(WIPO code: DJ) (last revised March 2024)

by MARTINET & MARTINET, Avocats, Djibouti. Mr. Alain MARTINET

General Information


23,200 sq. km.


976,143 (estimated 2023).



Official languages

French, Arabic.




Djibouti franc.


Motor vehicles and spare parts, fresh and packaged food, building materials, machinery, electrical appliances, clothing, air conditioners, drugs and pharmaceuticals, alcohol, perfume, tobacco and petroleum products.

General Remarks

Formerly French Coast of Somaliland, then Territory of Afars and Issas, the Republic of Djibouti became independent on June 27, 1977, and has maintained a liberal economy and a political stability.

Its geographical position between the Arabian Peninsula and the African continent, the presence of an international port commanding the southern entrance to the Red Sea and giving access to the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean beyond, has made Djibouti a place of trade and banking.

The opening of the new Djibouti Free Zone, the Doraleh Tank Terminal in 2005, the new Container Terminal in 2007 and the construction of new ports, railway and roads offers new opportunities of trade and transit through Djibouti port, notably for Ethiopia (which no longer has access to the sea) or South Soudan. The presence of French, U.S. and Japanese army camps and various navy forces have increased imports.

Remarks on intellectual property: two new IP laws aiming at protecting patents of invention, trade and service marks, commercial names, designs and models, geographical indications and circuits layout, and creating the Djibouti IP Office, have been voted by the Parliament on April 19, 2009 and July 19, 2009 and, after publication of the implementing decrees these new laws are enforceable as from June 9, 2012.