The new Commercial Code, approved by Decree-Law no. 1/2022 of May 25 (the "New ComC") incorporates the use of information technology, not only in the internal life of companies (communication with shareholders) but also in their external life and relations with third parties.
In this sense, the New ComC establishes that, on the one hand, the acts subject to registration and publication (such as, for example, the company's annual balance sheet and accounts) must be filed with the Legal Entities Registry ("CREL") in digital format and must be published on a website of public access, with the electronic address of CREL (the "CREL Website") and, on the other hand, that the notices, announcements and invitations of the companies addressed to the shareholders and creditors of the company, subject to publication under the terms of the law and/or of the articles of association, must be published on CREL's Website.
Moreover, one of the striking characteristics of the Simplified Share Companies, a new type of company introduced by the New ComC, is the fact that it foresees that its registration and entry of documents at CREL is carried out by electronic means, that is, through CREL's Website.
Currently, (i) commercial registrations are made upon application or by filling out a form that is submitted to CREL, through a manual process that requires physical presence of the interested parties at CREL's facilities and physical documents; and (ii) mandatory publications are made in the Official Gazette and in major newspapers in the location of the companies' headquarters. These requirements make the processes not only more time consuming but also more costly for the companies, partners and shareholders.
The main purpose of the introduction of technological means of information in the New ComC, in addition to adapting corporate and business life to modern times in which these means are widely used, is the reduction of costs for companies, greater publicity and business transparency, greater ease of access to information, free of charge, by interested parties.
This measure will have a considerable impact on the day-to-day life of companies since the publication of such acts in the means currently in use entails very high publication costs applied either by the National Press or by the newspapers where such acts are published.
Unfortunately, at the present date, CREL's Website has not yet been created, so the implementation of the above measures is not yet possible. Therefore, until CREL's Website is created and operational, the acts of the company subject to publication will continue to be published in the traditional way, i.e., in the Official Gazette and in newspapers of wide circulation in the place of the headquarters of the respective company.
Therefore, it is imperative and urgent that the CREL Website is created, in order to allow the implementation of the rules of registration and publication through the information technologies provided for in the New ComC and, thus, boost the business environment in Mozambique, making it more up-to-date and attractive to investors, which will also improve Mozambique's position in the Doing Business ranking.