Malawi tax body to cut time for goods clearance

Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) says automation of operational procedures and its undivided dedication to serve the public are some of the tactics in place to ensure that time spent to clear goods at the borders is further reduced.

Mwanamvekha (c) recognised Immigration Department for its role in coordinated border management as MRA Commissioner General Ralph Kamoto looks on

Mwanamvekha (c) recognised Immigration Department for its role in coordinated border management as MRA Commissioner General Ralph Kamoto looks on

The tax collecting body’s Commissioner of Customs and Excise Shadric Namalomba said this in an interview with Nyasa Times on the side-lines of the 2015 commemoration of International Customs Day in Mwanza.

The meeting was themed, “Coordinated Border Management – An inclusive approach for connecting stakeholders”.

Namalomba said MRA has a strategy that gives customs four mandates in order to provide good service to the public.

“As MRA we are there in the borders to collect revenue, facilitate trade, protect the society and prevent people from smuggling including engagement of fraudulent activities. With cargo scanners, MRA now has an easier way to verify goods by scanning them this is saving time for physical inspection as we facilitate trade,” he said.

Minister of Industry and Trade,  Joseph Mwanamvekha said cutting time spent at the borders would assist the business sector to save costs incurred in the process and improve Malawi’s rank on Doing Business Index.

“Malawi is on number 164 out of 189 countries on Doing Business ranking by the World Bank. This rank is worrisome and not competitive. MRA and us in Government are working tirelessly with local and multilateral organizations to improve the situation through Coordinated Border Management and other interventions,” said Mwanamvekha.

Commissioner General Raphael Kamoto said MRA has a good working relationship with 16 other stakeholders at the borders plus surrounding countries of Zambia, Mozambique and Tanzania.

“MRA has also has working relationships through MOUs with other countries, in this case Zambia, Mozambique and Tanzania. Some of the provisions in the MOUs include joint border patrols, sharing information, coordinating border opening hours and eventually having one stop border posts. All this is aimed at maximising Coordinated Border Management roles in security and largely facilitation of trade,” Kamoto said.

He said this is in line with the customs day theme. The day is celebrated by all 179 members of the World Customs Organisation.

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16 thoughts on “Malawi tax body to cut time for goods clearance”

  1. chakhalira says:

    A MRA! It seems you enjoy talking. We know you much better. The time you want to cut is how to quickly punish some poor fellows and milk him / her for your pocket, Not Work for the Government.

    How do you explain this, some one has been ordering the same goods (items) for years and years. Using the very same tariffs and yet you still send the entry to Blantyre and takes a minimum of two full days to issue a release note? And yet you talk of cutting time . Cutting Time for what? Mungofuna to cut time yo opyezera anthu kuti azikuwopani ndiye adzikupatsani mwansanga ndarama za mthumba mwanu osati za Boma. This Boma is enriching so much the MRA / Customs Officers. They are so corrupt. Ka entry kamodzi azingoka yang’ana uku , ayang’anenso uku! Za zii!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Tazi longolorani ndi ntchito yanu to be seen working.

  2. musisipala says:

    I Doubt if MRA can improve on speedy clearance of goods. What ever system you bring in will not work.

  3. BUGUDOSHI says:

    Lomwe Government in progress

  4. researcher says:

    Import and export procedures are slow and cumbersome and lead to excessive delays.
    MRA/customs inefficiency in malawi can be a block to the integration of Malawi into the global economy and may severely impair import/export competitiveness or inflow of foreign direct investment. The key problems that plaque MRA / customs operations are excessive documentary requirements, outdated official procedures, insufficient use of automated systems, lack of transparency, predictability and consistency in customs activities , lack of modernization and cooperation among customs and other government agencies (tried but not really working e.g road traffic and police). Finally corruption is another problem that makes trade facilitation difficult.


    Tackling the challenges of international trade in Africa requires a comprehensive and coordinated approach that entail improvements in infrastructure and provision of efficient and competitive services in the areas of roads,railways,ICT and the harmonisation of customs and border procedures as the gains and benefits of trade facilitation are related to the whole chain processes.
    Speeding up customs and border crossing procedures – reducing to the minimum the number of trade documents and copies required and harmonizing the nature of the information to be contained in these documents. Introduction of one border post is a good idea but we have been singing this song for a while when is starting?
    Establishing a firm management control, particularly in connection to integrity, this requires a clear, well articulated conduct, the willingness to take disciplinary action and effective internal control systems…………………………………..

