Risk Tool

WRI attempts to keep the information featured in the Risk Tool's country profiles up to date. However, the legal frameworks and the situation in each country are constantly changing. Please help us maintain the Risk Tool by submitting information about relevant updates to forestlegality [at] wri.org. 

Last updated: January 2014

Forest Resources

Resources Overview

Approximately 22.5 million hectares (66%) of the Republic of Congo’s land area is covered in rich biodiverse forest. It is only second to the Democratic Republic of Congo in terms of tropical forest cover for African countries. The Public Forest Estate (PFE) is an estimated 21.3 million hectares, comprising 18.4 million hectares of production forest, 2.86 million hectares of protection forest and 72,000 hectares of industrial eucalyptus, pine and limba tree plantations.

Despite its ample supply of potential timber, the Republic of Congo has had relatively low and stable rates of deforestation at around 0.1% (17,000ha) per year. This has been assisted by low population densities and poor infrastructure in the densely forested regions of the north, as well as a national focus on the petroleum sector. However, there are several issues currently impacting the Congolese forestry sector; the main drivers of deforestation in the country includes expanded development of infrastructure (i.e. roads), the development of bioenergy, and activities of extractive industries related to mining, gas and oil. Illegal logging is also significant, particularly in the southern part of the country. Further, limited local participation in ecosystem management, lack of law enforcement, and limited ownership of forestry businesses by Congolese nationals and insufficient development of the manufacturing sector are other contributing factors.


Forest Resources

About Forest Resources

This section provides an overview of the country's forest cover and a list of species found naturally and on plantations.

Forest Management

Management Overview

The Republic of Congo’s forest sector was the main engine of the national economy until the discovery of oil. Forestry contributed approximately 5.6% to GDP in 2006, which is relatively low compared to its neighbouring countries. Export earnings from forestry amounted to 10 million Euros (approximately 14 million dollars) in 2008.

 

To build the timber sector, Congolese authorities adopted new and innovative forest legislation in November 2000. The 2000 Forest Code defines the principles of forest management, conservation and sustainable use of forestry ecosystems, and requires forestry businesses to develop management plans among other things. Since the enactment of the Code, logging in Congo is now fully managed by the private sector, including both large commercial and small and medium logging enterprises, and has seen an influx of new economic operators into the sector. As a result, the Republic of Congo has become a lead tropical timber exporter to Europe and other regions.

 

In 2011, the Republic of Congo launched PRONAR, an ambitious national program on afforestation and reforestation aimed at promoting 1 million hectares of forestry and agroforestry plantations until 2020.

 

According to FSC International, the Republic of Congo currently boasts 1,574,100 hectares FSC certified forests. The Government sees sustainable forest management as a key tool for fighting against climate change.


Transparency

Today, the Republic of the Congo’s strategy to control tax collection and stop corruption along the supply chain is unclear, but equally ineffective. Increasing forest and trade monitoring in the country might help increase transparency and reduce corruption, but the lack of capacity and equipment to do so is currently prohibitive.

According to Transparency International’s 2013 Corruption Perceptions Index, which measures perceived levels of public sector corruption in countries around the world using a score of 0-100 (where 0 is highly corrupt and 100 is completely clean) the Republic of the Congo is ranked 154th out of 177 countries assessed. It has scored a corruption index of 22, meaning it has a perception of very high corruption. The recent corruption country profile indicates that the Republic of the Congo has a limited capacity to address the challenges of corruption and poor governance due to the continued legacy of conflict and political instability. The perception of corruption has increased slightly from 2012 where the Republic of the Congo was ranked 144th out of 176 countries with a corruption index of 26.

U4 Anti Corruption Resource Centre  compiles an overview of corruption and anti-corruption measures in Republic of Congo

World Bank Worldwide Governance Indicators (WGI) compiles a set of governance indicators for all world economies. These indicators are important barometer in terms of risk assessment. The WGI country reports are based on the six following aggregate governance indicators: Voice and Accountability, Political Stability and Absence of Violence, Government Effectiveness, Regulatory Quality, Rule of Law, and Control of Corruption. Countries are ranked (percentile rank model) for each of the six governance indicators on a scale from 0 to 100 where 0 corresponds to lowest rank and 100 corresponds to highest rank (better governance). The country data report on Republic of Congo covers the years 1996-2013.

