Mozambican state takes on customs management once again

7 July 2006

Maputo, Mozambique, 07 July – The Mozambican state this week once again took on direct management of the country’s customs as the management contract with Crown Agents for Overseas Governments and Administrators came to an end, officials said.

The end of the contract, which was signed in 1996, was marked in Maputo with a ceremony attended by the minister of finance, Manuel Chang, who did not comment on the government’s future plans for customs services, the management of which could either remain in state hands or be handed over to a private entity.

According to daily newspaper Notícias, Chang said that modernization of customs services was one of the main focuses of the policy drawn up after the end of the civil war in 1992 in order to make the transition to a market economy, adopt a taxation system and mechanisms for applying taxes that made it possible to rapidly increase state revenue.

he also said that in the ten years of crown Agents’ management, customs revenue had increased over 350 percent, and that targets set for elimination of fraud and corruption in the importing and exporting of products had also been reached.

Chang added that the current time taken for customs release was “already within international standards,” and that all key customs posts and ports were computerized and made use of modern legislation and procedures.

At the ceremony, David Phillip, executive of the former management company, said that “Mozambique’s customs are ready to respond to the challenges of the future and Crown Agents is proud of the role it has had in this unique process.”

In 2005, Mozambican customs revenue increased 22 percent to 301 million euros due to greater movement of people and goods made possible by visa exemptions implemented with several neigboring countries.

For 2006, Mozambique’s customs services expect revenue of around 350 million euros, or a 16 percent rise on last year. (macauhub)