Database of Legislation

Crimes that affect the environment
  • Offences

    • • Wildlife crime
      • Fisheries crime
      • Forest crime
  • Subject

    • • CITES / International protected species
      • Domestic protected species
  • Details

    • • Undocumented/unlicensed conduct
      • CITES protected species
      • Protected area/habitat
  • Keywords

    • • Hunting (poaching)/killing
      • Harvesting
      • Catching
      • Acquisition/Possession/Ownership
      • Domestic trade/supply
      • International trade (import, export, re-export)
      • Manufacture/Processing
      • Domestic protected species
      • International protected species (e.g. CITIES)

Adoption Date:


UNTOC Articles

  • Organized Crime Convention

  • Article 12: Confiscation and seizure
  • Article 14: Disposal of confiscated proceeds of crime or property
  • Article 5: Criminalization of participation in an organized criminal group
  • Trafficking in Persons Protocol

  • Smuggling of Migrants Protocol

  • Firearms Protocol


    Original Text

    Article 53
    (General rules)

    1. Damages caused shall be punished with imprisonment, a fine, accompanied by recovery or compulsory compensation measures, without prejudice to the application of other sanctions to which they give rise.
    2. In duly justified cases, the offender may be subject to an alternative penalty, including work for compensating the conservation effort.
    3. The voluntary non-payment of the fine exposes the offender to the consequences provided for in criminal law, in the jurisdiction where the offense was committed, independent of other established legal procedures.
    4. For the purposes of the previous number, considered stakeholders in the inspection and control process shall be the State prosecutors, community agents, sworn inspectors and local communities who have participated in the respective transgression process and, in general, any citizen who has reported the infringement.
    5. It is incumbent upon the Council of Ministers to periodically update the amounts of the fines provided for in this Law. 

    Article 54 
    (Infractions and sanctions) 
    1. Without prejudice to criminal liability, the following shall be violations punishable by a fine ranging from 1 to 10 minimum civil wages:
    a) Storage, transportation or marketing of natural resources subject to this Law without authorization or in disagreement with the legally established conditions;
    b) receipt of resources subject to this Law without documentary evidence of the authorization of the seller or carrier;
    c) illegal transport of animals in a camouflaged condition so as not to recognize their gender and species.
    2. Without prejudice to criminal liability, the following shall be violations punishable by a fine ranging from 11 to 50 minimum civil service wages: 
    a) Illegal exploitation of natural resources in conservation areas;
    b) carrying out archaeological work or other works in the conservation area without the authorization of the competent authority;
    c) import or export natural resources without a license or in disagreement with the conditions established by law;
    d) abandonment of forest or wildlife or fishing products subject to a license;
    e) engaging in any acts that disturb the natural or cultural resources in conservation areas.
    3. Without prejudice to criminal liability, violations punishable by a fine ranging from 50 to 1000 minimum civil service wages ate the exploration, storage, transport or illegal marketing of species from the country's list of protected species. 
    4. The infringement of the provisions of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, included in the respective annexes, is punishable by the following fines: 
    a) Annex I, from 50 to 1000 minimum civil service wages;
    b) Annex II, from 40 to 500 minimum civil service wages;
    c) Annex III, from 30 to 400 minimum civil service wages. 

    Article 50
    (Aggravating circumstances)
    The following are aggravating factors in the graduation of sentences, in addition to those established in criminal law:
    a) committing the offense in the closed season;
    b) committing the offense against protected species;
    c) be a State inspector, sworn auditor, community agent, State official or agent, police officer or equivalent agent;
    d) committing the offense during the night, on Sundays or during holidays; 
    e) using violence, threat or opposing in any way the inspection;
    f) the offender or the jointly responsible person is holder of a license;
    g) using prohibited practices, instruments, techniques and arts;
    h) committing the offense in organized groups.

    Article 56
    (Attenuating circumstances)
    1. The following are attenuating factors in the graduation of sentences, in addition to those established in criminal law:
    a) be a primary offender;
    b) being an offender, having spontaneously sought inspection members to voluntarily report the damage caused;
    c) being an offender, not having knowledge or notion of the consequences of the act undertaken, taking into account the offender's background, level of education, socio-economic conditions and local habits and place of living. 
    2. In general, any other circumstance preceding, accompanying or following the offense, which weaken the guilt of the offender or otherwise diminish the gravity of the act.

    Article 57
    1. Repeated offenses are committed when the offender, having been convicted of a criminal offense, commits another offense of the same kind before five years have elapsed since the conviction in question, although the penalty of the first offence has been served.
    2. In the event of a repeat offense, the amount and the minimum and maximum llimits of fines shall be doubled and the instruments used in committiong the offense shall accrue to the State and the license shall be revoked.
    3. If the repeat offender is a foreigner he or she may also be barred from working in Mozambican territory for a period uf up to thirty-six months.
    4. Recidivism does not exclude the possibility that the person in question has committed one offence and is complicit in another one.

    Article 58
    (Accumulation of offenses)
    Offenses accumulate when person on question commits more than one offense on the same occasion, or when, having committed one, commits another before being condemned for the former.

    Article 59
    (Perpetrators of crime & joint liability)
    1. The perpetrators of crime are the actors, accomplices or accessories as defined in terms of criminal law.
    2. The State Prosecutor and the sworn prosecutor who fail to take the measures provided for in this Law and its regulations as well as anyone who has a legal obligation to cooperate in the exercise of surveillance, and has not done so, shall be punished in accordance with the law.

    Article 59A
    (Attempt and thwarting)
    The attempt at and frustration of infractions provided for in this Law are punished as consummate crime. 

