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.
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.