  5. fkr says:

    Problem is ineptitude and education of people working for mra. It’s as if they employ all the dummies. They are so slow, don’t know their own procedures except for asking for fanta all day long. Technology is great but we don’t have the infrastructure or skill to run it. Just look at how many times you are told that the system is down come back mawa maybe it will work then. For some reason things only work or can be done mawa. I am sorry these guys are all clowns in a circus called the mra

  6. Mtupatupa says:

    There is no way that MRA can fastrack the clearing time at the borders if there is no power the whole day, it also means there is no network do to the lack of power. Improve the power, and water system, roads, networks etc, these will lead to improved service deliveries in all sectors

  7. William Matewere says:

    MRA has made a lot of reforms but unfortunately their personel can not be reformed. You can have all these systems in place but some guys deliberately create beurocracy and red tape inorder to solicit bribes from unsuspecting clients. Corruption is the only way that speeds up processes at MRA. Officers take more than necessary to clear accompanied goods on buses. Please tell your officers that duty on buses is collected for control purposes and I dont see why buses should spend the whole day .

  8. Victor Jumbo says:

    While I would encourage and appreciate every effort carried by the government in reducing time wastage in our borders it is very important to be efficient in evaluation of goods and translating them into money so the common man who works hard to look after himself and his family is not seen to be punished for trying to make ends meet. The government through MRA seems to work hard and often overcharges poor people who try to do business by bringing goods into Malawi more than they would do Ministers or other government officials just to name a few. For example I know someone who came to the UK for a visit. She bought house stuff, toys for her baby and clothing for herself, husband and family worth approximately £400 but paid Air Malawi cargo £560 for transportation and on arrival in Malawi MRA personnel were charging over K200,000 clearing fees. This kind of exorbitant charges would in no way encourage people who live abroad to send goods home or allow Malawians to import goods from abroad due to overcharging. The government appears happy to overcharging and waste the money on things that only matters to them such as enriching themselves as we have seen in the so called ” Cash Gate Scandal ” where Big Fish and major players are still roaming the streets reaping where they did not sow and enjoying the immunity. Some of the big players are now going for easy option in order to dodge imprisonment by declaring themselves mentally ill health to stand a trial. What a calculated move. When they were colluding public money with their accomplices they were mentally sound but now that their greediness and evil doings have been exposed they are now mentally retarded. … A big shame on you self centred selfish people who only knows how to steal , destroy and reap without sowing and without shame. Please reduce tax, red tape and beurocracy. Support ordinary people more to do business so you can collect reasonable taxes with which the government can use to give back to the public by building schools, hospitals and improve road inflastructures . Making ordinary people equal partners with the government is good for the economy of the country, Malawi. So Mr president be a leader and protector of all Malawians and one of things you can do right now is to stop exploitation of customs taxes that ordinary people are asked to pay to MRA . Please hear my humble cry for my ordinary Malawians who are working hard to make ends meet.
    Victor Jumbo, UK

    1. Malindima says:

      I would encourage more charges to the imported goods which can be bought locally.
      Why import bread,water,soft drinks, eggs etc when all these can be sourced locally?

  9. acn says:

    Alomwe okha okha

  10. TIMVE says:

    Well you can have all these automation by the problem is that you hire incompetent people. if you have slow thinkers like those at Mwanza nothing can progress. A process that takes ten minutes at Nyamapanda takes the whole day at Mwanza. I export goods into Zimbabwe and its amazing how the guys are efficient while if you bring goods into Malawi every time is like a learning process. The guys seems not to know what they are doing.

  11. Tengupenya says:

    164 is probably an over rate. The situation is Worse. We might be at the bottom in reality. Nothing is predictable as if there are no set standard guidelines in codes, tariffs and procedures. The system is almost rotten to say the least. It is as if the intention is to punish traders, entrepreneurs and other importers. Looking forward to positive change. Malawians deserve better from their revenue authority. All efforts at improvements must be welcomed and encouraged.

  12. wangawanga says:

    In Malawi customs is the highest in the world they ,collect more than the businesses getvthe profit

  13. kajedza says:

    This is a eyewash

    You cut time at the borders but waste so much time and money for inland port examination. It would be better to first upgrade your computer system. Entries take sometimes over a week , then physical verification then release order and then takes over a month to deliver the final documentation. Importer has to go through all these

  14. Chikadzakuwani says:

    Kungolemelela lemelelabe MRA kuba kwabasi

  15. Pata phiri says:

    First of all stop the smuggling going on in Lilongwe for goods coming from dubai n china where government is loosing in millions wake up Kamoto

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