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At this stage, it is too early for knowing to know exactly what will be the major changes and the difficulties the aid organizations will face. The DGDA itself is unsure how in practice it will happen. These are the changes we may have to deal withPotential changes include:

  • Shipments will still be allowed to get out of custom facilities, but it won’t will no longer be possible anymore to proceed with more than one shipment at a time. This may delay humanitarian operations if relief goods are coming in different shipments.
  • Every shipment must be cleared within 14 days, which question the ability of DGDA and the Forwarding Agents to deal with that in such a short period of time.
  • An unclear definition of relief items – “emergency shipments in case of disasters” – could be interpreted as not covering all types of goods imported by aid organizations.

Unfortunately, the same month (October 2015), another other information was released about the Quality Control procedure. Since 2006, and until October 2015, the national agency for control Office Congolais de Controle (OCC) was assisted by VERITAS (locally know known in DRC as BIVAC) for controlling goods abroad departing to DRC. This had helped considerably the control’s had considerably helped  the controls process at domestic level, as OCC’ OCC agents had less work to do and could focus only on goods not checked by BIVAC (= where VERITAS had no offices at the departing point and therefore couldn’t check the goods).Read here (in french) the OCC/BIVAC agreement: http://www.occ-rdc.cd/article595.html

It seems that the contract between BIVAC and DRC has not been renewed and, consequently, the OCC will have to do all the control controls itself. The economic operators in DRC have serious doubts about their capacity to do it and are afraid of additional delays for releasing goods. Please note that OCC takes samples of almost every types of item entering in the country, and charge for it (for standard checking and lab analysis). The OCC price catalogue is available in Kinshasa.

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Agreements / Conventions Description

Ratified by Country?

(Yes / No)

WCO (World Customs Organization) member

01.01.1993 (Source: http://www.wcoomd.org/en/about-us/wco-members/membership.aspx World Customs Organization Membership website)

Annex J-5 Revised Kyoto Convention

Yes

OCHA Model Agreement

No information

Tampere Convention (on the Provision of Telecommunication Resources for Disaster Mitigation and Relief Operations)

No

Regional Agreements (on emergency/disaster response, but also customs unions, regional integration)

Yes

Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA)

  • DR Congo is one of the 19 Member States forming the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), the largest Regional Economic Community (REC) in Africa.

Having successfully launched its Customs Union in 2009, COMESA is continuing on the road of regional integration by supporting the continual creation of better investment conditions, making it an increasingly internationally competitive economic community.

Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS)

  • DR Congo is one of the 11 Member States forming the Economic Community of Central and Eastern Africa States (ECCAS), the Regional Economic Community (REC)

Southern African Development Community (SADC)

  • Currently SADC has a membership of 15 Members including DRC.

Economic Community of the Great Lakes Countries (ECGLC)

  • DR Congo is one of the 3 members of the Economic Community of the Great Lakes Countries (ECGLC). ECGLC membership includes Burundi, DR Congo and Rwanda

African Trade Insurance Agency (ATI)

  • DR Congo is a Member of the African Trade Insurance Agency (ATI), one of the COMESA Institutions. ATI is a multilateral financial institution providing export credit insurance, political risk insurance, investment insurance and other financial products to help reduce the business risks and costs of doing business in Africa. ATI facilitates exports, foreign direct investment into and trade flows within the continent

(Source: DR Congo Guide October 2013, www.anapi.orgInvestment Promotion Agency)

Exemption Regular Regime (Non-Emergency Response)

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Following a modernisation process under impulse of the Directorate General of Customs and Excises, a new Customs Code has been proclaimed by the President by means of Ordinance-Law nr. 10/002 dated 20 August 2010 which entered into force on the 21st of February 2011.

  • Declarations: besides the normal regime where a declaration must be done three days after the arrival of the goods, a new regime allowing declarations prior to arrival of the goods has been installed, thus allowing to anticipate and facilitate the release of goods. Moreover, there is also a possibility to make a provisional or incomplete prior declaration and, if necessary, modify the latter.
  • Representation: one of the other novelties is the possibility to have a representative take care of the customs formalities.

