The legal system in Algeria is a mixture of French Civil Law and Islamic Law. The judicial system, in common with other aspects of Algeria's culture, shares features of its French and Arab traditions.

Throughout the French colonial period, secular courts prevailed as the final judicial authority, although Islamic sharia courts had jurisdiction over lower level cases, including civil cases, criminal offenses, family law, and other personal matters. Family law, and certain criminal penalties were divisive issues and many were simply omitted from the new judicial codes. In the 1980s, Benjedid proposed a family code, which drew extensive public criticism but was ultimately passed in 1984. The 1976 constitution asserted a judicial responsibility to uphold the principles of the revolution; this commitment has lessened in importance, however, as Algeria has moved away from its socialist regime.

Country overviewAlgeria Flag




Abdelmajid Tebboune

Capital city

Algiers (3,495,835 people)

Other major cities

Setif (2,900,000 people)
Oran (1,500,000 people)
Tizi Ouzou (1,149,000 people)

Major industries

Petrochemicals, natural gas and light industries

Minerals: Algeria is abundant in natural resources. It has rich deposits of iron, copper, zinc, lead, mercury, oil and natural gas. In 2006, Algeria's helium production accounted for 13 percent of the world's total output. It has the tenth largest natural gas reserve in the world as of 2023. In 2019, the country was the 17th largest world producer of gypsum, and the 19th largest world producer of phosphate.

Agriculture: 13 % to the country’s Gross Domestic Product in 2021.

Fishing: The fishing industry in Algeria thrives along the Mediterranean Sea. France is the largest importer of Algerian fish, followed by Spain and Italy.


Algerian dinar


Arabic, Berber and French

Major religions

Islam (94%), Christianity, and Judaism

Capital Markets

Algerian authorities, mindful and conscious that a more dynamic stock exchange is needed to boost economic growth and unlock new sources of capital for the private sector, are pushing through with a capital markets reform program aimed at boosting activity on the Algiers Stock Exchange.

The bureaucracy, the size of the state and the variety of different decision-makers consulted for major policy initiatives ensure that any reform program is likely to be delayed. The signal that a compromise has been reached is usually given through the accelerated pace of official statements, in addition to press coverage.

A dynamic stock exchange would in turn encourage such investments (private equity, venture capital and international organization funding) by providing a clearly defined way out for investors.

Algeria remains, to a large extent, a cash economy with very few outlets for retail investment, beyond real-estate. This factor, along with the well capitalized domestic banking sector, means that demand for new stocks is likely to be significant. The Algerian authorities have an ambitious structural reform plan to simplify regulations concerning capital markets and improve the country’s economy. The CEO of Algiers Stock Exchange has recently affirmed that the stock exchange is in the midst of a digital transformation and has confirmed that a totally digitalized quotation system is being put in place in order to allow transactions to be carried out via an internet platform.

In recent years, the government has launched digital transition through the generalization of the use of information and communication technologies, particularly in administrations and public services, as well as the improvement of the governance of the sector. The capital market and banking system are one of the sectors that are in urgent need of such transformation.  

Competition Regulation

The National Competition Council (Conseil National de la Concurrence, CNC) was officially set up in January 2013 and is an administrative authority intended — in accordance with Ordinance No. 03-03 dated July 19, 2003 — to observe, rule and sanction trade practices and the functioning of the Algerian market.

The CNC has elaborated further on its own general doctrine with regards to competition and market matters in the business realm. It seems that the CNC currently cooperates with European countries, namely — the French, Italian and German competition authorities in continuation of a cooperation programme financed and supported by the European Commission, known as the Support Programme for the Association Agreement between Algeria and the EU.

Through its power of prevention, and in application of provisions of Order no. 03-03 dated 19 July 2003 on competition (hereinafter "Order 03-03"), the CNC shall deliver certificates (known as "negative certificates") to companies wishing to obtain a written and final position on potential abuse of dominant position or competition-restricting agreements. The CNC may also issue concentration authorisations to companies that have given prior notice thereof, as in the case of merger operations.

Ordinance No. 03-03 of 19 July 2003 related to competition (“Competition Law”) was amended and supplemented by two successive laws in 2008 and 2010. Ordinance No. 08-12 of 25 June 2008 and Ordinance No. 10-05 of 15 August 2010 extended its scope to imports of goods for resale, agricultural products, and public markets.

In 2020, the CNC has issued a report with suggestions to amend and supplement the provisions of the current Competition Law. The proposed changes reflect the CNC’s tendency to a more stringent regulatory framework.