 


Management Links
Forest Management

About Forest Management

This section provides an overview of the country's forest management, transparency indicators, CITES Agreement information as it applies to the country, and relevant laws and regulations (i.e. forestry laws, processing/manufacturing laws, trade laws, tax laws, and transport laws).

Forest Products

Products Overview

The Republic of Congo is a major producer of tropical hardwoods with key products including logs, sawnwood and wood-based panels. The annual value of Congolese timber and timber-derived products is approximately 250 million Euros (approximately 343 million dollars). The Republic of Congo exports annually between 1 and 1.3 million m³ of timber (round log equivalent), most of it to the EU and China. The majority of exports to the EU are sawn timber originating from northern Congo. China mainly imports logs from the south-western part of the country. Commonly exported species include Sapelli, Sipo, Okoumé, Limba, Wengé, Padouk, Iroko. The principal national port for export is Pointe-Noire, but a significant quantity of timber is shipped through Douala in Cameroon.

The Republic of Congo was the first Central African country to sign a FLEGT VPA agreement with the EU in 2009; The Agreement was ratified in 2013 and is currently being implemented.


Production Status

Timber production in the Republic of the Congo is a historic practice. People began harvesting timber commercially in southern Congo in 1910 and in northern Congo since the 1970s. Today, 70% of timber production occurs in the large primary forests of northern Congo, and almost 74% of the country’s forests are designated for logging.

In 2009, 52 forest management/forest logging units (FMUs) were created, covering an area of nearly 12 million hectares. Approximately 8 million hectares are in northern Congo. Ultimately, the Congolese government is planning to allocate a total of 15.2 million hectares for forest production (although protection is allowed).

In the Republic of the Congo, the wood processing sector is comprised of large-scale forest enterprises linked to international markets. These companies operate alongside small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that provide the semi-finished or finished products for the local market. Between 51 and 65 % of all forest production is processed locally depending on the year. This relatively high processing rate is the result of a voluntary policy of the Congo’s 2000 forest law.

The forest management in the northern Congo is very different than that in the southern Mayombe and Chaillu regions. After more than 100 years of harvesting, southern Congolese forests are very degraded. Further, previously designated FMUs have been divided into smaller sections mostly used by national harvesters with minimal returns.

In northern Congo, however, FMUs are better. They average approximately 400,000 hectares and have been allocated to large industrial companies as opposed to smaller national operators. Most concessionaires have already implemented or are preparing their forest management plans. By mid 2009, forest management plans had been finalized for 3.83 million hectares of northern concessions.

It is important for businesses operating in the Republic of the Congo to be aware that local, informal timber production comprises approximately 30% of all timber production. It is carried out by small-scale operators, and is often illegal. Unlike the formal sector, informal production provides considerable benefits to local communities, such as more jobs and more equally distributed benefits. Unfortunately, the current regulatory framework does not adequately regulate domestic timber production. The bias toward large operators legal/regulatory frameworks has increased illegal logging and adverse impacts on forests due to unregulated overexploitation. Continued disregard for informal operations in the Republic of the Congo and surrounding countries is likely to lead to an increase in illegal operations and exploitation of local communities by corrupt interests. Since informal operators still significantly interact with national regulating bodies to move their products despite operating outside the legal framework, a large share of the benefits is captured by community elites, low-level traders, and/or corrupt government officials seeking informal fees. Primary timber processing in the Republic of the Congo is widespread, but generally with low yields and an underutilization of residues and timber by-products. By building a more business-friendly production climate, the Republic of Congo and neighboring countries are trying to promote and improve local wood processing from harvest to the finished product. Part of this plan includes guaranteeing facilitated access to inputs and production means, creating a structured wood value chain and promoting new and profitable markets. View the report: Deforestation Trends in the Congo Basin.

Common commercially harvested timber species include Entandrophragma cylindricum (sapelli) (almost primarily for export), Triplochiton scleroxylon(ayous), Entandrophragma utile (sipo), Chlorophora excelsa (iroko), and Millettia laurentii (wengé).

