Congo flag Congo: Buying and Selling

International convention and customs procedures of Congo

International Conventions
Member of World Trade Organisation
International Economic Cooperation
The Republic of the Congo is a member of the CEMAC - Central African Economic and Monetary Community and the Economic Community of Central African States (CEEAC). The country is also a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO).
Non Tariff Barriers
According to the World Bank’s 2018 Logistics Performance Index - which measures countries’ trade logistics efficiency - the Congo was ranked 115th out of 160 countries. OECD’s Trade Facilitation Indicators shows that the Congo requires more documents, more days and higher cost to export and import than the Sub-Saharan African region’s average, and the procedures are often lengthy and costly. However, the country’s performance has improved between 2015 and 2017 in the areas of fees and charges, documents, and automation. Weak infrastructure, particularly poor transportation systems, still constitutes a hurdle to international trade. Furthermore, customs officials can enforce regulations unevenly or even arbitrary.
Customs Duties and Taxes on Imports
As a member of the Customs Union of CEMAC, Congo adopts the common external tariff (CET), whose most favoured nation simple average is estimated at 18.1% by the WTO. However, the CET is difficult to be applied because members invoke country-specific exceptions and "safeguard" measures. Congo applies the exceptions to a varied range of product, however its average tariff rate is lower than the CET by being 11.6% (Heritage Foundation).
Products imported from outside the CEMAC region are subject to customs duties according to four tariff rate categories:
products of first necessity (e.g. flour, rice, etc.): 5%
primary materials and equipment: 10%
intermediate goods (e.g. tools, tires, etc.): 20%
consumer gGoods (e.g. canned foods, electronics, etc.): 30%.
In line with CEMAC legislation, Congo collects the Community Integration Levy (TCI), the OHADA levy, and the Community Integration Contribution (CCI), amounting to 1.45% of import value.
Customs Classification
The Republic of the Congo is a member of the World Customs organisation and does comply with the harmonised customs system.
Import Procedures
To be able to import or export products, economic operators must obtain an installation licence from the Ministry responsible for trade;  be authorized and enrolled in the Trade and Personal Property Credit Register;  be registered in the files of the National Centre for Statistics and Economic Studies;  obtain a unique identification number from the Directorate General of Taxes;  be registered with the Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Agriculture and Trades;  and be registered with the National Social Security Fund. For further information, consult the guide of the Agency for the Promotion of Investments (API) (in French).

All goods entering the Republic of Congo shall be accompanied by a commercial invoice, the certificate of origin, the packing list, the bill of lading or the airway bill according to the means of transport. Import permits and sanitary certificates are required for farm products (such as meat and poultry), as well as for hazardous products (weapons, explosives, chemical products). For a list of products subject to a specific import authorization, visit the Congolese Customs’ website.
Importing Samples
Products allowed for temporary admission are not subject to custom duties. After their use, they must be re-exported or destroyed, with the process being certified by a custom agent.
 

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

 
For Further Information
Customs Office (Direction Générale des Douanes et Droits Indirect)
Business Portal for Africa

Find out more about Sales and Distribution Service Providers in Congo on GlobalTrade.net, the Directory for International Trade Service Providers.

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Latest Update: April 2022

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