The Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) says it will join the World Customs Organisation (WCO) in the commemoration of the 2015 International Customs Day.
MRA’s Commissioner General Raphael Kamoto has said the celebrations will be conducted at Mwanza Border on Monday, January 26 under the theme, ‘Coordinated Border Management – An inclusive approach for connecting stakeholders’.
“Coordinated Border Management (CBM) refers to a cooperative approach by border control agencies, both at the national and international level. This approach is in the context of seeking greater efficiencies over managing trade and travel flows, while maintaining a balance with compliance requirements,” said Kamoto in a statement.
He said CBM is now recognized by the Customs community as a potential solution for the challenges that the 21st century presents especially with respect to efficient and effective border management.
The MRA’s boss said CBM’s importance resulted in the concept being included in the WCO Council’s strategic policy on Customs and was adopted in June 2008 where it is listed as one of the 10 key building blocks for managing borders in today’s environment.
Kamoto said MRA as a Member of the WCO recognises the great importance of CBM to facilitate trade, ensure faster clearance of travellers and at the same time guaranteeing secure borders.
“A coordinated approach between MRA’s fellow border agencies i.e. Immigration, Roads Authority, Malawi Bureau of Standards, Police, banks, Clearing Agents including Other Government Agencies (OGAs) and even the community around us has the potential to result in improved service delivery, less duplication of work, cost saving through economies of scale and less waiting times among others.
“It is in MRA’s interest to fully utilise CBM as a means to balance trade facilitation on one hand with trade security on the other—allowing legitimate goods and travellers to pass through borders without unnecessary hindrances while protecting the international trade supply chain from threats posed by organized crime, smugglers, commercial fraudsters, terrorists, and even goods that could endanger people’s lives,” he said.
Further to this the WCO emphasises that CBM involves dialogue between Customs and other agencies as well as between Customs and international institutions.
MRA appeals that is vital for members of the general public using borders to cooperate with the Authority and all border control agencies to timely serve traders and the business community.