Democratic Republic of Congo flag Democratic Republic of Congo: Buying and Selling

International convention and customs procedures of the Democratic Republic of Congo

International Economic Cooperation
The Democratic Republic of the Congo is a member of the following organizations:

South African Development Community (SADC)
• World Trade Organisation (WTO)
• Economic Community of the Great Lakes Countries (ECGLC)
• Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS)
• Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA)
• Organisation for Harmonisation of Business Law in Africa (OHADA)
African Union (AU)

Non Tariff Barriers
The Democratic Republic of Congo has several trade barriers, especially caused by high levels of corruption, a multiplicity of administrative agencies with overlapping responsibilities in trade matters, and complex regulations which are poorly codified. Several laws are not fully or consistently implemented, and generally for commercial issues a protracted negotiations with various customs officials is required.
Several products require an import license (alcohol, medicines, weapons, etc.). Concerning pets, a veterinarian health certificate stating that the animals are free from ticks and have not been exposed to contagious diseases is mandatory. Cats and dogs need an additional rabies certificate stating that they have been vaccinated against rabies over a month but less than 12 months before departure.
Customs Duties and Taxes on Imports
The Democratic Republic of Congo’s tariff structure is composed of three rates: 5% for equipment goods, rough raw materials, agricultural and veterinary supplies, unassembled equipment; 10% for large consumer food items, industrial inputs, spare parts, items for social services such as those for hospitals and disabled persons; 20% for clothing, furniture, cigarettes and other finished products. According to data from the WTO, the average rate of import taxes is 10.9%.
Further levies apply to imports, as follows:
- administrative payment: 2% of the CIF value
- Congolese Control Office (OCC) payments: 1.5% of the CIF value
- Office for Sea Freight Management (OGEFREM) payment: 0.58% of the CIF value
- Funds for the Promotion of Industry (FPI) charge: 2% of the CIF value
- cost of inspection from the Bureau of Inspection, Valuation, Assessment, and Control (BIVAC): 1.5% of the FOB value.
The DRC is also part of the COMESA Free Trade Area, thus goods originating in member countries are zero rated.

Import duties are levied on the cost-insurance-freight (CIF) value of goods imported, at rates ranging from 10% to 20%. Export duties are levied on the free-on-board (FOB) value of goods exported, at rates ranging from 1% to 10%.

Customs Classification
The Democratic Republic of the Congo is a member of the World Customs Organisation and does comply with the harmonised customs system.
Import Procedures
Importing goods into the DRC can be a lengthy process, due to onerous regulations and administrative procedures. The Bureau of Inspection, Valuation, Assessment, and Control (BIVAC) is the authorized agent for pre-shipment inspection of goods valued at USD 2,500 or more: following several steps and a quality, quantity and value verification, the exporting country BIVAC office issues a certification of validation and submits it to the importer through BIVAC in the DRC. Such certification (which determines the CIF value) must contain the supplier’s invoice number, the bill of lading number, the number of containers, the import license number and the confirmation of the quantity of the product (documents shall be in French). Furthermore, a commercial invoice, packing lists, bills of lading/air waybill, import license, pro forma invoice, export declaration, an insurance certificate, and often a certificate of origin are also required.
Importing Samples
Commercial samples are exempted from pre-shipment inspections.

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

For Further Information
Congolese Control Office
General Directorate for Customs and Exices (DGDA)
Business Portal for Africa

Return to top

Any Comment About This Content? Report It to Us.


© eexpand, All Rights Reserved.
Latest Update: May 2024

Return to top