Sanitary and phytosanitary licenses and certificates permit countries to ensure that goods being imported comply with established standards with regard to food safety and plant and animal health. The objectives are to ensure safety of products for human consumption and to avoid the spread of animal or plant pests and diseases. Sanitary and phytosanitary measures can take many forms, such as requiring products to come from a disease-free area, inspection of products, specific treatment or processing of products, setting of allowable maximum levels of pesticide residues or permitted use of only certain additives in food. Sanitary (human and animal health) and phytosanitary (plant health) measures apply to domestically produced food or local animal and plant diseases, as well as to products coming from other countries.
In Mozambique, two main institutions are involved in the issue of Sanitary (animal and seafood) and Phytosanitary (plant) certificates and licenses:
- The Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security issues phytosanitary licenses (for import) and certificates (for export) through the Department of Plant Health, while the Veterinary Directorate issues sanitary licenses (for import) and certificates (for export) for live animals and for products of animal origin.
- The National Institute for Seafood Inspection (INIP) issues sanitary licenses (for import) and certificates (for export) for fish, seafood and associated products.