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I.  Legal Framework

In Mozambique, Law No. 10 of July 7, 1999, establishes the principles and basic norms concerning the protection, preservation, and sustainable use of forest and wildlife resources.  Law No. 10 is regulated by Decree No. 12 of June 6, 2002.  The Penal Code criminalizes hunting activities that are not in accordance with hunting regulations.

A. Law No. 10 of July 7, 1999

Article 6 of Law No. 10 determines that the wildlife patrimony comprises the existing wildlife in the country and is classified according to its rarity and cultural and socioeconomic value through lists of species to be established by statute.[1]

Article 20 defines the categories for the exploitation of wildlife in the country, which consist of a simple hunting license (caça por licença simples), sport hunting (caça desportiva), and commercial hunting (caça commercial).[2]  The applicable terms and conditions, and the annual hunting quotas for wild animals, as well as the instruments allowed for the practice of hunting in the manner provided for in article 20(1) of Law No. 10, must be established by appropriate statute.[3]  Articles 21, 22, and 23 define the above-mentioned hunting categories.  Article 24 defines the instruments and means of hunting.

A license is required for the exploitation, trade, use, and transportation of forest and wildlife products by land, river, sea, or air, under the terms of Law No. 10 and all other applicable laws, unless otherwise provided by law.[4]

The Council of Ministers is the competent organ to regulate and ensure the control of forests and wildlife for the purpose of monitoring, orienting, and regulating the activities of preservation, use, and management of forest and wildlife resources.[5]

Every citizen, and in particular the local Councils of Resource Management, as well as license holders, must collaborate by exercising the necessary vigilance to protect the forest and wildlife resources, informing the nearest authorities of violations that they have knowledge of.[6]

In performing their duties, inspectors of forests and wildlife must wear properly identified uniforms and have the right to possession and use of firearms and other equipment to be defined by statute.[7]  The monitoring of forests and wildlife must be exercised by the inspectors of forests and wildlife, by sworn inspectors, and by community agents under the terms and conditions defined by statute.[8]  Inspectors of forests and wildlife are required to seize forest and wildlife products and the instruments used in the commission of a violation.[9]  Vehicles and other means used in the illegal transport of forest and wildlife resources are considered instruments for the purposes of article 37(5) of Law No. 10.[10]  Whenever necessary, inspectors of forests and wildlife, sworn inspectors and community agents, may request the assistance of the nearest authority and police reinforcements to guarantee the performance of their duties.[11]

Article 38(1) of Law No. 10 created stationary and mobile surveillance forest and wildlife posts, which must be duly marked, for the purpose of inspecting forestry and wildlife licensing.  According to article 38(2), people and vehicles must stop at forest and wildlife checkpoints whenever requested by inspectors of forests and wildlife, sworn inspectors, or community agents.

Violations of Law No. 10 are punishable with a fine and mandatory measures to restore or compensate the damage caused, without prejudice to other applicable sanctions.[12]  The Council of Ministers is responsible for regularly updating of the amounts of the fines provided for in Law No. 10.[13]  If the fine is not paid voluntarily, the offender is subject to the consequences provided for in the criminal law in the jurisdiction where the offense was committed, regardless of the appropriate administrative and civil procedures.[14]

The following violations are punishable by a fine of 2,000,000MT[15] (approximately US$69.45) to 100,000,000MT (approximately US$3,472.27):

  • (a)    carrying out any acts of logging without authorization or in breach of the conditions of exploitation;
  • (b)    practicing any acts that disturb or harm the wildlife in protected areas;
  • (c)    hunting without a license or in breach of the conditions established by law;
  • (d)    importing and exporting forest and wildlife resources without a license, or in breach of the conditions established by law;
  • (e)    abandoning forest and wildlife products that are the object of a license.[16]

The following violations are punishable by a fine of 1,000,000MT (approximately US$34.72) to 20,000,000MT (approximately US$694.45):

  • (a)    the storage, transportation, or trade of forest and wildlife resources without authorization or in breach of the conditions established by law;
  • (b)   the receipt of forest and wildlife resources without proper documentation proving that the seller or carrier has the required authorization.[17]

If the violation is committed against rare or endangered species of flora and fauna, as well as any other whose exploitation is prohibited, the fine applicable is ten times the maximum amount specified in article 41 of Law No. 10, without prejudice to other applicable sanctions.[18]

For the purpose of determining fines, the following are considered aggravating circumstances, in addition to others established by general law:

  • (a)   committing the offense in protected zones;
  • (b)   committing the offense in closed season;
  • (c)   committing the offense against rare, threatened, or endangered species of flora and fauna, so designated by law;
  • (d)   commission of the offense by an inspector of forests and wildlife; sworn inspector; community agent; administrative, police, customs, or maritime authority; or equivalent agent;
  • (e)   committing the offense at night, on Sundays, or on public holidays;
  • (f)   using violence or threats, or resisting supervision in any form;
  • (g)   where the offender, or the person jointly liable, is the possessor of a forest and wildlife license;  
  • (h)   using prohibited practices and tools;
  • (i)   committing the offense in organized groups.[19]

For the purpose of determining fines, the following are considered mitigating circumstances, in addition to others established by general law:

