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Foreign Trade in Figures

Liberia has an open economy and is very favorable to trade, which represents 127% of the country's GDP (World Bank, latest data). Custom duties are not high, ranging from 2.5% to 25%. However, there are still certain difficulties in the development of trade, such as the requirement of a certificate of inspection before shipment, limited access to private credit and purchasing power, as well as a lack of infrastructure. In 2016, Liberia finally joined the World Trade Organization (WTO), which is leading to a standardization of the country’s trade and investment laws and regulations, in line with internationally acceptable norms. The country also signed the African Continental Free Trade Agreement and is a member of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). Liberia mainly exports gold (35.6%), iron ore (17.7%), passenger and cargo ships (14.8%), rubber (11.0%), and special purpose ships (5.6%). The country mainly imports passenger and cargo ships (62.6%), refined petroleum (23.6%), additive manufacturing machines (1.5%), centrifuges (1.0%), and rice (0.7% - data OEC 2022).

Liberia's main export partners are Switzerland (27.8%), France (8.1%), Germany (8.0%), the United Kingdom (7.6%), and Poland (6.3%); whereas imports come chiefly from China (42%), South Korea (23.4%), Japan (14.8%), Germany (4.7%), and Brazil (2.8% - data OEC 2022). Demand for Liberia’s commodity exports could be reduced by a slowdown in the advanced economies or in China, due to recent trade tensions.

The country's trade balance is structurally negative, which is only partially offset by remittances from Liberian expatriates. In 2022, Liberia imported USD 1.5 billion worth of goods and exported USD 1 billion. Imports of services amounted to USD 293 million, while exports reached only USD 13 million (WTO). Preliminary estimates from the World Bank indicate that the trade deficit expanded to 18.4% of GDP in 2023, up from 11.8% in 2022. This was driven by increased imports, particularly in minerals, machinery, and petroleum, outpacing export growth.

Foreign Trade Indicators 20192020202120222023
Imports of Goods (million USD) 1,0339981,3381,5281,700
Exports of Goods (million USD) 5436088811,0581,100
Imports of Services (million USD) 310373401434398
Exports of Services (million USD) 11124160192209
Trade Balance (million USD) -391-391-457-499n/a

Source: WTO – World Trade Organisation ; World Bank - Latest available data.

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To go further, check out our service Import controls and Export Controls

To go further, check out our service Import-Export Flows


Main Services

Source: United Nations Statistics Division, Latest Available Data

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List of tariffs and local taxes that apply to your product on our service Customs Duties


Trade Compliance

International Conventions
Party to the International Coffee Agreement
International Economic Cooperation
Member of African Union (AU)

Member of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)

Useful Resources
National Organisation of Intellectual Property
You can contact the Liberia Industrial Property Office by Email.

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Latest Update: May 2024