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Import and export in Mozambique

The import and export in Mozambique, of goods and services is an essential activity for the growth of the national economy, as well as the expansion of the global market. Each country is endowed with certain advantages in resources and skills compared to others. Some countries, such as Mozambique, are rich in natural resources such as fossil fuels, wood, fertile soils, precious metals and minerals, while other countries are short of many of these resources. Furthermore, some countries have highly developed infrastructure, education systems and capital markets that allow them to engage in complex manufacturing and technological innovations, while many countries do not have such advantages.

Often, imported products offer a better price or more options to consumers and cannot be available otherwise or at a cheaper cost. On the other hand, the more a country exports, the more domestic economic activity it is promoting. More exports means more production, more jobs and higher revenues. Which means that exports make it possible to increase a country’s wealth and its economic growth.

Data from the Economic Complexity Observatory for the year 2019 place Mozambique as the 121st world economy in terms of GDP, 111th in total exports, and 92nd in terms of total imports, being the 131st most complex economy. The most recent exports are led by coal briquettes, raw aluminum, petroleum gas, raw tobacco and electricity. On the other hand, imports are led by refined petroleum, chromium ore, iron ore, aluminum oxide, not to mention agricultural and medicinal products.

Requirements and Documentation for licensing the activity

Several measures have been taken to simplify foreign trade in Mozambique. The most significant in the case of imports was the abolition of the licensing requirement for each individual import. As of December 1998, the Simplified Single Document or DU was introduced as the main entry and exit control document for goods in the country. Some imported products are subject to pre-shipment inspection, a procedure carried out by companies contracted by the government. Inspections include verification of quality, quantity, price, tariff for later indication of the duties to be paid. Products that require pre-shipment inspection are designated on a list that includes items such as grains, flour, sugar, cooking oil, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, tires, used clothing and vehicles.

Licensing import and export in Mozambique

Importer and exporter in Mozambique is subject to licensing. The licenses take the form of a card and are issued by the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, and the operationalization of their issuance it is up to the Provincial Governor and the Provincial Directors of Industry and Commerce. Licenses are issued for the import or export of specific categories of items based on the operating license (alvará) of the applicant entity. To apply for a licence, the company’s right to import or export must be stated in the statutes. Therefore, it is recommended that companies apply for their own import or export licenses.

The issuance of import and export licenses is regulated by Decree 34/2013 of 2 August. The application is made using a form, the models of which are included in the Decree, in addition, applicants must submit a letter accompanied by:

• A certified copy of the organization’s statutes (escritura), or the Boletim da República, in which the statutes were published. The statutes must specifically indicate that the company intends to carry out the import and/or export activity;

• Certified copy of the commercial registration certificate issued by the Registry Office;

• Proof of obtaining the operating license in the form of a certified copy of this license (alvará);

• Proof of registration with the Ministry of Finance in the form of a certified copy of Model 01 (Form of the Ministry of Finance assigning the individual taxpayer number or NUIT);

• Certified copy of the organization’s representative’s identity document.

Import and export licenses must be issued within 7 days of receiving the application. However, if this has not happened and there is no technical reason to reject the application, the issuing body issues a declaration valid for no more than 60 days to allow the applicant to carry out its activities during the processing of the application. Import licenses are renewable annually, with renewal following the same process as the initial application, while export licenses are renewed every five years. The fees payable for renewal are the same as for the initial order.

Read Also: Oil and Gas in Mozambique: Opportunities for business

Dispatch or Intermediaries

In Mozambique, in addition to the legal process that must be processed in person, it is recommended to hire agents who facilitate the import and export processes, the so-called “brokers” who relate to the customs authorities on behalf of their customers. . Dispatchers are individuals or legal entities authorized by the government, licensed to interact with the customs authority. They are the only people so licensed, which means that individuals and agents who wish to move goods into, out of or through Mozambique are required to engage the services of a broker.


A number of key documents are required for import and export purposes. It is necessary to check with customs authorities, agents or carriers prior to shipment to ensure that you have all the correct documents necessary for your goods to reach their destination. Documents may include: proof of MIC importer authorization; Transit document (if necessary); Original invoices; DU certified in cases where pre-shipment inspection is carried out; Title deed, bill of lading, air waybill or arrival notice; Certificate of origin (if applicable); Other documents such as authorization of exemptions, phytosanitary certificate, license of veterinary services; Fee guide, in cases where verification is required outside normal business hours.

Other procedures related to the import and export in Mozambique

Other complementary procedures may be required as part of the import or export process, but in general, the requirements announced above cover the entire legal aspect of importing and exporting in Mozambique. Services such as pre-shipment inspection are provided to the Mozambican government by a private company. Pre-shipment inspections for goods entering and leaving Mozambique are carried out in accordance with IFIA and WTO guidelines. To import the importer must have an import permit and verify that the goods they intend to import are included in the “Positive List”, which lists all classifications of goods subject to pre-shipment inspection. Only items on the list are subject to pre-shipment inspection. Importers or exporters may also apply for Preferential Treatment, which is the benefit given to a certain commodity which, when accompanied by a Certificate of Origin, enjoys a reduction or elimination of customs duties.

Read Also: How to apply in a public tender in Mozambique?

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