The Republic of Congo was the first Central African country to sign a FLEGT VPA agreement with the EU in 2009; this was ratified in 2013 with the process currently being in the implementation phase. An outcome of the VPA is that 85% of logs are to be milled prior to export.

There is a FSC standard for the Republic of Congo, which sets out how forest management practices should be assessed when aiming at FSC certification. There are approximately 1.5 million ha of FSC certified forests in the Republic of Congo as of January 2014.

For more information:

 

Forest Products

About Forest Products

This section provides an overview of the country's forest production and product trade.

Contacts


Industry Associations

L’Association Technique Internationale de Bois Tropicaux (ATIBT)

ATIBT provides information, training, technical and scientific support to tropical sector foresters through a network of more than 250 professionals in 39 countries. The Association advocates for sustainable exploitation of tropical forests, development of forest management plans, training, and local consultation. It also supports timber certification of all its members. Several of its members operate in the Republic of the Congo.

Forest Stewardship Council - Congo Basin (FSC)

FSC is a global, not-for-profit organization dedicated to the promotion of responsible forest management worldwide. It helps enable businesses and consumers to make informed choices about the forest products they buy and produce to ensure a sustainable global timber and wood products trade. View FSC activities in the Republic of Congo.

Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Agriculture and Crafts of Brazzaville (CCIACM)

The CCIACM is responsible for representing the economic interests of Commerce, Industry, Agriculture and Crafts and Trades of Brazzaville. It is a link between both the public and private sectors.

Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Agriculture and Trade of Pointe Noir (CCIAT)

The CCIAT is a local organization of businesses and companies in Pointe-Noire that work to develop and further the interests of local Congolese companies and businesses. Members are both international and local operating companies, and parties such as lawyers, property developers, tourism companies, airlines, manufacturing companies, import and export businesses, banks, finance companies, legal advisors, IT and electronics manufacturers etc.

 


Civil Society Organizations

Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS)

WCS works with the large Congolese CIB logging company in efforts to reduce logging pressures on gorillas, elephants, and other endangered wildlife around its concessions.Their collaborative project is called PROGEPP: the Project for Ecosystem Management in the Nouabalé-Ndoki Periphery Area. For more information, visit their site here.

Réseau International Arbres Tropicaux au Congo (RIAT CONGO)

RIAT-Congo is part of the RIAT international network concerned by the future of tropical forest spaces. Its mission is to promote sustainable management and the preservation of trees and forests in the Congo. To improve exchanges among the various interests active in the Congolese forest, RIAT-Congo regularly brings parties together to help provide information and promote awareness about forests in development activities.

Congolese Association for the Preservation of the Environment and Community Development

The Congolese Association for the Preservation of the Environment and Community Development is focused on improving the socioeconomic conditions of local people and indigenous communities. They work to promote sanitation, biodiversity conservation and community development. In addition, they support further agroforestry research in the health sector and the practice of agriculture.

Rainforest Foundation UK

The Rainforest Foundation UK has backed the creation of policies to improve the rights of forest dwellers in the Republic of the Congo. It is also advocating for the first law in Africa to guard against discrimination, exploitation and violence against indigenous forest peoples. Since 2003 the Rainforest Foundation UK has partnered with OCDH (see below) to ensure that the rights of indigenous people under Congolese laws.

Observatoire Congolais de Droits de l’Homme (OCDH)

OCDH was set up by a group of journalists, lawyers and other activists in 1994 in response to the human rights abuses in the war in Republic of Congo. It has dedicated efforts to addressing the rights of women, minorities and forest peoples. The Rainforest Foundation UK has partnered with OCDH since 2002.

Alliance Nationale pour la Nature (ANN)

ANN is a membership based education and awareness-raising organization in the Republic of the Congo. It teaches forest preservation and environmental improvement in the Congo. It is an IUCN member organization.

Congo Basin Forest Partnership (CBFP)

CBFP brings together over 70 partners, including African countries, donor agencies and governments, international organizations, NGOs, scientific institutions and the private sector. These groups work to sustain forest resources in the Congo Basin. It works closely with the Central African Forests Commission (COMIFAC), the main coordinator of regional forest and environmental policy. The Partnership helps promote conservation and sustainable management.

