The SADC, COMESA and EAC Tripartite alliance has been urged by various Zimbabwean, Zambian and Malawian exporters to salvage a potential crippling situation occurring at Mozambique borders. This follows the recent implementation of a new transit bond guarantee system which in conjunction with the Single Window system is allegedly causing significant delays, including loss of business and spiralling demurrage for transit goods emanating from these landlocked countries, en route for export from various Mozambique ports, Beira in particular.
Complaint no. NTB-000-578 in terms of ‘Lengthy and costly customs clearance procedures’ was lodged and can be viewed in full on the Tripartite’s NTB portal. Amongst the various problems sited, the complainants request the following of Mozambique –
- Mozambique Ministry of Finance is requested to get customs to consider a parallel system to run with the electronic single window programme to clear the backlog in Beira port now and also consider providing release against Report orders to reduce further downtime in port . This will be a stop-gap measure until the customs staff are well versed , fully trained and that the new system can work well.
- Mozambique authorities to facilitate arrangements with Cornelder to consider waiving storage for this special situation or at least offer 75% credit on the bills due which I must say are now astronomical based on the days the cargo has stayed in port both imports and exports.
- Mozambique authorities to facilitate arrangements with shipping lines to consider waiving completely the demurrage due on the empty containers or at least give say 15-21 more days grace period before demurrage starts accruing.
- Mozambique authorities to facilitate arrangements that Mozambique customs get technical assistance to assist roll this new programme out without causing huge catastrophes like this.
Mozambique has acknowledged the complaint and expressed regret over the developments. Mozambique reported that the issue was receiving urgent attention and they would provide feed back shortly.
- Mozambique – New customs transit regulation (mpoverello.com)