Mozambique: Government Gives Way to Business Protest On Border Fee

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Maputo — The Mozambican government is preparing to suspend collection of new fee charged on vehicles crossing the country's borders, reports Thursday's issue of the independent newssheet "Mediafax".

The "on-board monitoring and inspection fee" was introduced by the National Immigration Service, and has been in force since August 2020.

Mozambican companies could see no justification for the new fee, which simply made cross-border trade more expensive. The fee varies depending on the size of the vehicle - for a heavy truck, it can be 824 meticais (about 14 US dollars, at current exchange rates) every time it crosses a Mozambican border.

The Confederation of Mozambican Business Associations (CTA) opposed the fee right from the start, regarding it as yet another unjustified tax on business.

The CTA argued that it also makes no sense for the government to introduce new fees at a time when so many Mozambican companies are struggling to survive in the face of the economic fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to "Mediafax", the suspension of the fee has already received the go-ahead from the Ministry of Economy and Finance, and a decree to that effect now awaits the signature of the Minister of the Interior, since it is the Interior Ministry that supervises the Immigration Service.

The suspension will only take effect once it has been published in the official gazette, the "Boletim da Republica".

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