Azur Développement

This is a Congolese women’s association working to improve the status of local women and children. AZUR Development is now active across the country and dedicated to enpowering and providing assistance to women, girls and vulnerable groups. The program is also dedicated to improving environmental protections in riparian forests, building environmental and social monitoring infrastructure, and ensuring environmental management plans of local projects are implemented and enforced.

Other NGO Resources
For an expanded list of NGOs working in the Congo Basin, please visit the CBFP member listing.

 


About Contacts

This section provides a list of local contacts who can serve as sources of further information, including industry associations, civil society organizations and government ministries.

Tools & Resources

Laws & Regulations

Forestry Laws

Under the current Republic of the Congo Constitution, natural resources, including forests, are State property. However, the State grants logging rights for these lands to private entities. Although the Congolese Forest Code still separates national forest estates from private forest estates, it maintains a basic role of defining, implementing, and enforcing forest policy, and preserving forest stands. In addition, the country joined FLEGT and has developed a national program of Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+).

There is limited online information on the laws of the Republic of the Congo. However, the following resources provide a considerable amount of recent information regarding the laws and policies of the country’s forestry sector:

Forest Code (in French)

The key piece of forestry legislation in the Republic of the Congo is the Forest Code, which was established in 2000 under Law No 16-2000. This policy, and its subsequent amendments, sets out the framework for governing the forest sector in the Republic of the Congo. The Forest Code is based on two existing Congolese laws: Law No 14-2009 and Law No 16–2000.

Republic of the Congo forests are divided into either private or state-owned forests. The majority of forested territory, however, is State-owned. State-owned forests are divided into either permanent or non-permanent forest stands. The non-permanent forest estates consist of protected, unclassified forests. These are public property. The State-owned permanent forest estates are divided into multiple Forest Management Units (FMUs), which are basic units or forest plots designated for management, protection, conservation, restoration and production.

State-owned permanent forest estates may include man-made forests or plantations. The Forest Code also mandates that any commercial operation of any forest products from State-owned forests must be carried out under either state control or by a holder of a valid exploitation title. There are four types of exploitation titles that may be issued: Agreement for industrial processing, Agreement for management and processing, permits for plantations timber-cutting, and special permits. Please see Production and Manufacturing Section for more information.

Other supporting texts to the Forest Code include:

  • Law No 003/91 (April 1991) establishes supporting texts on environmental protection (See below for further detail)
  • Law No 9-2004 (March 2004) establishes the State-owned property code

  • Law No 10-2004 (March 2004) defining general principles for systems operating on either Private- or State-owned lands

  • Decree No 2002-435 (December 2002) determines the duties, organization and operation of the National Center for Inventories and Management of Forest and Wildlife Resources;

  • Decree No 2002-436 (December 2002) establishes duties, organization and operation of control service of saleable forest products;

  • Decree No 2002-437 (December 2002) determines forest management and conditions of use;

  • Decree No 2002-438 (December 2002) defines terms and conditions of distribution of area levy for development of administrative divisions;

  • Decree No 2002-434 (Dec 2002) defines organization and operation of forest fund;

  • Decree No 2002-433 (December 2002) determines organization and operation of water and forest officers.

  • Law No 37-2008 (November 2008) on Wildlife and Protected Areas makes no mention of Community Reserves as an official category of protected State areas. It does, however, refer to “Integral” Nature Reserves, which prohibit hunting, fishing, grazing, clearing or exploiting forestry resources without previous authorization from the competent authority.

  • Law No 48/83 (April 1983) defines the conditions of conservation and exploitation of wildlife, but does not clearly define protected area types. It does make reference to “Natural Reserves” and reserve management, which requires the participation of local communities in building an integrated system to preserve natural resources. The decree also refers to the need for zoning designations These zones were defined in the Draft 1999 Management Plan, but never officially adopted by the Ministry of Sustainable Development, Forest Economy and Environment (MDDEFE).

