The WCO supports the Republic of Congo in their path to accession to the Revised Kyoto Convention

02 March 2017

Following a request from the Minister in charge of Finance and with the financial support of the Government of the Republic of Congo, the WCO delivered a National Workshop on the International Convention on the Simplification and Harmonization of Customs Procedures (as amended), known as the Revised Kyoto Convention (RKC) to the Customs administration of Congo (Rep).

The RKC is a WCO legal instrument regarded by the entire international Customs Community as a blueprint for modern Customs in 21st Century. The accession to the RKC is perceived as an important milestone in any country’s endeavours to further promote legitimate trade and effective Customs controls. As of today the number of Contracting Parties to the RKC is 107.

The mission took place in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo from 7 to 10 February 2017 and its core objectives were to validate the preliminary Gap analysis and provide guidance to the Customs administration on the RKC accession process. Eighteen Customs officials from various units within the Customs Administration of Congo took active part in the workshop. Prior to the Workshop, the Customs administration held an internal session during which the preliminary gap analysis was conducted by a team composed by high rank staff of this Customs administration.

In his speech for the opening of the workshop, Mr. Guénolé Mbongo Koumou, representing the Minister of Finance and in his capacity as Technical adviser in charge of fiscal and customs affairs in the Ministry of Finance, presented the vision of the Government of Congo towards trade facilitation and highlighted the importance of and benefits from accession to the RKC as well as the expectations of his Country with the accession to and the implementation of the RKC.

The WCO mission team, composed by experts from the Secretariat and from the Customs administrations of Belgium and Gabon, provided detailed guidance on the principles of the RKC, the rights and obligations of the Contracting Parties to the Convention, as well as the provisions of the Body, the General Annex and the Specific Annexes thereof. With the support of the WCO experts, the workshop participants conducted and finalized an assessment of the compliance of the provisions of the RKC General Annex to the Convention vis-à-vis regional and Congo’s national legislation. As part of the exercise, follow-up measures were outlined in the areas where the regional and/or national legislation was found not to be in full compliance with the RKC provisions. A draft detailed Action Plan on Congo’s accession to and implementation of the RKC was also discussed and agreed upon.

During the workshop closing ceremony, the WCO experts expressed their appreciation for the excellent local arrangements and reiterated the readiness of the WCO to support the Customs administration of Congo in their path to accession to the RKC. At the same time, the representative of the Director General of Customs and Excise duties also expressed his gratitude to the WCO for the support provided to his Customs Administration so far and indicated the willing of his Country to accede to the RKC by July 2017.