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Registering Property in

Mozambique

Below is a detailed summary of the steps, time and cost involved in registering property in Mozambique. It assumes a standardized case of an entrepreneur who wants to purchase land and a building that is already registered and free of title dispute.

This information was collected as part of the Doing Business project, which measures and compares regulations relevant to the life cycle of a small- to medium-sized domestic business in 190 economies. The most recent round of data collection was completed in June 2016.

Compare Mozambique to 189 other economies.

  • Measure of efficiency
    No. Procedure Time to Complete Associated Costs
    1

    Obtain a certificate from the Fiscal Cadastre confirming the property's registration with the Tax Authority and its tax payment status (certidão matricial)

    Agency: Tax Authority (Repartição das Finanças)

    A certificate (certidão do registo matricial) with the value of the property is obtained from the Tax Authority (Repartição das Finanças).

    7 days (simultaneous with Procedure 2) No cost
    * 2

    Obtain a Real Estate Registry certificate of the property from the Real Estate Registry Office

    Agency: Real Estate Registry (Conservatória do Registo Predial)

    A Real Estate Registry certificate is obtained at the Conservatória do Registo Predial. This certificate provides information regarding all the owners of the property/ beneficiaries of the use and benefit right, and is valid for 90 days. If the owner does not have a copy of the current real property registration, then the DCU (Town Planning Directorate) reference number must be obtained in order for the Registrar to locate the book and page on which the property is registered. As of 2013, the registry has been computerized and titles have been scanned.

    3 days (simultaneous with procedure 1) MZN 450
    3

    Lawyer prepares the draft sale and purchase agreement

    Agency: Lawyer's office

    A lawyer prepares the sale and purchase agreement. It is necessary to have the underlying land and property title, and real property registration in order to have the description of the property, the land plot, and the demarcation details. The form of the description varies from rural areas to municipalities. The actual sales instrument is relatively simple but the additional administrative/registry detail complicates the preparation. Although not required by law, most companies and individuals hire the services of a lawyer to prepare the sale and purchase agreement.

    10 days MZN 12,000 – MZN 30,800
    4

    Payment of transfer tax (SISA) at the Municipal Tax Office

    Agency: Municipal Tax Office (Secretaria Municipal de Fazenda)

    The property must have been registered for real property taxes (municipal and national). All of the real property tax must have been paid (for which a tax clearance must be obtained), and the owner and the purchaser must be registered for tax purposes (NUIT). A SISA tax receipt is obtained and has to be submitted with the sale and purchase agreement to the notary. Then, the name of the buyer is registered with the Tax Office. The SISA tax has been reformed by Decree 46/2004 of October 27, cutting it from previous levels around 10%. In the past, the 10% tax that applied to Maputo was not fully paid since the market value of the property was never quoted. This change unifies the level of the transfer tax with the rest of the country that already had taxes around 2%.

    7 days 2% of property value (SISA-transfer tax)
    5

    Submit the draft sale and purchase agreement to the public notary to verify and issue the notarial deed of purchase

    Agency: Notary

    The lawyer/parties submit the draft sale and purchase agreement to the public notary, who verifies the documentation and prepares the deed for signature. The Real Estate Registry certificate and the SISA payment certificate must be submitted, together with Companies' Registry certificates of the parties and copies of the ID's of their representatives who will execute the notarial deed on their behalf. Copies of quota-holders/directors resolutions and/or powers of attorney may also be required pursuant to the relevant companies' articles of association. In some cases it may be possible to notarize the deed faster if the parties, instead of the notary, prepare the deed themselves and give it to the notary on a disk to notarize.

    2 days 0.2% of property value (stamp duty) + Notarial fees according to the following schedule:
    (i) 0.4% of property value up to the first MZN 5 million (0.3% for the amounts exceeding MZN 5 million);
    (ii) 0.3% of property value applied to the value exceeding 5 million + MZN 120 for administrative fees
    6

    Apply for registration of the building at the Real Estate Registry Office

    Agency: Real Estate Registry (Conservatória do Registo Predial)

    The notary deed of sale and purchase is submitted to the Real Estate Registry Office, together with an application requesting the registration of ownership over the property, on the buildings and of the right of use and fruition over the land, in the name of the buyer. Simultaneously with the request for registration (or sequentially depending on the practice), a certificate of the registration is requested, usually an integral certificate which provides the owner with copies of the pages on which the title is recorded. This is a cautionary measure in the event that the registry books are damaged or destroyed (as happened in the 2000 floods) or disappears somehow.

