Mozambique: Maputo begins process of regional customs liberalization

3 December 2007

Maputo, Mozambique, 3 Dec – A long list of goods from countries in the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) since December 1 has benefited from a reduction in customs taxes from 20 percent to 10 percent in Mozambique.

Also according to the Tributary Authority and Mozambique Customs, which published the list Friday, as of January the same goods shall be exempt from all customs taxes.

A number of other non-food goods saw a reduction in tariffs to 3 percent, as of December 1, and this figure is due to be reduced to zero on January 1.

Speaking Friday in Maputo, Rosário Fernande, the president of the Mozambique Tributary Authority , said that customs exemption “should not be seen as a threat, but rather as a challenge to fiscal and customs policy and as an open door for economic competitiveness and taking advantage of comparative benefits.”

During a press conference to provide information about the taxes payable following customs exemption, Fernandes said that the goods covered by tax reductions represented some 85 percent of total imports.

“We are talking about customs rights, and this should not be confused with other categories of tax on foreign trade, such as specific consumer taxes, import VAT and others, which will be kept at current levels. We are talking about customs taxes, which is one of the categories of tax in the set of charges applied to foreign contacts,” she said.

Fernandes added that in order to protect Mozambican production some horticultural products would not immediately be subject to customs tax exemptions. (macauhub)