Corruption / transparency
Corruption Perception Index rank worldwide for 2022


Corruption Perception Index score for 2022


Corruption information

In 2013, the GoA created the Central Office for the Suppression of Corruption (OCRC) to investigate and prosecute any form of bribery in Algeria. The current number of cases currently being investigated by OCRC is not available. In 2010, the GoA created the National Organization for the Prevention and Fight Against Corruption as stipulated in the 2006 anti-corruption law. The Chairman and members of this commission were appointed by a presidential decree. The commission studies financial holdings of public officials and carries out studies. Also in 2013, the Financial Intelligence Unit was strengthened by a new regulation that gave the unit more authority to address illegal monetary transactions and terrorism funding. In 2015 and 2012, the government updated the 2005 anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist finance legislation to bolster the authority of the financial intelligence unit to monitor suspicious financial transactions and refer violations of the law to prosecutorial magistrates.

The GoA does not have a policy that requires private companies to establish internal codes of conduct that prohibit bribery of public officials. The use of internal controls against bribery of government officials varies by company, with some upholding those standards and others rumoured to offer bribes. The GoA is not a participant in regional anti-corruption initiatives. While Algeria does not provide protections to Non-Governmental Organizations involved in investigating corruption, there are whistleblower protections for Algerian citizens who report corruption.

In 2016, the National Organization for the Prevention and Fight against Corruption’s missions were amended, and it is now responsible for initiating a global policy for the prevention of corruption, enshrining the principles of the rule of law and reflecting integrity, transparency and accountability in the management of public property and funds.

In this context, the newly published law of May 5th of 2022 establishes the organization of the High Authority for Transparency, Prevention and the Fight against corruption. The authority is responsible for developing and enabling the implementation of a national strategy for transparency and anti-corruption. The High Authority is also responsible for administrative and financial investigations into signs of illicit enrichment by public officials who cannot justify the substantial increase in their assets. Professional or banking secrecy is not enforceable vis a vis to the authority.

Along the same lines, the GoA has submitted a draft law amending the public procurement code to add more transparency, establish competition and an effective fight against corruption in public procurement.


The bureaucratic nature of Algeria's economic and legal system, as well as its slow decision making process, means that disputes can drag on for years before a resolution is reached. Litigation in the court system is slow and may be subject to political considerations.

Investment disputes are fairly common, especially on major projects. These disputes can be settled informally through negotiations between the parties or via the domestic court system. The Algerian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CACI), the nationwide, state-supported chamber of commerce, has the authority to arbitrate investment disputes. The resolution process can be very slow - it can take several years to resolve a case. One U.S. company that encountered bureaucratic blocks on the expatriation of dividends from an investment made in 2005 has been pursuing a resolution since 2012; despite the intervention of several GoA institutions and ministers, a solution is still pending.

Enforcement of arbitral awards

Algeria adhered to the New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards through Law n° 88-18 of July 12th 1988. Algeria will apply the Convention only to recognition and enforcement of awards made in the territory of another contracting State, and only to differences arising out of legal relationships, whether contractual or not, that are considered commercial under Algerian law. One of the objectives behind the Code des Procédures Civiles i.e. Code of Procedural Law 1993 modification was to adapt Algerian regulation to its international obligations deriving from the convention. Articles 458 bis and following of the CPC are therefore largely inspired by the Convention and sometimes even go further in the recognition of arbitral awards than the CPC itself.

Algeria's international arbitration practice is extensive. The country ratified the New York Convention of 1958 on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards. National courts have therefore been exposed to international arbitration procedures and awards, and generally grant exequatur insofar as the arbitration agreement is valid. The tribunal generally requires an original copy of the award, and a signed arbitration agreement. It also verifies whether the audi alteram partem principle has been respected.

Algeria has less experience in other Alternative Dispute Resolution methods such as mediation. However, the general approach of national courts to the enforcement of ADR agreements is positive as article 17 of the CPC allows the judge to seek conciliation in all domains. ADR agreements other than arbitration are generally considered to be transactions, defined by article 459 of the Algerian Civil Code as agreement intended to end or prevent a dispute by means of reciprocal concessions.

Foreign investments

Algeria attracted a decent Foreign Direct Investment flow in past years. Most recently, there has been a sharp decline in European investment and greater interest from Gulf investors. A reorientation of FDI towards the domestic market is also noticeable with the proliferation of development projects in transportation and infrastructure. According to available data, FDI flows increased slightly to reach USD 1.55 billion in 2016.

