Easing routine vaccines supply

Digitalising processes cuts time and costs of imports


The Alliance worked with the Government of Mozambique and UNICEF to cut red tape around the importation of a range of essential vaccines and associated medical products.

This project reduced processing times, improved shipment traceability, and cut costs stemming from vaccine storage and inventory management.

Traditionally, vaccines required a written pre-shipment government authorisation that included details on their country or origin, proof of effectiveness, and details on the shipment’s contents. The application and approval process could take as much as two weeks while the vaccines are being held in storage.

The project digitalised these processes by integrating them into Mozambique’s existing Electronic Single Window system and established ways for relevant government ministries, health agencies, and Customs to coordinate more effectively on vaccine imports.

What we did

Alongside government ministries and agencies, and with industry expertise and data assistance from UNICEF, we supported Mozambique in cutting the time and costs involved in importing routine vaccines, including those for diphtheria, tetanus, hepatitis B, pneumonia, meningitis, measles and rubella, and polio. The project streamlined and digitalised existing processes as well as examining the feasibility of creating a master authorisation certificate to cover multiple vaccine and health product consignments. Customs also supported the project through developing expedited release processes.

The project was implemented in cooperation with the Mozambique Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, the National Medicines Regulatory Authority, Central Medical Stores within the Ministry of Health, as well as Customs and the National Trade Facilitation Committee. From the private sector, Alliance business partners provided the project their industry expertise and relevant data.


Digitalisation of processes and closer coordination among relevant agencies:

  • reduced the time needed to import key vaccines and associated products
  • improved the traceability of these critical medical supplies and decrease the risks of delay posed by misplaced, incorrect, or damaged paperwork
  • increased cooperation and collaboration between different border and government agencies
  • lowered the costs associated with storage and inventory management

Private traders, who import the vaccines and related medical products on the government’s behalf, see lower direct and indirect costs relating to storage and inventory issues stemming from delays at the border.

The project can make a significant contribution toward the government’s five-year comprehensive vaccination campaign and boost overall public health by ensuring that all Mozambicans and particularly children are vaccinated against the most common diseases.


To assess our impact on the ease of trading, the Alliance is measuring clearance times, the costs associated with shipment and storage.


The project took nearly 11 months and included the creation of a working group comprised of all stakeholders to improve visibility and ensure post-project sustainability of outcomes.

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