The Republic of Congo has announced a lifting of visa requirements for citizens of the Central African bloc, the Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa (CEMAC.)

In a government communication dated October 23, the Ministry of the Interior and Decentralization said all nationals of CEMAC region could enter Congolese territory without visa for any trip not exceeding 90 days.

The main condition being that the traveler holds an ordinary biometric passport, a biometric service passport or a valid diplomatic biometric passport.

The move comes after a recent decision by neighbouring Gabon. Countries in the CEMAC bloc are: Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon and Chad.

The visa waiver decision was taken in accordance with the agreement reached in 2013 on freedom of movement in Central Africa. Congo-Brazzaville now joins Gabon, Chad and the Central African Republic in its implementation.

Equatorial Guinea is the last in the bloc yet to ratify the agreement. Cameroon has a similar waiver but only applies to nationals of Congo, Chad and the Central African Republic.

Malabo’s reluctance is believed to be related to the fear of an influx of economic migrants given their booming oil exploitation driven economy.