    2 weeks Registration fees according to the following schedule:

    (i) 0.4% of property value up to the first MZN 5 million + 0.03% of property value above MZN 5 million +
    (ii) MZN 250 for submitting the deed for registration +
    (iii) MZN 1000 for each description +
    (iv) MZN 1,500 for each inscription on the Registry +
    (v) MZN 350 for registration certificate of a property transfer

    * Takes place simultaneously with previous procedure.

  • Measure of quality
    Answer Score
    Quality of the land administration index (0-30) 9.5
    Reliability of infrastructure index (0-8) 2.0
    What is the institution in charge of immovable property registration? Conservátoria do Registo Predial de Maputo
    In what format are the majority of title or deed records kept in the largest business city—in a paper format or in a computerized format (scanned or fully digital)? Computer/Scanned 1.0
    Is there an electronic database for checking for encumbrances (liens, mortgages, restrictions and the like)? No 0.0
    In what format are the majority of maps of land plots kept in the largest business city—in a paper format or in a computerized format (scanned or fully digital)? Computer/Scanned 1.0
    Is there an electronic database for recording boundaries, checking plans and providing cadastral information (geographic information system)? No 0.0
    Is the information recorded by the immovable property registration agency and the cadastral or mapping agency kept in a single database, in different but linked databases or in separate databases? Separate databases 0.0
    Do the immovable property registration agency and cadastral or mapping agency use the same identification number for properties? No 0.0
    Transparency of information index (0–6) 3.5
    Who is able to obtain information on land ownership at the agency in charge of immovable property registration in the largest business city? Anyone who pays the official fee 1.0
    Is the list of documents that are required to complete any type of property transaction made publicly available–and if so, how? Yes, on public boards 0.5
    Link for online access:
    Is the applicable fee schedule for any property transaction at the agency in charge of immovable property registration in the largest business city made publicly available–and if so, how? Yes, on public boards 0.5
    Link for online access:
    Does the agency in charge of immovable property registration commit to delivering a legally binding document that proves property ownership within a specific time frame–and if so, how does it communicate the service standard? Yes, on public boards 0.5
    Link for online access:
    Is there a specific and separate mechanism for filing complaints about a problem that occurred at the agency in charge of immovable property registration? No 0.0
    Are there publicly available official statistics tracking the number of transactions at the immovable property registration agency? No 0.0
    Number of property transfers in the largest business city in 2015:
    Who is able to consult maps of land plots in the largest business city? Only intermediaries and interested parties 0.0
    Is the applicable fee schedule for accessing maps of land plots made publicly available—and if so, how? Yes, on public boards 0.5
    Link for online access:
    Does the cadastral or mapping agency commit to delivering an updated map within a specific time frame—and if so, how does it communicate the service standard? Yes, on public boards 0.5
    Link for online access:
    Is there a specific and separate mechanism for filing complaints about a problem that occurred at the cadastral or mapping agency? No 0.0
    Geographic coverage index (0–8) 0.0
    Are all privately held land plots in the economy formally registered at the immovable property registry? No 0.0
    Are all privately held land plots in the largest business city formally registered at the immovable property registry? No 0.0
    Are all privately held land plots in the economy mapped? No 0.0
    Are all privately held land plots in the largest business city mapped? No 0.0
    Land dispute resolution index (0–8) 4.0
    Does the law require that all property sale transactions be registered at the immovable property registry to make them opposable to third parties? Yes 1.5
    Is the system of immovable property registration subject to a state or private guarantee? Yes 0.5
    Is there a specific compensation mechanism to cover for losses incurred by parties who engaged in good faith in a property transaction based on erroneous information certified by the immovable property registry? No 0.0
    Does the legal system require a control of legality of the documents necessary for a property transaction (e.g., checking the compliance of contracts with requirements of the law)? Yes 0.5
    If yes, who is responsible for checking the legality of the documents? Registrar; Notary.
    Does the legal system require verification of the identity of the parties to a property transaction? Yes 0.5
    If yes, who is responsible for verifying the identity of the parties? Registrar; Notary.
    Is there a national database to verify the accuracy of identity documents? Yes 1.0
    For a standard land dispute between two local businesses over tenure rights of a property worth 50 times gross national income (GNI) per capita and located in the largest business city, what court would be in charge of the case in the first instance? Civil Section of the Maputo City Judicial Court (Corte judicial de Maputo, Seção Cível)
    How long does it take on average to obtain a decision from the first-instance court for such a case (without appeal)? More than 3 years 0.0
    Are there any statistics on the number of land disputes in the first instance? No 0.0
    Number of land disputes in the largest business city in 2015:
    Equal access to property rights index (-2–0) 0.0
    Do unmarried men and unmarried women have equal ownership rights to property? Yes 0.0
    Do married men and married women have equal ownership rights to property? Yes 0.0