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“LAM Can Now Transport Cargo to Lisbon” – CTA

“LAM Can Now Transport Cargo to Lisbon” – CTA

Last week, DE reported that Mozambique Airlines (LAM) had been unable to transport cargo to Lisbon for five months because the Portuguese customs authorities had not yet authorised the company to do so, although it could transport cargo from that European country to Mozambique.

This Monday, 29 April, the Confederation of Economic Associations (CTA) reported that LAM has been given the “green light”, as it has now been authorised by Portugal to transport cargo from Maputo to Lisbon, after five months of waiting.

In a statement, the organisation said that this difficulty was one of the themes of the business mission – which took place last week and brought together around 80 national businesspeople – which sought authorisation from the Portuguese Tax Authority to export goods via the airline’s planes, which resumed connections between the two capitals in December with two flights a week.

“The LAM plane, with a capacity of 32 tonnes, flew empty from Maputo to Lisbon, and in the opposite direction it flew full, allowing Portuguese companies to export to Mozambique,” the statement said, highlighting: “after several meetings, the airline, which was part of the business mission, finally received information that the use of LAM’s cargo service by Mozambican companies to export to Portugal had already been authorised.”

CTA believes that this measure “will have a major impact on the competitiveness of Mozambican exports”.

The manager responsible for restructuring LAM had told Lusa on 24 April that Portuguese customs did not allow cargo carried on the company’s flights from Maputo to enter Lisbon. “We didn’t fly to Lisbon for 12 years and on 12 December we returned to Europe. We submitted a request to the Portuguese customs authorities to obtain the EOR – the European Union’s authorisation document for incoming cargo – and five months later we still haven’t had an answer. But cargo from Lisbon to Maputo goes normally,” said Sérgio Matos.

During the Mozambique-Portugal Business Forum in Lisbon, the official emphasised to the news agency that the problem is the lack of response and the delay in the information given by the Portuguese authorities. “The process has been submitted. Maybe this is the normal delay, but since we don’t have any information, we’re getting worried, because we’re entering our fifth month of operation and we don’t have authorisation to take cargo from Mozambique to Portugal,” he stressed.

“Our traders in Mozambique are impatient because they think it’s a ban by LAM not to bring in cargo, benefiting only Portuguese traders, but we don’t see it like that. We just wanted to know the minimum or maximum period it takes to get the authorisation,” said Sérgio Matos.

Asked if TAP, which also operates direct flights between Lisbon and Maputo, is authorised to bring in and take out cargo, the official said yes.

LAM began operating its first cargo plane, a Boeing 737-300F, on 25 March. At the time, the company’s managing director, Theunis Crous, revealed that three million dollars had been invested and that the aircraft would be used mainly to transport cargo domestically and to South Africa and Tanzania, among other countries in the region.


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