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Research by Country/Region January 16, 2018  
MOROCCO: CUSTOMS, TAXES, and DOCUMENTATION REQUIREMENTS: IT PRODUCTS and SERVICES IMPORTS

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A. Is this country a member of the Information Technology Agreement?

B. Customs documentation requirements for IT products

C. Software: duties and taxes, updates, licenses, electronically delivered

D. IT services: tax treatment and other regulations

E. Refurbished, used, or repaired computer equipment imports


A. IS THIS COUNTRY A MEMBER OF THE INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY AGREEMENT?
NO.
Signatories to the Information Technology Agreement (ITA) have eliminated their import duties on a wide range of information technology products, including software and computer hardware. For more information on the ITA, and exact tariff elimination schedules of signatories, click here.
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B. CUSTOMS DOCUMENTATION REQUIREMENTS FOR IT PRODUCTS

What are the documentation requirements for the physical import of software? For other information technology products?
The required documentation for import of software is:
1) A license (representing the “physical import”)
2) A commercial invoice is required. Pro-forma invoices are provided in most cases. No special invoice form is necessary. The commercial or pro-forma invoice should (a) be on the supplier’s letterhead; (b) fully describe the goods/software in French, (c) indicate the HS code when available; (d) indicate the value of the goods/software. When the update is included in the cost of the software, the cost of the update must be included in the original pro-forma invoice; (e) indicate the currency for payment (for foreign exchange transfer), and (f) indicate the address of the buyer. U.S. exporters should keep in mind that unlike in the U.S., the date format should be (dd/mm/yy).
-3) A “engagement d’importation,” which is the authorization provided by the Exchange office for transfer of foreign currencies from Morocco to foreign suppliers abroad.
4) A “declaration de douane.” This document is provided by the customs office and is required for import through a port/airport. For shipments by mail, a simple form filled out at the post office replaces the “declaration de douane”.

The importer may attach any documentation, such as technical documentation, that might help the customs office.

Notes on computer hardware:
Any computer hardware (new, refurbished or used) that is equipped with a modem or any component that connects to the telecommunications networks requires an authorization for the regulator, the Agence Nationale de Reglementation des Telecommunications (ANRT). The ANRT maintains a list of computer hardware approved for import into Morocco; see http://www.anrt.net.ma (click “information” then “Listes”, then “Liste du materiel homologue”). The customs office will require from the importer that a product that is not included in the ANRT’s list submit a request, with technical specifications, to ANRT in order to obtain an authorization (“homologation”) from that agency.
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C. SOFTWARE: DUTIES and TAXES, UPDATES, LICENSES, ELECTRONICALLY DELIVERED

DUTIES AND TAXES ON SOFTWARE IMPORTS

Are duties assessed on the intellectual property of the software or on the medium on which is it presented?
In Morocco, duties and taxes are assessed on the license and the invoice that shows the value of the software, whatever the medium is.

Are taxes assessed on the intellectual property of the software or on the medium on which is it presented?
In Morocco, duties and taxes are assessed on the license and the invoice that shows the value of the software, whatever the medium is.

Is customized software treated differently than packaged software?
The customs office does not treat customized software differently from packaged software.
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IMPORTS OF SOFTWARE UPDATES

What are the customs duties and tax implications for software sold with updates when the full sales price, including cost of updates, is shown on the original commercial invoice? Are duties and taxes paid on that amount? What happens when the updates are sent at a later date? Are duties/taxes applied again? If so, based on what value? How should information presented on the commercial invoice for the original and subsequent shipments to avoid paying duties/taxes more than once on a single sale?
When the cost of updates is included in the original commercial invoice, duties and taxes are assessed on the original commercial invoice or a contract, and are paid once at the time of entry. When updates are shipped at a later time, duties and taxes are not paid again. To avoid double payment of duties and taxes, the original commercial invoice, or a contract, must show that these updates will be shipped at a later date. The commercial invoice, or a contract, must have a clause that indicates that the cost of updates is included in the original commercial invoice and that updates are shipped at a later date.
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SOFTWARE LICENSES: CUSTOMS CLASSIFICATION, IMPORT DUTIES, TAXES, OTHER

Are software licenses classified in Harmonized System 4907?
In Morocco, software licenses are classified in Harmonized System 4911999991 “License d’Exploitation pour Logiciels.” The import duties for HS 4911999991 are applied on software licenses.

