Maputo, 20 Oct (AIM) – The Mozambican Ministry of Agriculture, through the Department of Plant Health (DNSAB), has resumed issuing phytosanitary certificates and licenses for all products of plant origin.
Issuing these certificates had been suspended on 22 September following the discovery of several irregularities.
According to a note from the Ministry, the Mozambican authorities had been notified by importing countries for failure to comply with the requirements of the licenses.
The irregularities include the existence of false phytosanitary certificates, lack of prior inspection, as well as strong evidence of corruption in processing the respective files for exported agricultural products.
“As part of regular plant health inspections, 400 false and/or dubious phytosanitary certificates were detected for the export of sesame and pigeon peas, the quantities of which are valued at 27 million US dollars”, reads the statement.
The resumption is due to completing the implementation of new measures and actions that include, among others, the adoption of a new model of phytosanitary certificate and license, with the consequent communication of these to the Mozambican Customs services, to the main countries/markets importing agricultural products and to international organizations, notably the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC).
The Ministry warned that the lack of control by the state in phytosanitary defence could put the country’s economy at risk and, consequently, block exports, as well as food safety and the loss of the now consolidated market, which is worth 212 million US dollars a year.
During the period of interruption, the Ministry’s General Inspectorate carried out and completed the work of verifying and correcting the irregularities that contributed to the circulation of false phytosanitary certificates.
The list of false and/or dubious certificates includes some companies, which have already been notified by the General Inspectorate for Agriculture and Rural Development for further verification.