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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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… Read more »

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


Lomwe Government in progress

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… Read more »

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


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

William Matewere

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 .

Victor Jumbo
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… Read more »

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?


Alomwe okha okha


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.

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