Customs clearance at the main port of Matadi is hampered by numerous factors such as the lack of quay and adequate equipment.

As a result, the required 10 days to unload a ship can be extended and thus delay the customs clearance procedure.

Duties and Tax Exemption

For contact information regarding government custom authorities, please follow the link below: 

4.1 Democratic Republic of Congo Government Contact List

There was a way of bypassing the normal procedure in order to quickly take control of goods in DRC in case of emergency. But the law changed this year. This new procedure is called ‘Déclaration Provisoire et/ou Incomplète’ (or ‘Uncompleted and/or Temporary Declaration’) and is established by a circular from DGDA dated back in September 2015. Scanned PDF of Custom Authority (in attachment):

Circulaire 008 12 septembre 2015

Instruction DGDA 001 12 octobre 2015

This procedure applies to all donated goods to the UN or NGOs operating in DRC and is the same for all sea, land, and air entry points. The list of goods that fall under the duties and taxes exemption can be found on article 339 of the 2010 DRC Customs code.

At this stage, it is too early to know exactly what the major changes and difficulties aid organizations will face. The DGDA itself is unsure how in practice it will happen. Potential changes include:

Unfortunately, the same month (October 2015), 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 known in DRC as BIVAC) for controlling goods abroad departing to DRC. This had considerably helped  the controls process at domestic level, as 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).

It seems that the contract between BIVAC and DRC has not been renewed and, consequently, the OCC will have to do all the 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.

Emergency Response:

[Note: This section contains information which is related and applicable to 'crisis' times. These instruments can be applied when an emergency is officially declared by the Government.  When this occurs, there is usually a streamlined process to import goods duty and tax free.]

In the following table, state which of the following agreements and conventions apply to the country and if there are any other existing ones

Agreements / Conventions Description

Ratified by Country?

(Yes / No)

WCO (World Customs Organization) member

01.01.1993 (Source: 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 Investment Promotion Agency)

Exemption Regular Regime (Non-Emergency Response)

[Note: This section should contain information on the usual duties & taxes exemption regime during non-emergency times, when there is no declared state of emergency and no streamlines process (e.g. regular importations/development/etc.).]

DR Congo’s tax and duties system is based on a three-pillar structure:

  1. Direction Générale des Impôts: the Directorate General for taxation is responsible for all matters relating to the basis, control, recovery and disputes of taxation in the DR Congo. These competences are exclusive and the DGI has to give account for their actions to the Minister of Finance.
  2. Direction Générale des Douanes et Accises: the Directorate General for customs and excise taxation is competent in the fields of collection of duties, surveillance of State borders, and finding customs and excise infractions.
  3. Direction Générale des Recettes Administratives, Judiciaires, Domaniales et de Participations: the Directorate General for fees, dues and royalties is also placed directly under the authority of the Minister of Finance and its mission includes the collection of all fees, dues and royalties due in the DR Congo.

The Decree Law dated February 10, 1969 relating to income tax describes the main income tax requirements (Income Tax Decree). Most income related taxes are governed by this text but there are also other taxes set out in specific regulations.

Customs

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.

Important Laws

 

Other national customs legislation lists:

Nouveau code douanier 

Les lois 

Les décrets lois 

Arrêtés ministériels 

Instructions et note de service 

(Source: Direction Générale des Douanes et Accises)

Customs regimes:

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

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

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

Particular customs regime including duties and taxes exemption regime (Refer to the DRC 2010 customs code for more details)

For the customs department organization chart, please go to 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 following:

  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 Affairs will reply to the Letter of 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 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 OCC. The documents requested by the 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

Exemption Certificate Document Requirements

Duties and Taxes Exemption Certificate Document Requirements (by commodity)

 

Food

NFI (Shelter, WASH, Education)

Medicines

Vehicle & Spare Parts

Staff & Office Supplies

Telecoms Equipment

Invoice

Yes,

1 Original

1 Copy

Applies to UN and NGOs

Yes,

1 Original

1 Copy

Applies to UN and NGOs

Yes,

1 Original

1 Copy

Applies to UN and NGOs

Yes,

1 Original

1 Copy

Applies to UN and NGOs

Yes,

1 Original

1 Copy

Applies to UN and NGOs

Yes,

1 Original

1 Copy

Applies to UN and NGOs

AWB/BL/Other Transport Documents

Yes,

1 Original

AWB or BL

Applies to UN and NGOs

Yes,

1 Original

AWB or BL

Applies to UN and NGOs

Yes,

1 Original

1 Copy

Applies to UN and NGOs

Yes,

1 Original

1 Copy

Applies to UN and NGOs

Yes,

1 Original

1 Copy

Applies to UN and NGOs

Yes,

1 Original

1 Copy

Applies to UN and NGOs

Donation/Non-Commercial Certificates

Yes,

1 Original

1 Copy

Applies to UN and NGOs

Yes,

1 Original

1 Copy

Applies to UN and NGOs

Yes,

1 Original

1 Copy

Applies to UN and NGOs

Yes,

1 Original

1 Copy

Applies to UN and NGOs

Yes,

1 Original

1 Copy

Applies to UN and NGOs

Yes,

1 Original

1 Copy

Applies to UN and NGOs

Packing Lists

Yes

Applies to UN and NGOs

Yes

Applies to UN and NGOs

Yes

Applies to UN and NGOs

Yes

Applies to UN and NGOs

Yes

Applies to UN and NGOs

Yes

Applies to UN and NGOs

Other Documents

IE Form (Applies to UN and NGOs

Note Verbale(Applies to UN )