Are import duties/taxes applied? If so, on what cost/price base are they levied? Are withholding or other additional taxes applied on software licenses? If yes, how?
Given that Morocco applies duties and taxes on “physical products,” the license, as a document, represents the “physical product.” No software can enter the country if it is not accompanied by its license. In addition to the license, a commercial invoice that shows the value of the license is mandatory. Duties and taxes are levied on the cost/price shown on the commercial invoice. Since licenses are the “physical product,” software licenses pay the same additional taxes as any other “physical product,” which is the value added tax (VAT). Duties, taxes and VAT are applied as follows:

Based on a value of $1,000 shown on the commercial invoice = $1000
--Import duties: 2.5% of $1000 = $1025
--Taxe Fiscale à l’Importation (TFI) = 0.25% on the original value $1000
--VAT: 20% on the compounded $1025.

If a U.S. license agreement is included in the packaging or is part of the installation/registration of shrink-wrapped software imported from the United States, would that agreement be binding on consumers in your market? If so, would U.S. or local laws pertain?
When an agreement is included in the packaging or is part of the installation/registration of shrink-wrapped software imported from the U.S. the agreement is binding on the consumers in the Moroccan market. Moroccan law pertains to such agreement.
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SOFTWARE DELIVERED OVER THE INTERNET/ELECTRONICALLY DELIVERED SOFTWARE

Are taxes applied to software delivered to the end-user over the Internet? If so, on what value?
Software delivered to the end-user over the Internet is subject to the same duties and taxes as other imports. Under present Moroccan law, export of foreign currencies for payment of goods is not free and is subject to prior approval from the Exchange Office (Office des Changes). To obtain approval to proceed payments in foreign currencies, end-users, as well as businesses, must provide the Customs Office with the license and a commercial invoice showing the value of the software. End-users are treated the same way as importers/distributors and pay the same taxes. These taxes, import duties, taxes and VAT are assessed on the value shown on the commercial invoice and license.

Would the situation be different if this software were instead delivered to a distributor who has a license to produce (replicate) and sell the software?
In a situation when a distributor purchases a license, import duties and taxes are paid at the time of entry into the country. Distributors pass the cost of the VAT on to the customers each time they replicate the software.

What are the documentation requirements for the electronically delivered import of digitized products (i.e. software, movie downloads) over the Internet or other networks?
The documentation required for import of digitized products electronically delivered over the Internet, or other networks, is the same as the documentation listed in the "CUSTOMS DOCUMENTATION REQUIREMENTS FOR IT PRODUCTS" section above.

Must an electronically delivered software import be accompanied by a physical shipment of the same product?
In Morocco electronically delivered software does not need to be accompanied by a physical shipment. However, the license represents the “physical shipment”. Software can therefore be delivered electronically if the required documentation is provided (license and pro-forma from the supplier, “engagement d’importation” from the Exchange Office and “declaration de douane” from the Customs Office).
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D. IT SERVICES: TAX TREATMENT AND OTHER REGULATIONS

Are services (i.e. training, set-up, etc) relating to the sale of software taxed? If so, at what rate and based on what value?
Under the Ministry of Finance’s law on tax on revenue (Impot General sur le Revenu “IGR”), taxes on services (training, set-up, etc.) relating to the sale of the software are applied.
  • Services provided within Morocco for a period of time that does not exceed six months in a year (one day to six months/year), the service personnel is considered as “non-resident of Morocco performing a temporary mission.” The amount of the IGR tax is 10% withheld on the cost of the service.
  • For services performed for a period of time exceeding six months in a year, service personnel is considered as “tax resident,” and is bound to fill out a yearly IGR tax form and pay all taxes before departing Morocco.
  • For services provided from the U.S. without travel to Morocco (e.g., video conferencing), the service personnel is considered as “non-resident personnel providing services to Morocco and paid from a Moroccan source,” and is subject to an IGR tax of 10% withheld on the cost of the service.

