Improving Tax and Customs Procedures in Gabon

Improving Tax and Customs Procedures in Gabon

A weak business climate has constrained the development of the non-oil activities in Gabon. While the overall investment climate is liberal, a variety of administrative barriers hinder commercial activities in many economic sectors and economic operators complain about incidental taxation and high labor costs that compromise their competitiveness. Overall, the new Government’s perception is that the current tax system and structure hamper the competitiveness of non-oil activities and do not support the Government’s efforts to diversify the economy. The Government’s ambition is, therefore, to lower the tax compliance costs, simplify the tax system with the objective to increase the competiveness and the development of the private sector, as well as attract more foreign direct investment.


Gabon’s current tax system is characterized by a rather constraining regular regime which coexists with several parallel more favorable specific regimes granted on a case-by-case basis. These more favorable measures create distortions in the economy and have led to a sense of entitlement, the renegotiations of which are difficult when the beneficiaries don’t comply with requirements associated with the granted tax incentives (e.g. national employment, social investments…).



The World Bank has engaged Apex Consulting with the objective to map and re-engineer processes based on international best practice at the Tax and Customs Authorities in Gabon. Moreover, during this assignment, Apex will build the capacity of both authorities’ participating employees to enable them conducting similar tasks in the future. This will result in an increased ease of doing business (and increased economic activity), a reduction in the costs and risks of business operations, and an improvement in the government’s capacities to build and sustain reform momentum in Gabon.


This will result in an increased ease of doing business, thus increased economic activity, a reduction in the costs and risks of business operations, and an improvement in the government’s capacities to build and sustain reform momentum in Gabon.


Our consultants have successfully completed the following activities:


  • Map and produce as-is process maps for the following processes:
    • Tax registration (Income Tax and VAT)
    • Tax filing (Income Tax and VAT)
    • Valuation process in Customs
    • Payment process (Income Tax, VAT, and Customs)
    • Application for Tax exemptions (Income Tax and Customs)
  • Identify the key regulatory, institutional and other stakeholders which interface with the overall tax process in Gabon.
  • Define and outline the administrative processes for all the major business taxes in Libreville for Large Taxpayers and for SMEs. The processes will cover the principal processes that involve a large number of taxpayer interactions, beginning with filing for a tax identification number, filing returns, making tax payments, tax auditing, and appeals process. Only national taxes are required to be considered.
  • Identify inefficiencies in the existing processes and point to priority areas for re-engineering of administrative processes to improve efficiency. Particular attention will be paid to processes (time and number of procedures) measured in the Doing Business indicator for “Paying Taxes” and recommend improvements thereof.
  • Develop the to-be process maps for each of the identified processes
  • Provide reform recommendations to the government
  • Capacity building through a transfer of knowledge, content, and methodology used in carrying out the process mapping. The objective will be for the Tax Authority (Direction Générale des Impôts) and Customs (Direction Générale des Douanes) team supporting the consultants to be able to carry out similar analysis in future.
  • Client IFC
  • Date November 1, 2012
  • Tags Public Administration Reform, Public Sector, Revenue Reform