The Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) and Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), leading to the establishment of a Trade Facilitation project. This will see MRA working alongside clearing agents in the country, the Malawi Confederation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (MCCCI) including a number of local and international businesses.
The MoU signing took place in Blantyre on 02nd December 2019 in the presence of Chairperson Clearing and Forwarding Agents Association of Malawi (CAFAAM) Everson Bandawe and Indigenous Customs and Clearing Forwarding Association (ICCAFA), Kumbuka Kaluwa.
Speaking at the ceremony, MRA’s Commissioner General, Mr. Tom Gray Malata said the agreement is meant to facilitate trade, provide financial and technical support in capacity building for Malawi’s clearing agents.
He said technical knowledge and skills to be acquired by clearing agents will enable MRA to maximise revenue collection.
“We are excited to partner with the Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation to enhance capacity of our clearing agents in Malawi. Through this partnership, clearing agents will have the technical know how to handle customs matters effectively which will bring about a ripple effect on achieving excellence in service delivery, trade facilitation and maximisation of tax revenue for national development.
“This will result in improved service delivery in trade facilitation and at the same time enable MRA to maximise revenue collection. If we collect more revenue, the Government will have adequate financial resources to provide socio–economic facilities for the people of Malawi,” the Commissioner General said.
On his part, the Director General of Global Alliance on Trade Facilitation Philippe Isler said they have partnered with the Malawi Revenue Authority because of the modernisation reforms that the Authority is undertaking.
“Our colleagues at the Malawi Revenue Authority have been pursuing a major reform programme to modernise operations and improve the trade facilitation environment. Crucially for the alliance, the MRA has embraced our model of working with the private sector as an equal partner,” Isler said.
The signing of the MoU also brings in a new licensing framework for clearing agents, complete with a training course and examination to ensure that they have the knowledge and skills they need to facilitate trade efficiently and in line with Customs regulations in Malawi.