Friday, July 12, 2024

Nampula maritime court suspends Boer bean exports to India again

The Maritime Court of Nampula, in northern Mozambique, has issued a new ruling suspending the export of cowpeas to India, just a few days after the Mozambican government authorized “free access” to exports. Meanwhile, dozens of tons of pigeon peas remain stranded awaiting a resolution.

According to the order issued by the Nampula Maritime Court, the precautionary measure orders the suspension of the exit and transit, by sea, of bulk and containerized cargo consisting of beans, cowpeas, soybeans, sesame and peanuts belonging to five cowpea producing companies in Nampula province.

The legal dispute over the liberalization of exports led to the blocking of dozens of tons of cowpeas, whose Mozambican production is predominantly destined for India. The Maritime Court specified that the suspension only affects the companies mentioned so as not to paralyze ordinary port operations.

This decision comes after an instruction from the Mozambican Executive to the Directorate General of Customs (DGA) to allow “free access” to pigeonpea exports. The Minister of Economy and Finance, Max Tonela, justified the measure by citing the damage caused to the economy due to the technical barriers put in place.

At the end of November, the government had already appealed against a previous court decision limiting the export of pigeon peas to India to a quota of 200,000 tons per year. The Minister of Industry and Trade, Silvino Moreno, explained that the court’s decision was the result of a request from a pigeonpea exporter, who contested the sale of quantities in excess of the established quota, alleging a risk of damage to the business.

The suspension of the measure, which had been in force since 2016, came in response to a request from India’s Ministry of Industry and Trade for free sales of the product to the Asian country. Silvino Moreno reiterated that the Mozambican government had appealed the court’s decision. The export of bóer beans to India is governed by a memorandum of understanding signed in 2016, providing for exemption from customs duties for Indian importers.

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