The Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) says it has introduced COMESA Virtual Trade Facilitation System (CVTFS), which aims at assisting both private and public sector institutions in COMESA member states to monitor and manage transportation of cargo.
Over the years MRA and the immigration department have been inspecting cargo passing through the country’s border posts manually, making the work bulky. As such, CVTFS which is an online scanning system will electronically assist with the inspection.
Deputy Director of Cooperate Affairs Steven Kapoloma said the system will help Malawians to reduce the cost of importing and exporting goods, and also monitor transportation of these goods.
“The system will enable all interested parties to achieve more transparency and control in the movement of cargo.
“This will reduce cost of doing business in Malawi and within the COMESA trading block, and it will also increase government’s revenue,” he said.
He added that due to manual inspections there was high risk of transporters smuggling undocumented goods and people through the country’s border posts.
Kapoloma said fuel tankers are some of the means by which smugglers use.
“The authorities will use the CVTFS to intercept risky imports and exports, and this can reduce crime.
“Once illegal goods are intercepted the perpetrators will be slapped with K40,000 fee per good,” explained Kapoloma.
The revenue authority will in conjunction with COMESA implement CVTFS in phases and under the first phase, tracking of all containerized international transits cargo will start from October 1 this year.