Tax Update
Dangers of Smuggling

Dangers of Smuggling

Smuggling is the illegal importation or exportation or loading onto or unloading from a conveyance; a diversion for consumption of goods subject to Customs control with the intention to defraud the Malawi Government of duty payable or evade any provision of the Customs and Excise law

Smuggling deprives the Malawi Government of the much-needed tax revenues to fulfill its financial obligations. These include construction of roads, bridges, schools, hospitals and other social services like buying drugs in hospitals, security and subsidized farms inputs like fertilizer.

Smuggling distracts MRA from focusing on revenue collection. This is because substantial resources are diverted towards dealing with the problem instead of collecting revenue. Smuggled goods, which most of the time are restricted or prohibited, could pose a health risk and could be detrimental to the social wellbeing of citizens.

When you suspect smuggling, you must urgently report the matter to the nearest MRA office or police station. Similarly, when a suspected smuggler approaches you for support, you should report the case to any nearest MRA station or police station. If you render support to a smuggler, you are depriving the Government of revenue for national development. It also poses health and security risks to the nation. By sheltering or conveying smuggled goods, you are also making the smuggler richer while you remain poor without any development projects in your area.

Smuggling is a criminal offence and smugglers will be punished in accordance with the Customs & Excise Act and or any other related laws. For example, if you are caught smuggling goods, MRA will seize the consignment and you will be fined not less than K100, 000 or three times the value of the goods in respect of the offence, which was committed, whichever is the greater, and not more than ten times the amount of the duty or imprisonment for three years.

Supporting smugglers or conveying smuggled goods is also a criminal offence under the Customs & Excise Act.

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