Interministerial ordinance(Applies to NGOs)

IE Form (Applies to UN and NGOs

Note Verbale(Applies to UN )

Interministerial ordinance(Applies to NGOs)

IE Form (Applies to UN and NGOs

Note Verbale(Applies to UN )

Interministerial ordinance(Applies to NGOs)

IE Form (Applies to UN and NGOs

Note Verbale(Applies to UN )

Interministerial ordinance(Applies to NGOs)

IE Form (Applies to UN and NGOs

Note Verbale(Applies to UN )

Interministerial ordinance(Applies to NGOs)

IE Form (Applies to UN and NGOs

Note Verbale(Applies to UN )

Interministerial ordinance(Applies to NGOs)

Additional Notes

No difference between UNs and NGOs regarding the shipping documents e.g commercial documents, transport documents, administrative documents and documents of origin.

Customs Clearance

General Information

DRC has adopted the SYDONIA software project with the aim of improving its customs clearance efficiency.

The system had yield significant results by reducing the lead time for customs clearance completion as well as strengthening the customs control and increasing revenue collected by customs authorities.(Source:UNCTAD)

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 applicable)
  • Phytosanitary certificate (if applicable)
  • Import license (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

Customs Clearance Document Requirements

Customs Clearance Document Requirements (by commodity)

 

Food

NFI (Shelter, WASH, Education)

Medicines

Vehicles & Spare Parts

Staff & Office Supplies

Telecoms Equipment

D&T Exemption Certificate

Yes,

1 Original

1 Copy

Applies to UN and NGOs

Yes,

1 Original

1 Copy

Applies to UN and NGOs

Yes,

1 Original

1 Copy

Applies to UN and NGOs

Yes,

1 Original

1 Copy

Applies to UN and NGOs

Yes,

1 Original

1 Copy

Applies to UN and NGOs

Yes,

1 Original

1 Copy

Applies to UN and NGOs

Invoice

Yes,

1 Original

Applies to UN and NGOs

Yes,

1 Original

Applies to UN and NGOs

Yes,

1 Original

Applies to UN and NGOs

Yes,

1 Original

Applies to UN and NGOs

Yes,

1 Original

Applies to UN and NGOs

Yes,

1 Original

Applies to UN and NGOs

AWB/BL/Other Transport Documents

Yes,

1 Original

1 Copy

Applies to UN and NGO

Yes,

1 Original

1 Copy

Applies to UN and NGO

Yes,

1 Original

1 Copy

Applies to UN and NGO

Yes,

1 Original

1 Copy

Applies to UN and NGO

Yes,

1 Original

1 Copy

Applies to UN and NGO

Yes,

1 Original

1 Copy

Applies to UN and NGO

Donation/Non-Commercial Certificates

Yes

Applies to UN and NGO

Yes

Applies to UN and NGO

Yes

Applies to UN and NGO

Yes

Applies to UN and NGO

Yes

Applies to UN and NGO

Yes

Applies to UN and NGO

Packing Lists

Yes,

1 Original

Applies to UN and NGOs

Yes,

1 Original

Applies to UN and NGOs

Yes,

1 Original

Applies to UN and NGOs

Yes,

1 Original

Applies to UN and NGOs

Yes,

1 Original

Applies to UN and NGOs

Yes,

1 Original

Applies to UN and NGOs

Phytosanitary Certificate

n/a

n/a

Yes

Applies to UN and NGOs

n/a

n/a

n/a

Other Documents

Health Certificate

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

Certificate of conformity

Additional Notes

Import licence for specifics drugs

For Telecoms equipment, the certificate of conformity and an authorization from the National Intelligence Agency (ANR) of DR Congo.

Transit Regime

There are 4 different transit regimes in DRC.

Escorts are compulsory for all bonded goods transferred from borders, ports, airports to destination where goods will finally be customs cleared. Transporters (Trucking Companies/ Air transporters) entrusted to do such transfers, must have a special licence obtained from the Customs authorities called (TRD or Transport sous douane). 

Bonded warehouses can be either public (managed by customs authorities) or private (with a compulsory customs presence). In general largest freight forwarding companies own their private bonded warehouses and bonded yards. This is the case for GTM and other clearing agents. Some private companies managed their own bonded warehouses to facilitate the custom clearing procedures for their own business (i.e. Automobile Dealers).

For additional Information on Entry Points please select the following document: Democratic Republic of Congo Customs Information Additional Information