According to an announcement made by the Government in April 2013 on the creation of a single window for cross-border operations, and after the bill on the matter was adopted by the Parliament, the President of the Republic of Congo just promulgated Law No. 16-2013 of July 19th, 2013 on the establishment of a single window for cross-border operations1.

The single window for cross-border operations has been created as an administrative public institution, with legal status and financial autonomy. The public institution is based in Pointe-Noire, the Republic of Congo’s business capital, and is under the authority of the Minister of Transportation. It is administered and managed by a Board of Directors and a General Management.

The purpose of the single window for cross-border operations is to facilitate and promote foreign trade. The public institution will notably be responsible for making ports, airports and land border competitive by contributing to reduce costs and crossing times; contributing to transparency, simplification of procedures and facilitation of administrative, commercial and customs formalities; taking measures in order to reduce the transit time of goods in port and multimodal logistics areas; and contributing to the elimination of tax fraud, corruption and embezzlement in foreign trade transactions.

Regarding the use of electronic administrative procedures, the single window is notably responsible for contributing to the promotion of e-commerce; providing certification services required for electronic data interchange; or ensuring the computer systems’ interoperability of the stakeholders involved in foreign trade.

To fulfill its assigned mission, the new public institution will benefit from State resources through subventions and other public aids, capital contribution, and compensation for its services. The public institution’s resources will also come from holdings and investments revenues, a portion of computer fees at the customs barrier, and various gifts and bequests.

Finally, a Ministers’ Council decree approving the bylaws of the single window for cross-border operations will be enacted later. This decree will set the responsibilities, organization and functioning of the administrative and management bodies of the public institution.