Customs regulations for your trip to Congo

Last modified: July 31, 2023
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Customs Regulations

Used Household Goods and Personal Effects

Documents Required

  • Copy of passport (including page showing entry permit)
  • Packing list
  • Original bill of lading (OBL) – no express release accepted / ocean freight invoice / air waybill (AWB) (2 copies)
  • Detailed valued inventory in French, signed, and dated by the owner of the goods
  • Original detailed inventory of new items bought less than 6 months prior to import, valued, and signed by the owner of the goods with original invoices attached
  • Letter of employment
  • Original job transfer letter (from employer overseas, with start and end dates of employment)
  • Original certificate of change of residence (issued by local authority in origin country)
  • Bordereau Electronique de Suivi de Cargaison (BESC) / Electronic Cargo Tracking Note (ECTN)
  • Work permit (issued by Ministry of Labor)
  • Certificate of first settlement (issued by Immigration Department)

Specific Information

  • All original documents must be received by agent at least 15 days prior to arrival of the shipment to obtain the certificate of free entry from the Customs head office.
  • All personal effects shipments, including diplomatic shipments, are liable to payment of two taxes:
    • La redevance informatique (computer tax) at 2% of cost, insurance, and freight (CIF) value
    • La taxe ARC (assurance) at 0.8% cost and freight value
  • Pre-shipment inspection is not required for personal effects shipments or second hand cars, but is required for brand new car shipments (even if diplomatic).
  • COTECNA is the designated accredited inspection company.
    • Please contact the company in the origin country to schedule the inspection.
  • Customs clearance for sea shipments is approximately 4 weeks.
  • Customs clearance for air shipments is approximately 1 week.

Click here to view : Country guides

The Republic of Congo belongs to the African Continental Free Trade Area and the Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC).  CEMAC member countries include Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, the Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, and Gabon.  The Republic of Congo’s standards of trade duplicate French standards, which are sometimes not well adapted to the local market.

Dutiable Items

The following items may qualify for free import within the limits indicated:

  • Cigarettes (100), cigars (50), tobacco (1/2 lb.)
  • Alcoholic beverages (1 bottle)
  • Perfume (a reasonable amount for personal use)
  • Cameras (may be temporarily imported by tourists)
  • Radios, tape recorders, record players (subject to duties)
  • Satellite and radio communications equipment (authorization is required)
  • Arms and ammunition (an import license is required)

Prohibited Items

  • Firearms and ammunitions (authorization from the territorial administration is required)
  • Unlawful drugs
  • Alcohol (only “Fond de Cave”) is acceptable and is duty free (30 bottles)

Miscellaneous (Pets, Motors, and others.)

Wild Fauna and Flora:

The import of certain endangered species of plant, live animals and their products is prohibited or restricted under CITES.


Must be accompanied by a Veterinarian Health certificate issued in country of origin and issued 5 days before transportation. The certificate must record a vaccination against rabies.

Baggage Clearance regulations:

Baggage must be cleared at the first airport of entry in Congo. This also applies to baggage of transit passengers with a destination outside Congo.

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