  • Law No 17-2000 (December 2000) establishes the legal framework for the registration of land ownership, transfer of ownership, more details procedures for the registration for the transfer of ownership, etc.

  • Order No 5279 (July 2009) outlines the establishment of a Steering Committee on sustainable management of Congolese forests.

Law 003/91: Forest Management in the Republic of the Congo

The purpose of this law is to reinforce existing legislation geared toward protecting and conserving wild flora and fauna, marine and fluvial resources, the regulation of environmentally dangerous operations and activities. It also details planning and urban development policies. Its focuses, as well, on management, maintenance and conservation of natural resources.

This law also defines rules applicable to classified facilities, and the associated taxes and royalties. In addition, this law requires development projects to conduct an environmental impact assessment (EIA).

Treaty on the Conservation and Sustainable Management of Forest Ecosystems in Central Africa and to establish the Central African Forests Commission (COMIFAC) (2005)

COMIFAC is an intergovernmental organization established between several Central African Countries. Its goal is to sustainably manage the forests of Central Africa and to protect the rights of people that rely on those forest resources. By establishing this international body, COMIFAC is trying to increase awareness of the important ecological role forests play. In 2005, COMIFAC developed a Convergence Plan for Central African countries to reach these conservation management goals. The wildlife trade monitoring network TRAFFIC is a partner to the Commission.

Possible Amendments to Forest CodeRecently, discussions to amend the Forest Code have arisen. In December 2013, Congolese civil society addressed concerns about the current objectives of the Forest Code and the inadequacy of its definitions, classification process, and the decommissioning and management of forests. Further, it highlighted the Code’s serious lack of a conversion/deforestation framework that includes safeguards to ensurance tranparency and compliance by participants. Civil society also called for greater participation and inclusion of local communities and indigenous peoples in forest processes, improved complaint mechanisms and conflict resolution tools, and greater penalties for violations. Despite discussions, no final decisions have been made as of March 2014. View the Report and Recommendations on the Forest Code (in French).

Decree No 2007-300 (June 2007)

This decree describes the powers of the Minister of Forest Economy.

Order No 8516/MEFE/CAB (December 2005)

This order describes the creation, definition of Forest Management Units in the forestry sector and outlines the terms of their management and operations.

 


Processing/Manufacturing Laws

Forest Code

The Forest Code distinguishes four exploitation titles that private companies may be granted for wood operations on State land: 

  1. Agreements for Industrial Processing: Forest operators granted this title are allowed to collect an annual harvest quota defined in their Forest Management Unit. The validity of these operation permits is determined according to the volume of output and may not exceed 15 years. Renewal is possible. 
  2. 2. Agreements for Management and Processing: Similar to the Industrial Processing Agreement, holders must also carry out silvicultural operations as part of a development plan for areas of concern. The validity of these permits may not exceed 25 years, however, they can be indefinitely renewed unless the holder fails to meet its obligations, trees fall, species become threatened or civil society reacts. If the latter, the State must compensate the holder for any loss. 
  3. 3. Permits for plantations timber-cutting: These permits are granted according to the amount of trees to be collected and the work may not exceed six months. They may be extended only in the case of a superior force. 4. Special permits: These permits are only granted to Congolese individuals, NGOs, and associations incorporated under applicable Congolese laws. Permit holders may commercially exploit non-timber forest products in specific areas and in a limited quantity. If allowed, the felling of a select number of trees for commercial purposes may be allowed. Special permits are valid for a month and may not be renewed.

The Agreements for Industrial Processing, and Management and Processing are only granted after a process beginning with an Order from the Minister for Water and Forests. Applying companies are assessed according to the socio-economic impact of their projected activities, financial risk, equipment, and/or their commitment to implementing a development plan. Moving forward, Agreement holders must submit an application to the Department of Water and Forests for authorization to build any necessary infrastructure, such as industrial site facilities, residential camps, road construction, etc. They must also file an application to authorize their maximum annual cut. These Agreements may not be transferred or sub-contracted, except when authorized by the Department of Water and Forest.

