Frequently Asked Questions


General Questions on Trade

Q: How do I get a license to trade?
A: In order to import or export, a license from the Ministry of Industry and Commerce must be obtained at one of their Single Windows (Balcões Únicos de Atendimento). For more information on the requirements and process, see here.

Q: What is Mozambique doing to stimulate trade?
A: Mozambique is a member of SADC, a regional trade bloc which has eliminated duties, in order to create a free trade area and stimulate regional trade. A number of SADC countries, including Mozambique, have also concluded an Economic Partnership Agreement with the European Union, allowing preferential access to the EU market. Mozambique also has bilateral trade agreements with Malawi and Zimbabwe. For more information, see here.

Q: What is Mozambique doing to make trading easier and more efficient?
A: Mozambique recently ratified the Trade Facilitation Agreement of the WTO, and is implementing reforms to improve the efficiency and ease of trade, as well as increasing information about trade. This portal is one element of that, while more information can be found here.

Q: How can I access legislation related to trade?
A: This portal contains a great deal of information, including access to legislation. Click here for access to legislation relating to trade, including customs rules and procedures, Sanitary and Phytosanitary legislation, and product-specific legislation. The Revenue Authority website also provide information on legislation, as well as up to date notifications and circulares.

Q: What is the Harmonized System and is Mozambique’s tariff schedule aligned with it?
A: The Harmonized System (HS) is an international list of products organized into chapters and subchapters, allocating a unique code to over 5000 product lines. The HS code of a product is made up of the Chapter (first 2 digits), the Sub Chapter (next 2 digits) and the Sub heading (last 2 digits). Up to these first 6 digits, the code for a product is the same in every country that uses the HS code. Countries are free to add extra digits to further sub-divide categories if necessary. For example, the HS code for Maize meal would be 100590, i.e. Chapter 10 (Cereals), Subchapter 05 (Maize), Subheading 90 (Other than Seed).


Sanitary and Phytosanitary Issues

Q: What is a Phytosanitary License?
A: A phytosanitary license is a license for import of plants and plant products – including vegetables, plants, seeds, fruits and products made from these. To check whether your product requires a license, consult the database. A phytosanitary license stipulates the requirements for import of a determined product – for example, freedom from disease, not originating from a specific region etc.

Q: What is a Phytosanitary Certificate?
A: A phytosanitary certificate is a certificate that confirms a consignment has been inspected by an authorized institution, for export of plants and plant products – including vegetables, plants, seeds, fruits and products made from these. A phytosanitary certificate confirms the conformity of the product with the requirements of the destination country for a determined product – for example, freedom from disease or not originating from a specific region etc. To check whether your product requires a certificate, consult the database.

Q: What is a Sanitary License?
A: A sanitary license is a license for import of animals and meat, fish and other food products. A sanitary license stipulates the requirements for import of a determined product – for example, freedom from disease, not originating from a specific region etc. To check whether your product requires a license, consult the database.

Q: What is a Sanitary Certificate?
A: A sanitary certificate is a certificate that confirms a consignment has been inspected by an authorized institution, for export of animals, meat, fish and other food products. A sanitary certificate confirms the conformity of the product with the requirements of the destination country for a determined product – for example, freedom from disease or not originating from a specific region etc. To check whether your product requires a certificate, consult the database.

Q: What products need a Phytosanitary License to Import and a Phytosanitary Certificate to Export?
A: To check if a specific product requires a phytosanitary or sanitary license to import, or a phytosanitary or sanitary certificate for export, check the requirements in the database.

Q: How do I get a Sanitary License?
A: To obtain a sanitary license for live animals, meat or related products, application must be made to the Ministry of Agriculture, Veterinary Department. For full information, click here
To obtain a sanitary license for seafood and aquatic products, application must be made to the National Institute for Seafood Inspection (INIP). For full information, click here.

Q: How do I get a Phytosanitary License?
A: To obtain a phytosanitary license for plants and plant products, application must be made to the Ministry of Agriculture, Department of Plant Health (Sanidade Vegetal). For full information, click here.