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  • Decree n°011/42 of November 22nd, 2011 regarding implementation measures of the Government
  • Decree n°10/001 of August 20th, 2010 regarding institution of the Value Added Tax;
  • Ministerial Decree n°065/CAB/MIN/FINANCES/2011 of 29th November, 2011 determining the complementary repayment mode of the
  • Value Added Tax credit;
  • Ministerial Decree n°071/CAB/MIN/FINANCES/2011 of 30th December, 2011 suspending the collection of the Value Added Tax on some vital commodities;
  • Interministerial Decree n°019/CAB/MINAFFET/2011 and n°317/CAB/MINFINANCES/2011 of 23rd December, 2011 which institute a commission in charge of examining quotas of goods intended to official usage of consular and diplomatic missions and representations of international organizations to be exempted from the Value Added Tax;
  • Ministerial Decree n°072/CAB/MIN/FINANCES/2011 of 30th December, 2011 suspending the collection of the Value Added Tax on import for producing oil companies and mining enterprises depending on conventional regime;
  • Ministerial Decree n°067/CAB/MIN/FINANCES/2011 of 29th November, 2011 determining approval conditions of tax representatives of indebted people for Value Added Tax established or domiciled out of the Democratic Republic of Congo;
  • Interministerial decree n°016/CAB/MIN/SANTE/2011 and n°328/CAB/MIN/FINANCES/2011 of the 28th December, 2011 determining the list of pharmaceutical inputs exempted from the ValueAdded Tax;
  • Ministerial decree n°037/CAB/FINANCES/2011 of 11th August, 2011 regarding change of the liability threshold at Value Added Tax; Memorandum n°01/0197/DGI/DG/CR/TSHI 2011 regarding provision on the mode of statements of stocks by the retailer of imported products.(Source: DR Congo Guide October 2013, www.anapi.orgInvestment Promotion Agency)

 

Other National national customs Legislation listlegislation lists:

Nouveau code douanier (www.dgda.cd)

Les lois (www.dgda.cd)

Les décrets lois (www.dgda.cd)

Arrêtés ministériels (www.dgda.cd)douanier 

Les lois 

Les décrets lois 

Arrêtés ministériels 

Instructions et note de service (www.dgda.cdservice 

(Source: Direction Générale des Douanes et Accises)

Customs regimes:

Import customs regime (Refer to the DRC 2010 customs code for more details)

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For the customs department organization chart, please go to www.dgdato http://douanes.gouv.cd/

Organizational Requirements to obtain Duty Free Status

United Nations Agencies

A letter of agreement (Lettre d’entente) to be written and submitted to the Ministry of Foreign affairs for registration and 100% duty free status.

The letter should include the followingsfollowing:

  1. The nature and the scope of the agencies work (e.g. Food Aid)
  2. The projected area of operation
  3. The type of goods to be imported along with the taxes exemption on those goods.

The Ministry of Foreign Affair Affairs will reply to the Letter of agreement Agreement by notifying the organization of its duty free status. The process takes less than one month and no cost is involved.

The duty free status is recognized to UN agencies in accordance with the Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United nations of February 1946.

Non Governmental Organizations

Locals and International NGOs are governed by the law #004/2001 of July 20th 2001 on General provision for Non profit organization and utility institutions in DR Congo.

NGOs should have prior registration with their sectorial Ministry and be authorized by the Ministry of Justice.

Tax exemptions are granted by the Ministry of Plan.

Tax exemption procedure for Local NGOs:

  1. Order from the Ministry of Justice providing legal personality or the provisional authorization to operate from the sectorial ministry or the Governor of the province or the acknowledgement confirming the submission of the request to the Ministry of justice.
  2. Favorable opinion on tax exemption from the sectorial ministry.
  3. The Project the items are being purchased for.
  4. The Certifcate of registration delivered by the Ministry of Plan.
  5. The bylaws of the Non profit organization certified by a notary.
  6. The joint ministerial order from the minstry of Plan and Finance.

Tax exemption procedure for INGO

  1. The framework agreement with the DRC Government.
  2. Favorable opinion on tax exemption from the sectorial ministry.
  3. The Project the items are being purchased for.
  4. The Certifcate of registration delivered by the Ministry of Plan.
  5. The bylaws of the Non profit organization certified by a notary.
  6. The joint ministerial order from the minstry of Plan and Finance.