Permits are granted only to companies incorporated under the Congolese laws. Foreign private companies willing to carry out logging activities in Congo-Brazzaville must therefore establish subsidiaries in accordance with Congolese law. Furthermore, logging companies with foreign capital shall open their share-capital to Congolese citizens.

Congolese law requires that the majority of harvested timber be processed in-country. Therefore, most wooden goods leaving the Congo are either finished or semi-finished timber products. Fifteen percent of a harvest for certain industries not present in the Republic of Congo yet may be exported as logs and processed elsewhere. Please see the Trade Laws Section for more information. For processing, loggers typically enter into procurement contracts with local Congolese industries.


Trade Laws

Forest Code

Under the Forest Code, the majority of Congolese timber must be processed locally. However, for some industries that are not established in the Republic of the Congo yet, 15% of a company’s high-quality timber harvest may be exported as logs and not processed. This is established by Article 180 of the Forest Code as amended by Law No. 14-2009 in December 2009. Otherwise, raw timber is turned into finished or semi-finished products before leaving the country. Procurement contracts for this processing work should be coordinated with local Congolese industries.

If an Agreement holder or party exceeds the 15% raw material export limit, a 35% surcharge on the free on board (FOB) value will be charged. The effect of Article 180 has created a national market for transferring quotas between companies that have processed more than 85% of timber and companies which have not reached 85% of production.

Law No. 6-2003 (Jan. 2003) created the Investment Charter which stipulates that any individual or legal entity, regardless of nationality, is free to carry out any forest, industrial, farming and commercial activity in the Congo in accordance with the legislation in force in the country.

The VPA Agreement between the Republic of Congo and the EU was ratified in February 2013. They are currently developing the systems needed to control, verify and license legal timber. Once completed, these systems will also be used for trade in timber and timber products exported to other, non-EU, destination and those within the Republic of the Congo.

Due to persistent problems with illegal logging in the region, six Congo Basin countries (Republic of the Congo, Cameroon, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Côte d’Ivoire and Gabon) adopted the Brazzaville Declaration. An international commitment to work towards the sustainable and legal development of the wood industry in the region. The Declaration was adopted by both timber industry representatives and civil society organizations. It highlights the need for improved transparency, monitoring, and governance.

The Republic of Congo has three CITES Appendix II listed tree species where distributions are found within its borders:Pericopsis elataPrunus Africana, andCyathea camerooniana. Please refer to the CITES section for more information.


Transport Laws

Guide to Legal Documentation: Republic of Congo

Although the Republic of the Congo has transport laws and an implementing and regulating body, monitoring and enforcement capacity in the country are weak. Since much of the timber harvest is in the north where infrastructure is limited, it is often exported (illegally) through Cameroon and bypasses transport check points, and export and tax collection authorities. Along official trade routes, there are inadequate checkpoints due to either lack of materials and/or manpower. Consequently, documents fail to get to the right administrative people in a timely manner, if at all.

Logging agreements, including permits for industrial processing and management, may not be transferred or sub-contracted, except as authorized by the Water and Forest administration. This applies to prospecting, cutting and transportation operations.

In the Republic of the Congo there are three main export routes to the south of the country, including: 1. Bambama - Mossendjo - Kibangou - Mila Mila - Dolisie - Hinda - Pointe Noire 2. Zanaga - Sibiti - Loudima - Dolisie - Hinda - Pointe Noire 3. Banda - Mila Mila - Dolisie - Hinda - Pointe Noire

Companies have to comply with all regulations regarding timber transportation and marketing, including: - Timber must be transported in accordance with applicable laws, regulations and transport authorization documents, including markings indicating origin of harvest - Forest products must only travel with vehicles that have been registered with the competent authorities and have valid registration license and number - Company vehicles cannot transport products prohibited by national or international legislation and agreements - Log transportation documents must be completed prior to departure from the harvesting site and kept by the carriers at all times - Fees must be paid before a license to transport will be issued

Other relevant decrees and laws include:

