Exporting to Morocco

Morocco is a politically stable, business-friendly country. Though its economy has traditionally been more aligned to Europe than to Africa, Morocco is increasingly taking advantage of opportunities across the African continent. This opening up of the Moroccan economy is creating further opportunities for UK firms.

Ease of doing business

Morocco is increasingly recognised for ease of doing business. It ranks third in Africa and second in the Middle East in the World Bank’s 2019 Ease of Doing Business report, and is the top African investment destination according to the Africa Investment Index 2018. Casablanca Finance City offers support to companies wishing to invest.

Economic growth and reform

Morocco’s economy has benefited from consistent growth and a stable macroeconomic framework. The country came through the turbulent period of the 2011 Arab Spring in relatively good shape. Reforms have have stimulated competition, encouraging innovation and creating new jobs.

Trade links with the UK

Bilateral trade between the UK and Morocco totalled £2.2 billion in 2018. Casablanca Stock Exchange has a partnership with the London Stock Exchange and the British-Moroccan Chamber of Commerce can assist companies new to the market. Morocco is a popular destination for British tourists.

The Al-Boraq, Africa’s first high-speed train

Ease of doing business

60th

out of 190 countries, World Bank 2019

Currency

Dirham

Business languages

French

GDP per capita

$3,360

IMF, 2018, UK is $42,558

Economic growth

3.1%

IMF, 2018

Time zone

GMT +1

Opportunities for exporters

There are opportunities in Morocco for UK businesses in education, energy (both hydrocarbons and renewables), infrastructure, and financial and professional services. There is also potential in Morocco’s defence, creative industries, healthcare and mining sectors.

Doing business in Morocco

Preparing to export

VAT

VAT on imports is 20%. Rates of 7% and 10% apply to some products and services.

Morocco’s local investment development agency provides more information about tax rates in Morocco.

Import regulations

The Moroccan customs authority regulates all goods imported into Morocco.

All imported goods must be cleared with customs whether they are imported by road, air, sea or post. Most products can be imported without an import licence.

Standards and regulations

Moroccan standards are managed by the Moroccan Standards Institute (website in French).

The AMDI (local investment development agency) and Centre Regional d’Investissement can provide detailed information on export regulations.

Intellectual property (IP)

As a first step, we advise you to speak to an intellectual property lawyer if you think you need patent protection when exporting.

You should apply for trademark protection with the Moroccan Office for Industrial and Commercial Property, who can also help with patents, trademarks and copyright.

Operating in Morocco

Business culture

Although more business people can now speak and read English, correspondence and literature should be in French.

Morocco is quieter in July, August and the month of Ramadan. Business will still continue, but with shorter office hours.

Risks

Morocco has some challenges, include low-level corruption, French-language bureaucracy, a poorly educated workforce and a large informal or ‘grey’ economy.

Routes to market

Ways to get started in the Moroccan market include:

  • exporting directly
  • setting up a company
  • appointing a distributor or agent

It’s a good idea to appoint a local representative, even if you export directly.

Next steps

DIT can advise you on doing business abroad, and help put you in touch with other people who can help such as lawyers and distributors.