Please refer to the Guide pratique pour la constitution des ONG en République Démocratique du Congo’Congo for the detailed procedure of the registration of local and International NGOs.

PDF: Guide pratique pour la constitution des ONG en RDC

Exemption Certificate Application Procedure

Duties and Taxes Exemption Application Procedure

Generalities (include a list of necessary documentation)

Process to be followed (step by step or flowchart)

UN agencies

First step:

At least 7 days before the arrival of the goods in the DRC by air, sea or road, the following documents must be submitted by the UN agency to the clearing agent:

Documents of origin

  • Certificate of Origin

Commercial documents

  • Invoice
  • Packing List

Transport documents

  • Bill of Lading (bill of lading) or Air Way Bill (Air Waybill)

Administrative documents

  • Donation or Gift certificate
  • Health certificate
  • phytosanitary certificate
  • Import license
  • Certificate of Insurance

To secure the donation certificate, Some UN agencies like, WFP, use to submit a request for gift certificate to their line ministry (the Ministry of Social Affairs, Humanitarian Action and National Solidarity.) The contact person is M. Mathieu Mikobi (see 4.2.1 Democratic Republic of Congo Government Contact List  for further details)

Second step :

The clearing agent will fill in the declaration of duty exemption on importation form (IE) and will submit it together with the commercial, transport,  origin and administrative documents to the Directorate General of Customs and Excise (DGDA)

Third step

Once the declaration on import duty exemption form (IE) is approved and stamped by DGDA, the clearing agent returns it to the UN agency which submits it along with the shipping documents of the goods to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs together with the Note Verbale.

The approval period of the Note Verbale varies from two (2) to ten (10) days depending on the applicant organizations.

Fourth step

Once the approval of the ‘’Note Verbale’’ is obtained from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the entire document comprising of the shipping documents, the ‘’Note Verbale’’ and the approved declaration on import duty exemption form (IE) must be handed over to the clearing agent  for starting the clearance process of the goods. In practice, the clearing agent ensures that the documents are sealed at the point of entry by various departments of DGDA.
Then the goods will be inspected by the O.C.C (Congolese Control Office)OCC. The documents requested by the O. C.C. OCC are:

  • Bill of Lading (Bill of Lading) or  Air Way Bill (Air Waybill) or consignment not
  • Packing List
  • Certificate of origin etc..

The goods will be released after completion of all four steps.

NGOs

First step :

At least 7 days before the arrival of the goods in the DRC by air, sea or road, the following documents including the framework agreement and the inter ministerial decree must be submitted by the NGO to the clearing agent:

Documents of origin

  • Certificate of Origin

Commercial documents

  • Invoice
  • Packing List

Transport documents

  • Bill of Lading (bill of lading) or Air Way Bill (Air Waybill)

Administrative documents

  • Donation or Gift certificate
  • Health certificate
  • phytosanitary certificate
  • Import license
  • Certificate of Insurance

Second step :

The clearing agent will fill in the declaration of duty exemption on importation form (IE) and will submit it together with the commercial, transport, origin and administrative documents to the Directorate General of Customs and Excise (DGDA)

Third step

Once the declaration on import duty exemption form (IE) is approved and stamped by DGDA, the clearing agent will submit them to the DGDA at the point of entry of the goods and start the clearing process in the same condition as in the fourth step for the UNs above.

For an overview of the Process of the Duties and Taxes Exemption Application Procedure in Flowcharts, please select the following document: Democratic Republic of Congo Customs Information Additional Information

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Customs Information

Document Requirements

Documents of origin

  • Certificate of Origin

Commercial documents

  • Invoice
  • Packing List

Transport documents

  • Bill of Lading or Air Way Bill or Consignment Note

Administrative documents

  • Donation or Gift certificate
  • Health certificate (If if applicable)
  • phytosanitary Phytosanitary certificate (if applicable)
  • Import license (If if applicable)
  • Certificate of Insurance

       Approved Declaration  of duty exemption on  importation

       form(IE Form)

       Note verbale and Letter of Agreement (Applies to UN)

       Interministerial ordinance(rête interministériel) and

       framework

       Agreement (Accord cadre) (NGOs)

Embargoes

DRC Information on Embargoes

Prohibited Items

DRC Information on prohibited items

General Restrictions

DRC Information on general restrictions

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