  • Decree No. 3863/MEF/SGEF/DCPP, Annexe I Decree No 2002-437 of 31 December 2002, Article 121
  • Decree 261-59 of 20 January 1959, Article 1-4
  • Decree 2003-61 of 6 March 2003
  • Decree 90/135 of 31 March 1990, Article 1, 2, 5-9
  • Decree 2002-437 of 31 December 2002 Article 121, 135
  • Law No 018/89 of 31 October 1989, Article 1,2,3
  • Law 003/2007 of 24 January 2007, Article 6, 14, 18, 19, 20, 25, 27
  • Seaworthiness certificate: CEMAC interior navigation code
  • Code CIMA book V (tax), Article 77, 78, 503
  • Order No 5694 du 17 September 2001, Article 1-10,13
  • Order No 11599 of 15 November 2004, Article 1-24
  • Order 2844 of 12 April 2005, Article 1 à 5
  • CEMAC customs regulations, Article 110, 111.

 


Tax Laws

There are several Congolese tax laws that pertain to forestry and trade in the country. You can access the laws (in French) here. The financial consulting firm, Deloitte, has also compiled useful information regarding the Republic of the Congo's various tax requirements. Companies holding forest exploitation permits are required to pay the following export, import and forestry taxes: 1. Stumpage dues, 2. Area levy, 3. Tax on accessory forest products; and 4. Deforestation tax. Logging companies are also required to pay taxes under the General Tax Code. Most companies are required to may the corporate tax, which is 33% in the Congo. However, companies may qualify for special tax exemptions under the Investment Charter or a discount of 50% on the corporate tax. However, due to the lack of government capacity to develop local infrastructure, particularly in the northern part of the country, forestry companies often build the necessary roads and facilities on these public land, which can count in lieu of taxes. The Republic of the Congo's forestry taxes are reportedly low, and logging companies have considerable negotiation powers on timber volume and applied taxes. This has led to increased corruption. See "Related Links" for more information.


CITES Agreement Information

CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) is an international agreement among governments whose purpose is to ensure that international trade in wild animal and plant species does not threaten the survival of these species. A total of 180 countries have agreed to the CITES regulations, which is a legally binding agreement. It is up to each CITES Party to draft its own domestic legislation in order to comply with its CITES obligations.

See current list of member countries here

The Republic of Congo became Party in 1983. Congo is host to more than 6500 plant species, 200 mammal species, more than 600 inventoried bird species, 45 reptile species, 36 amphibian species, 103 fish species and at least 800 butterfly species! Presently, seven Congolese plant species are listed in CITES Appendix II, including one hardwood timber species, African Teak.

The Republic of Congo has three CITES listed tree species: Pericopsis elata (commonly known as Yellow Satinwood, African Teak, Assamela or Afromosia);Prunus africana (i.e. African Cherry, Red Stinkwood or Kanda Stick); and Cyathea camerooniana. has been an important commercial species for over 60 years. This has resulted in significant overharvesting an “endangered” status on the IUCN Redlist. In the Republic of Congo current populations are concentrated in the north of the country where harvesting has been less intensive. Pericopsis elata is listed under Appendix II of CITES and applies to logs, sawn wood and veneer sheets.

African Teak Assamela has been an important commercial species for over 60 years. This has resulted in significant overharvesting leading to an “endangered” status on the IUCN Redlist. Current populations are concentrated in the north where harvesting has been less intensive. This species is listed under Appendix II of CITES and applies to logs, sawn wood and veneer sheets. View Review of significant trade Pericopsis elata (2003)African Cherry has been listed in CITES Appendix II since 1995, and its listing applies to all parts and derivatives of the plant (with some exceptions such as seeds, seedlings, cut flowers, and fruit. (See COP15#4 for further information). The species is harvested for a range of purposes including for timber, and utilizing its bark’s medicinal properties. Prunus africana listed as vulnerable on the IUCN’s Redlist. View Trade Recommendations for Prunus Africana (2008)Cyathea camerooniana is a tree fern, but not an important commercial species in the Congolese timber trade. Cyathea spp. are listed under Appendix II of CITES, and its listing is applicable to all parts and derivatives of the plant (with some exceptions such as seeds, seedlings, cut flowers, fruit).

For more information on CITES and Congo, see the following resources:

Laws & Regulations

This section provides a list of local contacts who can serve as sources of further information, including industry associations, civil society organizations and government ministries.