Farm produce exporters in the country have been encouraged to export their goods through Customs Controlled Warehouses.
The call was made recently by McHizzal Kawanga, Manager Taxpayer Education in Mzuzu when he presided over a workshop for farm produce exporters on the new tax laws.
Recently, the Government amended some sections in the Customs and Excise Act and one of the amendments require that exporters of some designated farm produce export their goods through prescribed warehouses in line with the law.
Kawanga observed that Malawi has been losing a lot of forex because some local and foreign unscrupulous traders have been taking advantage of lack of structured markets of farm produce like beans, maize, cowpeas, groundnuts, soya beans by using other means to beat the system. As a result of this, the country has been losing a lot of forex.
Following the new law, the Government will ensure that all farm produce exit the country by following the right procedures and that exporters reconcile the forex with the Reserve Bank of Malawi. Those exporters who go against the law will be punished in accordance with the law.
“Those traders who fail to remit forex to the Reserve Bank of Malawi will be committing a crime under Foreign Exchange Regulations and will be charged a fine equivalent to the amount of goods exported with five years’ imprisonment,” said Kawanga.
He added that Malawi Revenue Authority will intensify measures such as patrols, establishment of roadblocks and other means to net all the smugglers.
MRA is currently engaging farm produce exporters, Customs Clearing Agents and other stakeholders on the new law. Already, MRA has conducted workshops in Nsanje, Mulanje, Mwanza, Blantyre, Mangochi, Dedza, Mchinji, Mzuzu, Chitipa and Karonga among others.
BY ALICE MONGORA