Includes import documentation and other requirements for both the U.S. exporter and foreign importer.
The BIVAC is the DRC’s authorized agent for pre-shipment inspection of imports valued at $2,500 or greater, pursuant to an agreement with the GDRC’s customs agencies, DGDA and the OCC. Exporters must provide BIVAC with an invoice containing a detailed description of the goods to be shipped and a statement accepting inspection. The process is as follows: 1) The importer receives a pro forma invoice from the exporter; 2) the importer presents the invoice to an authorized commercial bank to receive an import license; 3) after the validation of the import license, the importer submits it to BIVAC; 4) BIVAC assigns a code number to the import license; 5) the code number is transferred to a BIVAC office in the exporting country; 6) on behalf of the OCC, BIVAC performs the pre-shipment inspection of the goods; 7) BIVAC verifies that quality, quantity and value declared on the pro forma invoice are the same and comply with international standards; and 8) following verification, the exporting country BIVAC office issues a certification of validation and submits it to the importer through BIVAC in the DRC.
A certification of validation must contain the supplier’s invoice number, the bill of lading number, the number of containers, the import license number and the confirmation of the quantity of the product. The certification of validation determines the CIF. The amount of the CIF cannot be changed by DGDA after the certification has been validated. The OCC charges two (2) percent of the Free on Board (FOB) value of the imported goods. In exchange for its services, BIVAC receives 0.75 percent of the FOB value of the imported goods from OCC. Both OCC and DGDA require that all documents be in French. In addition, a commercial invoice, packing lists, bills of lading/air waybill, import license, pro forma invoice, the U.S. shipper’s export declaration, an insurance certificate, and often a certificate of origin are also required.
The following goods are exempted from pre-shipment inspections: imports with a FOB value below $2,500, live animals, fresh eggs, fruits, vegetables, fish and meat, fresh or refrigerated food, newspapers and periodicals, personal property including motor vehicles imported by DRC residents (those that have been outside the DRC for official purposes or training supported by the DRC state) who are returning to their country of origin, parcels without commercial value, commercial samples, personal gifts, donations offered by foreign governments or international organizations to charities, donations offered by foreign governments, international organizations, or private individuals for disaster relief, supplies and gifts imported for their own use by diplomatic entities, the United Nations, or other NGOs that have customs tax exemptions.