Q: How do I get a Sanitary Certificate?
A: To obtain a sanitary certificate for live animals, meat or related products, application must be made to the Ministry of Agriculture, Veterinary Department. For full information, click here. To obtain a sanitary certificate for seafood and aquatic products, application must be made to the National Institute for Seafood Inspection (INIP). For full information, click here.

Q: How do I get a Phytosanitary Certificate?
A: To obtain a phytosanitary certificate for plants and plant products, application must be made to the Ministry of Agriculture, Department of Plant Health (Sanidade Vegetal). For full information, click here

Q: What is required to Import Live animals or Animal Products?
A: For a full overview of the process of importing live animals and animal products, including licensing and customs procedures, click here.

Q: What is required to import fruit, vegetables, seeds and products of vegetable origin?
A: For a full overview of the process of importing fruit, vegetables, seeds and products of vegetable origin click here.

Q: What is required to import seafood, shellfish and products of aquatic origin?
A: For a full overview of the process of importing seafood, shellfish and products of aquatic origin click here.

Q: Is quarantine obligatory for import of live animals?
A: Yes, for 40 days. For more information and a link to the relevant legislation, see here.

Q: Can quarantine take place at the importers’ premises?
A: Yes, under certain conditions and if approved by the relevant officials from the Ministry of Agriculture; for more information and a link to the relevant legislation, see here.

Q: Will my imported products that require a Sanitary or Phytosanitary license be inspected at the border?
A: All goods are inspected by customs officials on arrival at a border (including land, rail, sea and air borders). If your product has extra import requirements, for example a sanitary (e.g. live animals, animal products, seafood) or phytosanitary license (vegetables and products of vegetable origin) then your product will likely be inspected by officials from the institution which emits the license. In some cases, for example seafood and aquatic products, inspection can take place at the importers’ premises. For detailed, product by product information, consult the database on this portal.


Special Requirements to Import or Export Certain Products

Q: How do I find out if there are any special requirements to import or export a particular product?
A: The database  provides information for all products, and is aligned with the tariff schedule. To search for a specific product, if you know the HS code or code in the tariff schedule, then you can input this to identify your product and all the duties, taxes, documentation and procedures related to import or export that particular product. If you do not know the HS code, the database can also be searched through clicking on each chapter and subchapter until you find your product.

Q: Do I have to be registered as an importer/exporter with a specific institution for specific products?
A: For medications (whether for human or veterinary use), fertilizers and some other products an importer/exporter must be registered not only with the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, but also with the relevant government institution that oversees safety and quality standards. For medication for human use, and some cosmetic products, the importer/exporter must be registered with the Ministry of Health. For veterinary medication, the importer/exporter must be registered with the Veterinary Directorate of the Ministry of Agriculture, and for fertilizer and other agricultural chemicals, the importer/exporter must be registered with the Ministry of Agriculture, Agrochemicals Section. For more information on specific product requirements, check the database

Q: How do I Import Medicines and Medical Products?
A: To import medication and medical products for human use, there are special procedures including pre-registration with the Ministry of Health. For full details, see here.

Q: How do I Import Veterinary Medication?
A: To import medication for veterinary use, there are special procedures including pre-registration with the Ministry of Agriculture. For full details, see here.

Q: How do I Import Fertilizers, Pesticides and Other Agricultural Chemicals?
A: To import agricultural chemicals, there are special procedures including pre-registration with the Ministry of Agriculture. For full details, see here.

Q: How do I import vehicles?
A: To import vehicles, there are special procedures including pre shipment inspection and obtaining a police clearance document as well as obtaining from customs a document to permit registration of the vehicle. For full details, see here.

Q: Are there any products that are restricted for Import or Export, or that are prohibited?
A: Yes. Certain products are restricted or prohibited. These are listed in the General Rules of Customs Clearance, Annex 1.

