What is 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 Government of duty payable or evade any provision of the Customs and Excise Act. If people engage in smuggling, the Government will not collect enough revenue to fulfill its development projects. These include construction of roads, bridges, schools, hospitals and the provision of essential services such as security and justice, among others.
In addition, smuggling distracts MRA from focusing on revenue collection. This is because a lot of resources are diverted towards dealing with the problem instead of collecting revenue. Smuggled goods, which most of the time are restricted or prohibited, pose health risks and could be detrimental to the social well being of Malawians.
What should you do if you suspect smuggling?
When you suspect smuggling, you must urgently report the matter to the nearest MRA station or any Police station. Similarly, when a suspected smuggler approaches you for support or shelter, you should report the person to any nearest MRA or Police station. What will happen if you are caught smuggling or conveying smuggled goods?
Smuggling or conveying smuggled goods is a criminal offense. When caught, you will be punished in accordance with the Customs and Excise Act. Please, note that following the presentation of the new tax measures during the recent budget sitting, the law was revised in that anybody caught smuggling will have their goods seized.
Furthermore, he/she will be liable to a fine of not less than MK100, 000.00 or three times the value of the goods in respect of the offense which was committed, whichever is greater and not more than ten times the amount of the duty or imprisoned for three years.
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