"We all have to be aware that there are no jokes with currencies, there are honest operators, but there are dishonest ones, who systematize extensions, keeping the capital out there to obtain financing advantages", said this Friday the president of the AIA, José Severino, to Lusa.
The constant extensions of the DUP, he explained, constitute the practice of many importers who, with the alleged connivance of exporters, use national currency to their benefit, a fact that delays the shipment of goods.
The Ministry of Industry and Commerce, in a note dated September 15, 2023, determined, with immediate effect, not to extend the DUP for imports that are expired, and importers must guarantee the entry into the national customs territory of the merchandise within 120 days following the issuance of the DUP.
According to the ministerial body, the measure, which has been criticized by some Angolan importers, must be observed in 145 products widely consumed in the country, whose production is already capable of responding to the population's consumption needs such as of raw materials for local industries.
In light of the directive, imports that are expired should not be extended.
José Severino applauds the measure taken by the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, considering it "persuasive and not coercive", and argues that the ministerial entity should seek to "discern" who the "honest and dishonest" operators are.
"The time when oil covered everything is long gone," he said, urging those challenging the directive to identify themselves to be known.
"Those who take the lead in complaining would be wise to identify themselves so we can know who the people are who work for the good of this country and the people who serve the country", he complained.
The president of the AIA insists on the need for the Ministry of Industry and Commerce to make an assessment "on a case-by-case basis", considering that the extension must be substantiated, aiming to put an end to the "immobilization of money abroad" and, as a result, the country remains without the goods.
Asked about the possibility of companies stopping importing products in a scenario in which Angola is not yet self-sufficient, José Severino defended operators' compliance with deadlines for shipping goods.
"When you open a letter of credit, the supplier gave you a deadline for shipping the goods, in some cases they even ask for 120 days, how come most of these exporters then ask for new extensions, leaving us with the money tied up and us without the goods", he highlighted.
According to the leader of Angolan industrialists, the systematization of DUP extensions encourages importers in "collusion" with exporters to make a "deal" with Angolan currency, "which cannot and is not acceptable"
"This is the issue with these extensions that many exporters use and abuse Angola's money abroad", he pointed out.
In relation to the possible increase in product prices, in view of the ministerial measure, the president of the AIA responded: "Of course that is the case, due to these mafia operations by exporters".
"Why is the money transferred and the goods not arriving? They make extensions after extensions, with this money in banks abroad, these exporters ask for financing with the guarantee of our money", he insisted.
He also admitted the existence of cases of extensions that could be justified, "probably as a result of the war in Ukraine", reaffirming the need to assess case by case.
"The Ministry (of Industry and Commerce) must have this function. Therefore, there are exporters who cyclically abuse our money abroad, in some cases, probably, with the connivance of importers", concluded José Severino.
Lusa also contacted the Chamber of Official Dispatchers of Angola, which sent a reaction to the adopted measure for next Monday.