Q: How do I find out about any labelling or standards requirements?
A: Certain products are regulated by Mozambique and have labelling, minimum standards etc. defined. While Customs officials are responsible for checking compliance with these standards, it is the National Institute for Standards and Quality (INNOQ) that defines these, in collaboration with relevant ministries. For more information on specific technical regulations related to standards and quality, contact the INNOQ enquiry focal point, details here.

Q: Are there any special requirements for import of alcoholic beverages?
A: Yes. A special seal must be applied to alcoholic beverages. For more information, and the relevant legislation, see here.

Q: Are there any special requirements for import of tobacco?
A: Yes. A special seal must be applied to processed tobacco. For more information, and the relevant legislation, see here.

Q: Are there any special requirements for the import of sugar?
A: Yes, there is an import tax which is defined periodically. For more information, see here.


Customs Issues

Q: What is a standard import process and what are the documents required?
A: For a full overview of the requirements and process for a standard import process, see here.

Q: What is a standard export process and what are the documents required?
A: For a full overview of the requirements and process for a standard export process, see here.

Q: What is a termo de compromisso from a commercial bank and when do I need it?
A: The termo de compromisso is required for import and for export and is related to the Central Bank supervision of exchange controls. It is a document issued by the commercial bank of the importer/exporter, which needs to be submitted to customs, in which the bank confirms that the importer/exporter is their client and that the bank commits to sending the required documentation to the central bank relating to the import/export operation. For more information, see Note n° 20/GBM/2017, of the Bank of Mozambique.

Q: What is the ‘Tax on Specific Consumption’ and which products does it apply to?
A: The Tax on Specific Consumption is a tax applied to certain products – whether imported or produced locally – which are considered to be ‘luxury’ or harmful products. Certain vehicles, alcohol, tobacco and other products are included. For information on whether a product is subject to this tax (ICE in the Portuguese acronym), search for the product in the database. For more information on the ICE, see here.

Q: What is Pre-Shipment Inspection and to which products does it apply?
A: Pre-Shipment Inspection (PSI) is a process whereby prior to shipment, certain goods are inspected in their country of provenance and the customs declaration (Single customs document or document único in Portuguese) is certified by qualified staff of the company chosen by the government of Mozambique to confirm classification and valuation. To check whether a product is subject to PSI, search for it in the database. For more information on the requirements and process of PSI if required, see here.

Q: Is the use of a customs broker obligatory?
A: Yes, in Mozambique at the current time, the use of a customs broker, who is qualified and registered, is obligatory. Companies may however have in-house brokers, as long as they have passed the exam and are appropriately registered.

Q: What is the Single Electronic Window?
A:Single Electronic Window is defined as a system through are standardized information is submitted fulfilling all customs formalities. The system consists of two SeW embedded platforms, namely: MCMS and TradeNet intended for use by different users.

Q: Does submission of documents have to be electronic?
A: Yes, all documents are now uploaded into the Single Electronic Window, allowing for customs formalities to start even before the physical arrival of goods.

Q: What is an Authorised Economic Operator and how to apply?
A: An Authorised Economic Operator is a company (importer, exporter, transport operator etc) who, given their compliance with certain safety, financial and customs requirements, has the right to a specific priority treatment by customs, such as for example faster customs clearance and greater reliance on post-clearance audit. It is generally suitable for large companies with excellent record keeping, organized premises and no recent history of irregularities with customs or other state entities. For more information contact the Directorate General of Customs (see the contact list for contacts) or consult the legislation here.

Q: What is a Certificate of Origin, when is it required, and how can I obtain it in Mozambique?
A: Certificates of origin are used to document the origin of goods for the purposes of preferential tariff treatment and for other purposes. In Mozambique, if exporting to SADC, certificates of origin can be obtained from Customs. For more information see here. Certificates of Origin if exporting to other countries are obtained from the Mozambican Chamber of Commerce, see here.


If you still have questions after consulting these FAQs, please contact the National Trade Facilitation Committee using the form on this portal, or via email at cnfc.mocambique@yahoo.com.