• Communications and Infrastructure
  • Standard Bank of SA Ltd Representation
  • Available Risk Cover
  • RSA Exports – Recommended Terms
  • Foreign Exchange
  • Trade General
  • Documentation
  • Other Documentation
  • Marking of Goods and Packages

Communications and Infrastructure

Location and Size

  • Mozambique is bordered by Tanzania in the north, Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe on the west, South Africa and Swaziland on the south and southwest.
  • It has a coastline along the Indian Ocean on the east ± 2.750 km².
  • Total area: ± 801,590 km².

Principal Commercial Centres

  • Maputo: main port and commercial, financial and industrial centre.
  • Beira: acts as the business and transport hub for the central region of the country and is the second seaport serving the hinterland and Zimbabwe.
  • Nampula: main commercial centre in northern Mozambique.
  • Nacala: northern container port designed to provide Malawi with an outlet to the sea.
  • Other centres include Quelimane, Tete and Inhambane.

Main Economic Activities

  • Agriculture – is the mainstay of the economy and liberalisation has taken place in the area of crop marketing. Foreign investment has focused on the cotton and sugar (Sena Sugar Co. – Mauritius) sectors. Major crops include citrus, tea, sugar cane, rice, ground nuts, tobacco, cotton, sisal, copra, cashew nuts, oil seeds, cassava, coconuts, maize, wood, meat, poultry, vegetables, sorghum, tomatoes, beans and corn.
  • Industry – state privatisation programmes involving state manufacturing companies is lend impetus to economic reforms. Industrial activity concentrates on textiles, and beverage and food processing. Substantial foreign investment has been fed into metal production (aluminium and steel), power generation (Motraco, joint venture between South Africa, Swaziland and Mozambique), natural gas (Sasol and Enron) and transportation services. Mozal, the aluminium smelting plant, has begun producing aluminium for export. Mozal encompasses a joint venture between UK’s Billiton, Japan’s Mitsubishi and SA’s Industrial Development Corporation. There is small scale production of consumer goods such as soap, cigarettes, batteries, salt, shoes and matches, and heavy industry which includes cement, paper, fertiliser, tyres, graphical art, lubricating oil, truck and bicycle assembly, chemicals, paint, petroleum products, glass, asbestos and tobacco.
  • Fishing and forestry are assuming increasing importance and are receiving sizeable financial input from foreign investors for development. Seafood (crustaceans) is one of Mozambique’s key food exports.
  • Mining – Mozambique has numerous mineral deposits, such as gold, coal, ilmenite, graphite, fluorite, apatite, heavy mineral sands, rare metals, pegmatite ores, precious and semi-precious stones, ornamental rocks (marble and granite), diatomite, pearlite, bentonite, titanium and natural gas. Diamond, oil and gas exploration is set to expand Mozambique’s mining scope. Sasol has signed an agreement with the Mozambican government for the joint development of the Pande and Temane gas fields. Sasol and Enron subsidiaries are co-operating on the building of a gas pipeline from Mozambique to South Africa. Diamond exploration by a Portuguese company began in 1999


Direct dialling is available from South Africa on dial code 09258 followed by area code and then subscriber’s number.

Area codes:

  • Maputo 1
  • Xai-Xai 22
  • Beira 3
  • Chokwe 21
  • Tete 52
  • Chimoio 51
  • Nampula 6
  • Nacala 6
  • Quelimane 4

Reliable telex and fax facilities are available in Beira, Maputo, Quelimane, Nampula, Nacala and Pemba. Telefax communication is becoming more and more popular among the business community.

A fairly good telephone service is available in Mozambique.

Weights and Measures

The metric system is utilised.


  • Car hire is available in Maputo and Beira. Taxis are only available in Maputo and Beira. Driving is on the left side of the road. International driver’s licences and South African driver’s licences are recognised in Mozambique.
  • Religion: North of Mozambique, the coastal region is predominantly Moslem. Christian communities are mainly in the urban centres.
  • Trade data:
  • GDP (ppp): USD 18.7 billion (1999 est.)
  • GDP real growth rate: 10% (1999 est.)
  • GDP per capita (ppp): USD 1000 (1999 est.)
  • GDP composition by sector (1998 est.):

– agriculture: 34%
– industry: 18%

– services: 48%

  • Inflation rate: 4% (1999 est.)
  • Trade data:
  • Total Mozambican exports: USD 300 million (f.o.b. 1999 est.)
  • Total Mozambican imports: USD 1.6 billion (c.i.f. 1999 est.)
  • RSA exports to Mozambique: R 4 078 952 202 (1999)
    R 2 646 952 337 (1998)
    RSA’s main exports to Mozambique: machinery and mechanical appliances, electrical equipment, parts thereof; mineral products; base metals and articles thereof; vehicles, aircraft, vessels and associated transport equipment; prepared foodstuffs; beverages, spirits, and vinegar; tobacco and manufactured tobacco substitutes.
  • RSA imports from Mozambique: R 132 558 332 (1999)
    R 173 369 243 (1998)
  • Mozambique’s main imports from RSA: textiles and textile articles; live animals, animal products; prepared foodstuffs and beverages, and tobacco; plastics and articles thereof, rubber and articles thereof; wood and articles of wood; machinery and mechanical appliances, electrical equipment, parts thereof.