    Article 60
    (Accessory penalties)
    The application of the penalties provided for in this Law gives rise to the following accessory penalties:
    a) restoration of damages caused to nature, repopulation of devastated areas;
    b) confiscation by the State of flora, fauna and cultural products and by-products, without prejudice to the penalty applicable to the offense;
    c) reversal to the State of the instruments used in committing the offense;
    d) revocation of the license and cancellation of the authorizations issued in the name of the offender;
    e) suspension of the exercise of the activities causing the infringement;
    f) seizure of the works;
    g) demolition of the works determined by the agency implementing the management of conservation areas, based on the observation that these are illegal and on the seriousness of the damages resulting from the offense;
    h) prohibition of new authorizations for a period of one year.

    Article 61
    (Prohibited weapons)
    1. Any person who carries out illegal activity in a conservation area using prohibited weapons as defined in the Penal Code and in specific legislation shall be sentenced to long-term imprisonment of twelve to sixteen years and a corresponding fine, if a more serious penalty does not apply.
    2. Any person who engages in illegal activity using mechanical or any other kind of trap is sentenced to the same penalty as the one from the preceeding paragraph.
    3. Seized firearms,  as well as the testimony of suspects detained outside the national territory, indicted for committing offenses procided for in this Law, are matters of investigation and of prosecution of the weapon's owner and bearer. 

    Article 62
    (Prison sentences for perpetrators)
    1. Subject to a long-term prison sentence of twelve to sixteen years and a corresponding fine is anyone who:
    a) removes, without a license, any element of the protected or forbidden species of fauna and flora, including species listed in Annexes I and II to CITES;
    b) leads, directs, promote, instigates, creates or finances, joins, supports, collaborates directly or indirectly in a group, organization or association of two or more persons, who acting in concert, jointly or separately kill or destroy protected or prohibited fauna and flora species, including species listed in Annexes I and II to CITES, or illegally exploit mineral resources in conservation areas and buffer zones;
    c) without legal permission, extract forest and wildlife resources, sell, distribute, purchase, transfer, receive, provide to another person, transport, import, export, transit or unlawfully hold animals, fauna products or preparations of protected or prohibited species, including the species listed in Annexes I and II to CITES.
    2. Subject to a long-term prison sentence of eight to twelve years and a corresponding fine is anyone who:
    d) hunts in the months in which hunting is formally prohibited, or who hunts in a manner prohibited by the same rules during months when hunting is not prohibited; 
    e) without legal permission converts, transforms, or changes the original character of organic parts of any legally protected animal or plant species for the purpose of hiding or concealing its illicit origin, transit, transport, possession, import or export, or who helps the person involved in offences against the environment to escape from law enforcement authorities and to exonerate him or herself from their responsibilities;
    f) puts poison or any substance lethal or harmful to animal health in the environment, in food or water of rivers, lakes, ponds or any other place where animals may drink;
    g) sets fire and thereby destroys in whole or in part, forest, bush of plants within conservation areas and/or buffer zones;
    h) uses fishing methods prohibited by law, in particular the use of explosives, toxic, poisonous or equivalent substances or of a sweeping net or a narrower trap than that limited by the public authority, or any other fishing method prohibited by the same authority or Regulations or even to fish for protected species. 

     Article 63
    (Destination of seized goods)
    The products, objects and instruments seized and declared lost in favour of the State, under the present Law, have the following destination:
    a) disposal of the products at a public auction, subject to the exceptions provided for in this Law;
    b) donation of perishable products to social institutions and non-profit organizations, as well as to local communities, after their detailed breakdown in a writ of seizure; 
    c) timber seized from the conservation area may be used immediately by the conservation area in question;
    d) the re-routing of living specimens of wild flora and fauna to their area of origin, or to the nearest conservation areas;
    e) the return of the instruments to the primary offender, provided these are not prohibited, after payment of the corresponding fine and in compliance with other legal sanctions or obligations;
    f) in case the instruments used in committing the offense are of use in the conservation area and in other social, scientific and cultural institutions, they shall be handed over to these, provided they are not claimed within 15 days. 

    Article 63A
    (Searches and seizures)
    1. Searches and seizures of any products, objects and instruments of infractions provided for in this Law may take place outside the limits established in criminal procedural legislation in ports, airports, residences, means of transport, commercial establishments and other places, provided that they are justified and authorized by a court. 
    2. The court authorization is dispensed with when the offence is detected while it is committed or when the occupant of the habitation does not object to the search and the infraction notice that must be signed by him/her has been drawn up.

    Article 63B
    (Assistance to the Public Prosecutor)
    In carrying out the investigation and preparatory investigation of processes related to the infraction foreseen in the present Law, the Public Ministry is assisted by technicians of the ministry that oversees the sector of the conservation areas and by the competent Police.

    Article 63C
    (Deposit and custody of fauna and flora products)
    1. Wild fauna and flora products seized under the supervision pursuant to this Law shall be immediately delivered to the Ministry that oversees the conservation area for inventory, sample collection, laboratory examination, custody and control, without prejudice to access to them during the criminal investigation or trial.
    2. Once examination and subsequent acts have been carried out, the judicial authority may determine, either on its own initiative or at the request of the Public Prosecutor's Office or another competent authority that the wildlife products are to be destroyed or incinerated, whatever the stage of the proceedings.
    3. The act of destruction shall be witnessed by the representative of the Ministry that oversees the conservation areas and by a representative of the Public Prosecutors Office.
    4. The act of destruction referred to in the proceeding number shall be certified by a court order.


    Cross-Cutting Issues

    • Liability

      • Liability of Legal Persons

        • • Civil