Are U.S. IT solution providers permitted to send personnel into the country to set up hardware/software-related systems?
Yes.

Are special visa, work permits, and/or professional certification by an accredited body required?
No work permit is required when duration of the stay in Morocco does not exceed three months. If the duration of the stay exceeds three months up to six months, a special visa and a temporary work permit are required. When the duration of stay exceeds six months, personnel need a special visa and a work permit. To obtain the work permit, a contract with the local firm is required.
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E. REFURBISHED, USED, OR REPAIRED COMPUTER EQUIPMENT IMPORTS

1. REFURBISHED COMPUTER EQUIPMENT
Is the import of refurbished computer hardware, parts, and accessories (including toner cartridges) permitted?
Any computer hardware (new, refurbished or used) that is equipped with a modem or any component that connects to the telecommunications networks requires an authorization for the regulator, the Agence Nationale de Reglementation des Telecommunications (ANRT). The ANRT maintains a list of computer hardware approved for import into Morocco; see http://www.anrt.net.ma (click “information” then “Listes”, then “Liste du materiel homologue”). The customs office will require from the importer that a product that is not included in the ANRT’s list submit a request, with technical specifications, to ANRT in order to obtain an authorization (“homologation”) from that agency.

Import of refurbished computer hardware that is not equipped with a modem or a component that connects to the telecommunications network, as well as parts and accessories (including toner cartridges) is permitted.

If so, what are the documentation requirements?
The customs office requires the same documentation for new, refurbished, or used computer hardware, parts and accessories (including toner cartridges). This documentation is outlined at the top of this page. In cases where the computer hardware is equipped with a modem not listed in ANRT’s list, the importer should provide the Customs Office with an ANRT authorization.

Is special labeling required?
No special regulations apply to the exterior marking of containers for shipments to Morocco. However, an indication on outer containers of the net weight in kilograms, together with other identification markings, will assist in locating goods on arrival and speed their clearance through customs.

What value should be shown on the invoice?
The value that should be shown in the commercial invoice is the value of the refurbished equipment.

How are duties and taxes assessed?
Duties and taxes are assessed on the value indicated on the commercial invoice.
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2. USED COMPUTER EQUIPMENT
Is the import of used computer hardware, parts, and accessories (including toner cartridges) permitted?
Same as for refurbished computer equipment. See answers above.
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3. REPAIRED COMPUTER EQUIPMENT
Are duties and taxes assessed on the re-import of repaired computer equipment?
Under the Customs Office regulations, chapter “traffic de perfectionnement actif en exportation” provides for re-import of repaired equipment without payment of duties and taxes. However, before exporting the equipment for repair, businesses must declare such shipment to the customs office.

How should the commercial invoice appear?
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RESPONSE INFORMATION

This response was prepared by the U.S. Department of Commerce/Commercial Service in Rabat, Morocco, in February 2003. For further clarification please contact:
Najia Tourougui
Commercial Specialist
U.S. Embassy, Rabat
najia.tourougui@mail.doc.gov
tel: 212 (0) 37 76 22 65 x 2021

Special Notes: The above information is intended to serve only as unofficial guidance. In seeking to obtain government rulings in specific cases, it will often be necessary to refer to special laws, separate regulations and announcements, and case-by-case decisions by the government. Beyond the general guidelines shown above, legal counsel should be retained at an early stage of consummation of a major procurement contract, and before entering into any legal commitments.

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