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ETG Threatens to Take Mozambique to Arbitration Over Boer Beans

ETG Threatens to Take Mozambique to Arbitration Over Boer Beans

The International Agricultural Commodities Trade Group (ETG) has accused the Mozambican state of violating national legislation and international treaties that determine the use of arbitration in cases of conflict, according to the newspaper O País.

According to the report, this is the latest development in a dispute that began in mid-2022 over the export of boer beans. Quoted by the British newspaper Financial Times, the ETG group notified the Mozambican government last week in a letter that it intends to resort to international arbitration if there is no internal dialogue to resolve the conflict.

‘ETG will have no choice but to initiate international arbitration. We have tried to resolve the issue using all the legal channels available in Mozambique, but have encountered obstructions from the authorities and the judicial system at every step,’ said the group, reiterating its openness to dialogue.

The crux of the dispute involves accusations of falsification of food certificates (documents proving the absence of genetically modified organisms) by the ETG group and other companies for a shipment of pigeon peas destined for India, one of the world’s largest markets for the product. ETG considered the complaint to be slanderous, but has since had goods worth 3.8 million meticals (60 million dollars) seized, an action which the group classifies as illegal and a violation of its property rights.

‘ETG claims that by allowing the seizure, Mozambique violated both a domestic law on investments, which defines property and export rights, and a bilateral investment treaty with Mauritius. Both instruments have provisions for the appointment of arbitrators in the event of a dispute,’ reported the Financial Times.

The dispute between the international group ETG and the Mozambican Royal Group is currently being settled in the courts. ETG claims that it has already obtained a favourable opinion from a deputy attorney general, but that this opinion has not been considered, leading the group to write directly to the government.

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