Malawi Government has appealed to customs administrations in the East and Southern African Region to ensure that they is increased use and upgrading of technologies in customs administrations as a way of encouraging economic activities.
This was said by deputy Minister of Finance Cornelius Mwalwanda when he opened the governing council meeting of World Customs Organisation-East and Southern African Region (WCO-ESA).
The meetings are being hosted this week by the Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA)
“The adoption to use technologies among the 24 countries in the region will not only assist in meeting WCO goal to simplify customs systems and procedures butin the end increase economic activities and it will reduce time to clear goods for the private sector in borders and ensure supply chain security,” said Mwalwanda.
He said therefore technical capacity for both customs officials and clearing agents is a must as the region moves to encourage simplification of procedures and implementation of modern based practices to maximise revenue collection.
“The impact for this is that such capacity will facilitate trade while in the long run control illicit trade,” said Mwalwanda.
MRA Commissioner General John Biziwick said it is already upgrading its tax school to train officers in line with technology needs as demanded by WCO.
“MRA has invested in upgrading of our Institue of Tax Administration (ITA) to be capable of implementing e-learning for our officers. This is because we recognise that capacity development is vital to deliver core objectives of collecting revenue as we facilitate trade,” said Biziwick.
The meetings are graced by WCO Secretary General Kunio Mikuriya who said was impressed with Malawi government’s support to MRA to increase technical capacity in customs and appealed to for greater collaboration among the 24 countries in ESA region.
Some of the 24 countries are Angola, Zimbabwe, Mauritius, Kenya, Tanzania, Eritrea.