World Customs Organisation trains Malawi Revenue Authority in authorised economic operator validation

The World Customs Organisation (WCO) conducted a validation training of  Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) for Malawian officials in Blantyre. The trainers from WCO were Pashupati Pandey and Thabo Pase.

The training
Group photograph

AEO is a voluntary certification programme aimed at serving compliant taxpayers by giving them priority treatment with the focus of achieving trade facilitation while at the same time boosting tax revenues. It is open to all economic operators in Malawi involved in activities that are covered by Customs legislation and the entire supply chain.

MRA Commissioner General Mr. Tom Gray Malata said the Authority has just finished piloting of the programme which is being implemented in phases.

“Malawi has moved two steps up in the World Doing Business ranking by the World Bank and when they were in the country for the survey we received commendations for rolling out the AEO programme. We are very optimistic that it will contribute to more favourable ranking.

“Currently, the programme here in Malawi is in its second phase. We set up a project team that implemented conceptualisation and administrative preparations. The pilot phase was initiated from June 2018 where six entities were identified,” he said.

The AEO’s are Game Discount World Limited, CFAO Limited, Steel Supplies (SAFINTRA), Ceiling and Partitioning (Link Building), Toyota Malawi Limited and JTI Leaf Limited. Nation Wide Marketing trading as Chipiku Stores qualified during the initiation of the second phase.

The Commissioner General said the second phase of the AEO programme is focussing on accreditation of bonded warehouses and clearing agents. Transporters and Freight Forwarders will follow in the third phase. He expressed gratitude to the WCO for conducting the training in Malawi at a crucial time of transition the pilot to second phase.

Sharing their experience, a representative of the AEO’s, Dennis Moyo from JTI said the programme is illuminating a positive image for MRA as the interaction with operators is very transparent, timely and professional.

In his remarks, Commissioner of Customs and Excise, Mr. Fatch Valeta said the training will cover 19 modules that include: Understanding the Complexities of the Global Supply Chain and its Actors, Current Status of Play in Malawi AEO Programme, Validation Techniques for Compliance with Customs and Other Regulatory Requirements, SAFE AEO Requirements, Criteria and Benefits.

The weeklong training has attracted participation of members from Other Government Agencies and the private sector. These include the Ministry of Health, Indigenous Customs and Clearing Forwarding Association (ICCAFA), Toyota Malawi, the Directorate of Road Traffic and Safety Services, JTI, Malawi Bureau of Standards and the Police

WCO’s Pandey commended the approach of involving key players from both the public and private sectors. The Government of Finland and UK’s Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs have funded the training.

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