The Congolese government has just announced its will to set up a Single Window for cross-border operations. The announcement was made by the Minister for Transport and Shipping, Martin Parfait Aime Coussou-Mavoungou, during his speech at the National Assembly (Congolese House of Representatives) on April 27th, 2013.

This government's announcement aims to improve the business climate. By Decree n°94-568 of October 10th, 1994, modified by the Decree n°95-183 of October 18th, 1995, the Republic of Congo (“Congo Brazzaville”) had already set up the center for administrative formalities for companies (“Centre des formalités administratives des enterprises”) which is a public service entrusted with the mission 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 parties involved in trade and transport 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 a simplification and reduction of administrative formalities, allowing the 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 costs 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 commerce.

According to the Congolese Minister for Transport and Shipping, the establishment of a Single Window will prevent tax evasion, various hassles, and ease the import and clearance of goods at 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 exchanges. 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 website[2]