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Research by Country/Region January 18, 2018  
LEBANON: 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?
No special documentation is required for the physical importation of software or other IT products other than the commercial invoice and the airway bill. However, media products such as CDs, floppy disks, and tapes are banned by the Surete Generale if they include Hebrew lettering or "disgrace morals and values." Moreover, any product made in Israel or originating from Israel is also banned.
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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?
Customs duties are not applicable towards IT software and hardware imports to Lebanon.

Are taxes assessed on the intellectual property of the software or on the medium on which is it presented?
A 10 percent Value Added Tax (VAT) applies only to imported IT products.

Is customized software treated differently than packaged software?
Customized and packaged software are treated the same.
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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?
Customs duties are not applied to the importation of software updates.
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SOFTWARE LICENSES: CUSTOMS CLASSIFICATION, IMPORT DUTIES, TAXES, OTHER

Are software licenses classified in Harmonized System 4907?
Yes, software licenses are classified under HS 4907.

Are import duties/taxes applied? If so, on what cost/price base are they levied?
No, software licenses are not subject to import taxes or duties.

Are withholding or other additional taxes applied on software licenses? If yes, how?
No.

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?
U.S. license agreements included in shrink-wrapped or packaged software are binding on consumers according to Lebanese Law.
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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?
In theory, the value added tax (VAT) applies to software delivered over the Internet. However, the enforcement of this tax is difficult to control. The VAT is assessed on the transaction value of the property, in accordance with WTO evaluation guidelines.

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?
The VAT will be controlled and enforced if the software is delivered to a distributor with a license to replicate and sell it.

What are the documentation requirements for the electronically delivered import of digitized products (i.e. software, movie downloads) over the Internet or other networks?
Although no special documentation is required for the electronically delivered importation of digitized products over the Internet or other networks, regular physical shipment documentation (a commerical invoice and waybill) is required. Nonetheless, there is no control by the government on such imports.

Must an electronically delivered software import be accompanied by a physical shipment of the same product?
Yes, electronically imported software must be accompanied by a physical shipment of the same product. The lack of physical shipment documentation will result in an "importation hors manifest" fine. The Lebanese Customs Authority (tel: 961-1-980065/6; fax: 961-1-643826) controls cross-border shipments through regular customs enforcement activities according to the customs law. For more information, visit the Lebanese Customs website at http://www.customs.gov.lb.
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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?
Services related to the sale of software are not subject to taxation.

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

Are special visa, work permits, and/or professional certification by an accredited body required?
A tourist visa is the only requirement to enter Lebanon.
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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?
Yes, the importation of refurbished computer hardware, parts, and accessories is permitted.

If so, what are the documentation requirements?
No documentation is required other than the commercial invoice and air carrier bill.

Is special labeling required?
No, however the label should indicate the country of origin.

What value should be shown on the invoice?
The transaction value, in accordance with WTO evaluation guidelines should be shown on the invoice.

How are duties and taxes assessed?
No duties are applied to refurbished computer hardware, parts, or accessories.
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2. USED COMPUTER EQUIPMENT
Is the import of used computer hardware, parts, and accessories (including toner cartridges) permitted?
Same regulations 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?
Duties and taxes are not applied to the re-importation of repaired computer equipment

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 Awkar, Lebanon, in February 2003. For further clarification please contact:
Naaman Tayyar
Commercial Specialist
U.S. Embassy, Awkar, Lebanon
naaman.tayyar@mail.doc.gov

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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