles that are considered as antique and are over 30 years of age (To be considered on a case by case)

It’s recommended to check with POD office every Motorcycle shipment.


Amendments are only feasible as follows:

• 48 working hours prior vessel arrival in Lebanon for Deep Sea Shipments.

• 24 working hours prior vessel arrival in Lebanon for Short Sea Shipments.

• For POL’s with sailing only up to 12 hours, amendments can be done on a case by case bases Amendments remain subject to the Documentation Dept. acceptance and confirmation.

Possible fines

Fines occur only after containers discharged and cargo manifest submitted to Customs Authorities.

Fines are imposed on the following bases:

- Discrepancy in weight or in total of No. Of Packages

- Cargo mis-declaration

- Smuggling

Fines are at customs own discretion and are calculated based on the cargo value.

Additional information

• Over landed cargo

In case of over landed unit, the terminal provides a letter to the Customs explaining the situation and agent in Lebanon will prepare the necessary formalities to load containers back on board next vessel.

• Short shipped cargo in previous port

No specific requirement.

• Transhipment cargo

No specific requirement.

• Transit cargo

The mention “Cargo In Transit” is mandatory in the body of the B/L.