  • (a)   first-time offenders;
  • (b)  when the offender voluntarily seeks out inspectors of forests and wildlife to report the damage caused;
  • (c)  when the offender does not have knowledge or awareness of the consequences of the act performed, taking into consideration the person’s background, educational level, socioeconomic conditions, regional habits, and place of residence.[20]

The following actors are jointly liable for violations:

  • (a)  the beneficiary of the offense;
  • (b)  whoever facilitates or concurs in carrying out the offense;
  • (c)  inspectors of forests and wildlife, sworn inspectors, and community agents who fail to take the measures provided for in Law No. 10 and its regulations, as well as anyone who has a legal obligation to cooperate in the conduct of surveillance and fails to do so.[21]

The application of fines provided for in Law No. 10 give rise to the following additional penalties:

  • (a)  reversion in favor of the government of the forest and wildlife products and instruments used in the commission of the offense;
  • (b)  seizure and cancellation of permits issued in the name of the offender;
  • (c)   partial or total suspension of the activities causing the offense;
  • (d)   a ban on receiving new permits for one year.[22]

Products, objects, and instruments seized and declared forfeited to the state under Law No. 10 must be disposed of by one of the following methods:

  • (a)  sale by auction, except as provided in Law No. 10;
  • (b)  donation of perishable products to social institutions and nonprofit organizations, after describing them in detail on the apprehension document;
  • (c)  return of live specimens of flora and wildlife to their area of origin or to the nearest protected area;
  • (d)  return of instruments belonging to first-time offenders, provided that they are not prohibited, after the payment of fines and compliance with other sanctions or legal obligations.[23]

B.  Decree No. 12 of June 6, 2002

            Decree No. 12 of June 6, 2002, applies to the activities of protection, preservation, use, exploitation, and production of forest and wildlife resources, which encompasses the trade, transportation, storage, and processing of these resources.[24]

All wildlife that inhabits or travels through the national territory, with the exception of those protected by law, may be hunted.[25]  The animals listed in Annex II, which is an integral part of Decree No. 12, are considered protected.[26]  Article 44 further prohibits hunting nonadult animals, pregnant females or females accompanied by cubs, or any other animals that may be declared protected by law or convention.[27]  Article 46 determines, inter alia, the time and place of hunting and the places where hunting is prohibited, and states that hunting is prohibited during the closed season.  Article 47 defines the instruments and means that are allowed to be used for hunting, and article 48 defines the types of firearms that are allowed to be used for hunting.  Article 55 determines that hunting is only permitted by those who have a hunting license and all other documents required by law, and defines the types of hunting licenses and the requirements for obtaining a license.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development is responsible for the administration, management, and monitoring of activities involving the use of forest and wildlife resources and their existing ecosystems in the national territory,[28] as well as the supervision, monitoring, discipline and orientation of activities for the protection, preservation, use, exploitation and management of forest and wildlife resources.[29]

C.  Penal Code

According to article 254 of the Mozambican Penal Code, a person who hunts during the months when hunting is prohibited, or in the months when hunting is permitted but by using prohibited means, is punishable with three days in prison and a fine.[30]  The same punishment applies to a person who hunts on land without the consent of the owner; however, the owner must complain about the activity for the punishment to be applicable.[31]  The Code is silent with regard to the trafficking of wildlife.

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Eduardo Soares
Senior Foreign Law Specialist
December 2012
 

[2] Id. art. 20(1).

[3] Id. art. 20(2).

[4] Id. art. 34.

[5] Id. art. 37(1).

[6] Id. art. 37(2).

[7] Id. art. 37(3).

[8] Id. art. 37(4).

[9] Id. art. 37(5).

[10] Id. art. 37(6).

[11] Id. art. 37(7).

[12] Id. art. 39(1).

[13] Id. art. 39(2).

[14] Id. art. 39(3).

[15] Law No. 7 of December 20, 2005, adjusted the Mozambican currency (Metical – MT) by establishing a conversion rate of 1,000, which entered into force on January 1, 2006.  Lei No. 7/2005, de 20 de Dezembro, Boletim da República, I Série – Número 50, http://www.bancomoc.mz/Files/DAJ/Lei_7_2005_Taxa%20 de%20Conversao%20Metical%20 Nova%20Familia.pdf.  For international transactions, the symbol used for the Mozambican Metical is MZN.  Notas e Moedas do Metical, Banco de Moçambique (2nd ed.), http://www.bancomoc.mz/ Files/CDI/caderno_online.pdf (last visited Dec. 18, 2012).

[16] Id. art. 41(1) (all translations by the author).

[17] Id. art. 41(2).

[18] Id. art. 41(3).

[19] Id. art. 42(1).

[20] Id. art. 42(2).

[21] Id. art. 43.

[22] Id. art. 44.

[23] Id. art. 45.

[25] Id. art. 43(1).

[26] Id. art. 43(5).

[27] Id. art. 44(b-d).

[28] Id. art. 86.

[29] Id. art. 107(1).

[30] Código Penal, Portal do Governo de Moçambique, art, 254, http://www.portaldogoverno.gov.mz/Legisla/legisSectores/judiciaria/codigo_penal.pdf (Last Version August 31, 2006).

[31] Id. art. 254(sole para.).

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Last Updated: 09/16/2014