To attract and encourage foreign investment, the Government has set up various attractive measures, including the reduction of corporate taxes for investment in specific locations, a reduction in social security contributions for new recruitments of young employees, the concession of land by mutual agreement for up to 33 years (which provide similar rights to ownership) and tax exemptions throughout the life of the project for exporting projects. The full list of measures can be consulted on the ANDI (National Agency for Investment Development) website.

To attract and encourage foreign investment, the government has also alleviated some of the significant restrictions on foreign investment. The most significant alleviations were regarding the state preemption rights and the so-called 49/51 rule.  

The New Supplemental Finance Law (“SFL”) issued on 4 June 2020 removed the state’s pre-emption right on the transfer of shares by or to foreign investors except for certain "strategic sectors" for which the pre-emption right has been replaced with a prior governmental approval process.

This 49/51 rule which was initially introduced in 2009 and limited the ownership of foreign investors in any Algerian company to 49% was slickened in 2020 to apply only to "production and service activities which are strategic for the national economy". According to the SFL 2020, the list of strategic sectors that will remain subject to the 49/51 rule includes mining, energy, defense, railroad infrastructure, airports, ports, and pharma.

In an effort to reduce the deficit in the trade balance, the 49/51 rule has also been maintained for the importation and resale of products in the local market. In some sectors, the restrictions were more stringent. For example, the importation and resale of new vehicles are regulated by the new automotive decree of the 17th of November 2022, cancelling Decree 20-227 dated 19 August 2020 which has been the subject of significant concern for foreign investors in Algeria, particularly the exclusion of foreign investors from the importation & resale business of vehicles. The new automotive decree has alleviated the 100% Algerian ownership requirements to 49/51 in addition to other requirement that were considered as stringent by investors.


IBS, the tax on company profits, is levied on all Algerian-sourced profits, including income of resident companies and income of non-resident companies which realize a complete cycle of commercial activities via a Standard tax regime:

  • Resident companies: Corporate Income Tax (IBS), Tax on business activity (TAP), VAT at the rate of 19% or 9%, Branch tax set at the rate of 15% calculated on net profits after IBS.
  • Non-resident companies: in the absence of a double tax treaty (DTT), the basic principle that governs taxation of non-resident entities is that such entities are taxable in Algeria on their Algerian-source income whatever the way and wherever the location the work is carried out, provided only that the same are rendered or used in Algeria.
  • In the presence of a DTT, a foreign company will be taxed in Algeria if it has a PE only.
  • Resident Companies: Corporate income tax (IBS) is set at the rate of 19% for manufacturing activities, 23% for building activities, public works, and hydraulics, as well as tourist and thermal activities, excluding travel agencies and 26% for all other activities not mentioned above.
  • Foreign non-resident companies: N/A
  • Tax on professional activity (TPA): The rate is decreased from 2% to 1.5%. However, this tax is set at the rate of 3% for the turnover generated from hydrocarbon pipeline transport activity. Manufacturing activities are exempt from TPA starting from 2022.
  • VAT (standard): 19%
Withholding tax (WHT) regime

Non-resident entities performing service contracts in Algeria are subject to the WHT regime. The 30% WHT, which encompasses the IBS, the TPA, and the VAT, is required to be levied on services only. The calculation base is the gross amount of the services invoiced.


Pharmaceutical - The national agency for pharmaceutical products (NAPP) has been established by decree No. 19-190 of the 3rd of July 2019 setting outs missions, organisation and operation and is responsible for the control of pharmaceuticals and medical supplies and providing the necessary licenses and approvals for companies in the sector.

Import for resale as is (without transformation) - regulated by the executive decree No. 21-94 of March 9, 2021, amending, and supplementing executive decree no. 05-45 of November 30, 2005, providing for the terms and conditions applicable to activities of importing raw materials, products and goods intended for resale as is.

Oil and Gas - Algeria's oil and gas sector is currently regulated by the new law No. 19-13 of 11 December 2019 governing hydrocarbon activities and its implementing decrees. The reforms seek to re-energize the domestic oil and gas sector affected by decreasing production due to aging wells and sharp, and potentially durable decreases in crude oil prices.

Investment - Investment law no. 22-18 of 24 July 2022 related to investment.

Competition - Ordinance No. 03-03 of 19 July 2003 related to competition.

Automotive - Decree of the 17th of November 2022 providing the terms and conditions applicable to the activity of importation of new automotives.