The Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) and Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) have started exchanging Customs electronic data with the aim of facilitating trade between the two countries.
Speaking during the launch of the Customs Management System Interface for Electronic Data Exchange in Lilongwe the Commissioner General (CG) for MRA, John Biziwick, said that the system will assist two Revenue Authorities to collect data electronically before goods cross the border.
He added that the system will enhance transparency as Customs officers will have prior knowledge of the cargo in transit before the goods arrive at the border.
‘’This will enable revenue administrations to undertake risk analysis and come up with measures during clearance of such goods,’’ added Biziwick.
He observed that there were a lot of delays at the border because information was not readily available and this resulted in some unscrupulous importers in underdeclaring some merchandize.
‘’This is now a thing of the past because there will be no room for cheating,’’ added and this will reduce the workload of Customs officers of the two Revenue Administrations,’’ he added.
During the launch, MRA and ZRA officials visited Mchinji and Mwami borders to understand how the system works where Station Manager for Mwami border, Wilson Banda said the system is of much help in as far as revenue collection is concerned.
“The system is working well and will benefit us because it will help us build database for importers, exporters and transits and it will also be a source of trade statistics,” Banda added.
The Customs Management System Interface for Electronic Data Exchange project which is being funded by GIZ has been on the pilot phase since 21 October 2021.
By Alice Mongora