Maputo — The Mozambican government intends to discourage the import of second hand vehicles, the government spokesperson, the Deputy Minister of Culture and Tourism, Ana Comoana, announced on Tuesday.
Speaking to reporters at the end of the weekly meeting of the Council of Ministers (Cabinet), Comoana said this would be achieved through alterations in the "Specific Consumption Tax", the tax levied on goods deemed superfluous or luxuries, including alcoholic drinks and vehicles.
She said the tax to be paid on imported vehicles that are more than seven years old will be raised, but the tax on new vehicles will be cut. The tax exemption on imported vehicles with less than 1,000 cubic centimeter engine capacity will be abolished. But Comoana did not specify the details of the new taxes.
The purpose of the change, she said, was to encourage the import of vehicles that could prove useful to the economy, and discourage the import of those which are reaching the end of their useful life span.
As for drinks, they will be taxed depending on the level of alcohol they contain. She added that soft drinks will also be taxed, for reasons of health (because of their high sugar content). An additional tax will be slapped on plastic bags to discourage their use.
The Council of Ministers also approved alterations to the customs tariff book. By way of example, Comoana cited goods used in the printing industry, on which import duties are cut from 20 to 7.5 per cent. The exemption from duty of frozen fish is abolished, and it will now pay customs duties at the standard rate of 20 per cent.
Comoana added that the government iss also introducing surtaxes on the imports of several types of merchandise, notably second hand clothing. These clothes will now pay an import surtax of 25 meticais (41 US cents) per kilo.
These tax and duty changes will not take effect until they have been approved by the Mozambican parliament, the Assembly of the Republic.