Buying and Selling

flag Mozambique Mozambique: Buying and Selling

In this page: Market Access Procedures | Reaching the Consumers | Distributing a Product | E-commerce | Organizing Goods Transport | Identifying a Supplier


Market Access Procedures

International Conventions
Member of the World Trade Organization (WTO)
International Economic Cooperation
Member of Southern African Development Community (SADC)

Member of African Union

Member of Cotonou Agreement

Member of African Growth and Opportunity Act beneficiary country

Non Tariff Barriers
Mozambique does not apply import quotas.  The often time-consuming and bureaucratic customs clearance procedures are considered by many to be a significant non-tariff barrier.  The 2017 Doing Business Report ranks Mozambique 106th in trading across borders, up from 129th in 2016.  However, it should be noted that cost and time to export and import are all well under Sub-Saharan Africa averages on this indicator.
Customs Duties and Taxes on Imports
According to the Heritage Foundation's 2016 Economic Freedom Index, Mozambique’s trade-weighted average tariff is 4.2%, and slow customs procedures interfere with the free flow of trade. Mozambique is ranked 37th out of 48 countries in the Sub-Saharan Africa region, and its overall score is below the world average. Duties on imported goods range from 0 to 25%. A duty of 20% is levied on consumer goods and a value-added tax of 17% is also assessed at the time of importation.

Customs Classification
Mozambique is a member of the World Customs organisation and does comply with the harmonised customs system.
Import Procedures
Some documents are required to import to Mozambique:

  • Import license
  • Commercial invoice
  • Packing list
  • Bill of Entry
  • Certificate of Origin
  • Transport document (road manifest, AWB or Bill of Lading).
  • Cargo release order
  • Delivery order
  • Inspection report
  • Payment receipts

No import taxes, aside from tariffs and VAT, are imposed, except on sugar and some luxury items.  All importers must be licensed by the National Directorate of Trade, which is part of the Ministry of Industry and Commerce.  Registration is straightforward and has not been used as a non-tariff barrier.

Importing Samples
There is no specific procedures for samples shipments. Sample shipments require the same set of documents as a normal shipment.
The value of goods should still appear on the commercial invoice indicating "for customs clearance purpose only'' on the invoice.
Zero value invoices are not acceptable.
For Further Information
Mozambique Tax Administration
Business Portal for Africa

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Reaching the Consumers

Marketing opportunities

Consumer Profile
With over 32.8 million Mozambicans (IMF, 2021), 65.48% of whom are below 25 years old (CIA World Factbook, 2020 est.), and a high GDP growth, the Mozambique marketplace holds significant potential. According to the IMF, in 2021, the GDP per capita based on PPP for Mozambique is Int$ 1,290 (from USD 416.51 in 1998). However, low-income consumer segments dominate Mozambique. In fact, the benefits of such growth - largely driven by a series of megaprojects - have been mainly confined to resource boom enclaves and urban areas, only benefiting a small minority of Mozambicans, leaving most of the rural population in a similar situation to that of a decade ago.
Although six out of ten Mozambicans live in rural areas, the urban population growth is faster than the rural population growth. Currently, women are more numerous than men (51.4% against 48.6%, respectively in 2019 - World Bank, latest data available).
Consumer Behaviour
Mozambicans tend to shop at traditional trade points such as kiosks, tabletops, container stores and open markets. In bigger cities, especially the capital Maputo, shopping malls are becoming more popular, as they are not only seen as a place to shop, but also an entertainment location.
Mozambican consumers are keen to try new products, with affordability being the key purchase factor. According to a survey by Nielsen, Mozambicans are not willing to pay more for customized products, they believe that they should have limited desires, and prefer spending time at home with family to going out with friends. Mozambicans, the youth, in particular, can feel strongly that traditional values and cultural pressures inhibit them from leading a free lifestyle.
The e-commerce market is still in its infancy in Mozambique, as the vast majority of the population does not have access to credit or debit cards and therefore cannot shop online.  The lack of reliable shipping services to locations outside of the major cities is another factor that hampers e-commerce's growth.
Consumers Associations
Association for the Defense of Consumers of Mozambique
Main Advertising Agencies
Zwela Moçambique

