Mozambican Government to investigate complaints about cargo inspection at Maputo Port

12 March 2007

Maputo, Mozambique, 12 March – The Mozambican government plans to talk to the private sector in order to make a decision on the complaints made about the current price charged for non-intrusive inspection of goods, Mozambican daily newspaper, Notícias reported Friday.

Speaking to Mozambican news agency AIM, Finance Minister Manuel Chang said that what was currently being done “is work to find out what is right and what is wrong and to introduce the necessary corrections.”

Some companies, although they have not complained about the introduction of checks to the contents of containers using a scanner, have made complaints about the charges being applied by the Kudumba company, which in 2006 won the tender to introduce non-invasive customs inspections.

Amongst the companies that expressed concerns about the costs of the scanning system are Iniciativa Logística do Corredor de Maputo and Companhia de Desenvolvimento do Porto de Maputo, which considered the charges to be “unprecedented and unacceptable.”

The operators, especially exporters, have said that the charges for scanning are very high and could have an adverse effect on the economy.

Chang said that a working group had been set up to analyze the issues brought up by the companies because, he said, “the government is in fact interested in knowing what these companies want.”

The group is made up of representatives of the Confederation of Economic Associations of Mozambique (CTA), railroad company Caminhos de Ferro de Moçambique (CFM) and the ministries of Finance, Planning and Development, amongst others.

All the containers have to pay a charge of US$100 per TEU (twenty foot equivalent unit) for imports, US$70 for exports and US$40 when the container is in transit. When the container is empty a US$20 charge is applied.

As most containers are 40 feet long, or 2 TEU, an importer has to pay US$200 to receive his goods, which is US$200 more than before electronic inspection was introduced. (macauhub)