The Congolese government has announced its plan to set up a Single Window for cross-border commercial operations. The announcement was made by the Minister of Transportation and Merchant Navy, Martin Parfait Aime Coussou-Mavoungou, during his speech at the National Assembly (Congolese House of Representatives) on April 27th, 2013.
This government’s announcement falls within the scope of improving the business climate. An important aspect of this is the Decree n°94-568 of October 10th, 1994, modified by Decree n°95-183 of October 18th, 1995showing that the Republic of Congo (“Congo Brazzaville”) had already set up the center for companies administrative formalities (“Centre des formalités administratives des enterprises”) which is a public service whose mission is to receive at one place (Single Window), in one document, with one payment, in less than one hour any application relating to the creation, transfer, extension, modification or termination of any business.
A Single Window for cross-border operations is defined as “a facility that allows operators involved in trade and transporationt to lodge standardized information and documents with a single entry point to fulfill all import, export, and transit-related regulatory requirements”1. The setting up of a Single Window leads to simplification and reduction of administrative formalities, allowing economic operators to deal with a single authority instead of having to file many documents with several different agencies. The Single Window allows operators to save time and money and enables the administration to better manage the flow of imported and exported goods or the ones in transit. Thus, the system contributes to the facilitation and improvement of cross-border trade.
According to the Congolese Minister of Transportation and Merchant Navy, the establishment of a Single Window shall prevent tax evasion, various hassles, and ease the import and clearance of goods at water borders.
Another aspect of the implementation of the Single Window is the use of electronic administrative procedures. This system can be implemented in a manual environment, but many believe that its benefits are increased by the use of electronic communication. Indeed, if information is electronic, then individual data elements should only be submitted once. The Congolese government plans to create an electronic database and transmit some documents electronically.
Through the adoption of the expected creation of the industrial and commercial entity, the Congolese government aims to get a better ranking in the World Bank Doing Business report.
For more information, please visit the Congolese government official website2.