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Distributing a Product

Evolution of the Sector
According to the 2016 A.T. Kearney report, Mozambique emerged as the 15th most attractive country for these bonds. The consulting firm believes that the Mozambican retail sector is dominated by South African companies, particularly Shoprite, but also that the impact of economic growth, the highest in Africa, mainly related to mining activity is not felt to a great extent in the cities. International investors remain cautious in a country with deteriorating political risk.
The remoteness of mining activities from urban centers combined with Mozambique’s sheer size mean that the impact is not felt in the cities but rather much further away. At the same time, consumer spending per capita growth is slowing down, and urbanization is not increasing, creating a compound effect for the retail sector.
Market share

The main international retailers in Mozambique are:

Retail Sector Organisations
Chamber of Commerce and Industry Mozambique

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Internet access
According to the International Telecommunication Union, out of a population of 29.6 million, only 17.5% have access to the internet. Although the number is small in comparison to other countries, it is growing with the advent of low-cost smartphones.
Data from the Instituto Nacional das Comunicaçőes de Moçambique shows that in 2017 there were 40 mobile subscriptions registered for every 100 inhabitants.
The most popular web search engines in Mozambique are Google (97.6%), Bing and Yahoo (1.2% and 0.9% respectively).
E-commerce market
The e-commerce market is still at its early stage in Mozambique. Domestic online transactions are really low, but expected to grow with the improvements to the IT infrastructures and the emergence of an urban middle class.
Among the factors that hamper the growth of the e-commerce market, there is the fact that many Mozambicans do not possess credit or debit cards and therefore cannot shop online. Mobile applications such as mKesh by Mcel and M-Pesa by Vodacom are aimed at facilitating the transfer of money and are commonly used in remote areas where users have limited access to banks and financial institutions. Shipping is also a problem, as it is quite hard to reach locations outside of the major cities.

Currently, the government is trying to boost online retail, and in January 2017 it approved the Electronic Transactions Law, which constitutes the legal framework for the development of the e-commerce in the country.

The main platforms to buy online are Amazon and Alibaba, together with Izyshop (grocery), Compras and Xava (electronics), OLX (marketplace) and Jumia (clothing).
Concerning B2B e-commerce, local companies are purchasing more and more online, especially from China. This trend is expected to grow in the near future, although expensive shipping costs and delivery delays are still a hindering factor.

Most internet users in Mozambique use the internet for social media. The most popular social network is Facebook, with an estimated 1.8 million users in 2017 (IWS).

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Organizing Goods Transport

Port of Maputo
Port of Beira
Mozambique Airports
Sea Transport Organisations
Ministry of Transport and Communication
Air Transport Organisations
Civil Aviation Authority of Mozambique
Road Transport Organisations
Ministry of Transport and Communication
Rail Transport Organisations
Railway company of Mozambique

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Identifying a Supplier

Type of Production
Industry accounts for 20 % of GDP and employs just over 5 % of the population, according to the World bank. Coal has for long been the flagship production of the Mozambican mining sector, but since the discovery of offshore natural gas, interest in the coal sector has narrowed.

The mining and quarrying industries remain marginal in their participation to GDP. According to the 2015 African Economic Outlook report, drawn up by the ADB, OECD, UNDP, UNECA, the sector accounted for only 1.5 % of GDP.
In 2017, manufacturing contributed 13.2 % to GDP, according to the 2015 African Economic Outlook report.

Business Directories

Multi-sector Directories
Afrikta - List of companies in Maputo
Club of Mozambique - List of companies in Mozambique, by category
ListCompany - List of companies in Mozambique
Mozambique YP - Mozambique business directory
MozBuild - Mozambique's contruction companies
MZ Business - Business Services, Public Services, Shopping, Restaurants, Transport in Mozambique
Paginas Amarelas - Mozambique's Yellow Pages

To search directories by industry in Mozambique, check out our service Business Directories.

Professional Associations by Sector
9 professional associations listed for Mozambique.
Trade Agencies and Their Representations Abroad
Mozambican Business and Industry Association
Confederation of Business Associations
Contact Your Commercial Representations in Mozambique
Mauritian Embassy in Mozambique
42, Nwamatibyane Street Sommerschield, Maputo
Tel: 020 258 2149 4196 (High Commissioner)
Fax: 020 258 2101 7189
General Professional Associations
Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Mozambique
Ministry of Economy and Finance in Mozambique
Ministry of Commerce and Industry in Mozambique
Bankers Association of Mozambique

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Latest Update: May 2024