  • The FACIM – Maputo International Trade Fair, is held every year in August/September.
  • EXPOTELECOM MOCAMBIQUE (International telecommunications, communications and Internet conference and exhibition)
  • CONSTRUA MOCAMBIQUE (international exhibition for construction, public works and transport)
  • EXPOTRANS (international exhibition and conference for transport and logistics)

Standard Bank of SA Ltd Representation

  • Banco Standard Totta de Mocambique’s major shareholders are Banco Totta & Acores of Lisbon and the Standard Bank of South Africa. Banco Standard Totta de Mocambique provides all demands of modern day trade finance and banking, at both domestic and international levelsand is represented in all major centres.
  • Banco Standard Totta de Mocambique is a leader of the Mocambican banking system in:
  • trade finance
  • the opening of accounts in local and major foreign currencies
  • banking guarantees
  • all current invisibles operations
  • documentary credits
  • collections

Available Risk Cover

Credit Guarantee Insurance Corporation (CGIC) provides cover to South African companies exporting to Mozambique.

  • Short term credit: open for cover, no restrictions.
  • Medium to long term credit: applications considered case by case.

RSA Exports – Recommended Terms

Confirmed letter of credit. Standard Bank of South Africa Limited has the capacity to confirm letters of credit issued by prime Mozambique Banks.

Foreign Exchange

  • The importation and exportation of local currency is prohibited.
  • Foreign exchange transactions including the surrender of foreign exchange proceeds are effected through commercial banks.
  • The Central Bank controls all transfers of capital and payments into and out of Mozambique. The Central Bank may authorise foreign currency bank accounts for certain projects on application.
  • The Commerce Ministry is responsible for export/import licences.

Trade General

  • All imports exceeding USD 500 are subject to licensing by the Ministry of Commerce (boletim de registro de importacao or BRI).
  • The customs tariff is based on the Customs Co-operation Council Nomenclature (CCCN).
  • Bonded warehouses are available wherever there are customs services.
  • Beira and Maputo Free Trade Zones were officially approved but are not yet operating.
  • The Government of Mozambique welcomes and encourages direct foreign and national investment.
  • Samples of no commercial value are admitted duty-free.
  • Plans are underway to establish four Industrial Free Zones (IFZ) in Mozambique.
  • There are no specific government regulations or requirements governing counter-trade.
  • Customs tariffs are applicable to all goods, immaterial of their origin.


Air Waybill

  • Air cargo shipments require air waybills. The number of copies issued is based on the requirements of the airline used.

Bill of Lading

  • No special regulations. Shipping marks and numbers should correspond with those on the commercial invoice, and on the goods.

Certificate of Origin

  • Not a required document, however, it may be requested. Minimum two copies. .

Commercial Invoice

  • Minimum of two copies required. Invoices should, preferably, be in Portuguese. Follow the importer’s instructions in this regard.

Import Licenses

  • All imports exceeding the equivalent of USD500 are subject to licensing by the Ministry of Commerce.

Insurance Certificate

  • Follow the importer’s and/or insurance company’s advice.

Packing List

  • Recommended to facilitate the clearance of goods through customs.

Permits and Visas

  • All visitors require visas.
  • Valid passport is also required.

Preshipment Inspection

  • With effect from October 1992 an inspection certification issued by an international agency engaged by the Government (currently Inchcape Testing Services International Ltd.) is mandatory for all goods imported into Mozambique. Pre-shipment inspection includes the customary price, quality and quantity inspection.

Pro-forma Invoice

  • Three copies of this invoice are required to support an application for an import licence. The pro-forma invoice must contain the following information: All details necessary must define the nature of the goods; quantities; values per unit; F.O.B. values of goods; transportation charges and insurance fees; other data requested by the importer.

Other Documentation

  • Phytosanitary Certificates are required for imports of plants and seeds.
  • Veterinary Health Certificates are required for imports of animals and animal products.
  • Straw used in any type of container or packing must be covered by a Certificate of Sterilisation.
  • Certificate of Fumigation required for imports of used clothing.
  • Medical products must be registered in Mozambique prior to importation. There are special regulations governing the importation of drugs.

Marking of Goods and Packages

  • Canned goods and foodstuffs must be labelled or marked with the name and address of the manufacturer or canner, the brand or mark, grade (where applicable), contents (in English and Portuguese) and net and gross weight (in metric units).
  • Containers of sterilised, powdered and condensed milk must also be labelled with directions for consumer use in Portuguese.
  • Pharmaceutical specialities must be labelled to show the composition of the product and must be properly packaged for direct sale.
  • Marking of shipping packages should be in indelible ink or paint directly on the container and not on removable labels.
  • Packages should bear the consignee’s mark, including port mark and they should be numbered unless the shipment is such that the contents of the packages can be readily identified without numbers.

Shaun Bakamoso

Greetings. I'm Shaun Bakamoso, and I'm thrilled to be your guide through the dynamic world of business news in South Africa here at With a passion for staying informed and a keen interest in the ever-evolving landscape of business, I've dedicated myself to providing you with timely, insightful, and comprehensive coverage of the latest developments impacting the South African economy. / Instagram