MRA touts border reforms

Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) says it is fostering a level playing field for businesses by ensuring timely delivery of raw materials and facilitating legitimate business in the country’s border posts.

MRA Commissioner General Tom Gray Malata said this in Mwanza on Friday during the commemoration of the International Customs Day held under the theme: Smart Borders for Seamless Trade, Travel and Transport.

Among others, Malata said the public tax collector is piloting a voluntary certification programme to serve compliant taxpayers by giving them priority treatment to achieve seamless trade, travel and transport while at the same time, boosting tax revenues.

“To ensure that the project materialises, MRA is in full engagement with importers, clearing agents and other border agencies. Another project that is making our borders smart is the Automated System for Customs Data [Asycuda World] which enables taxpayers to handle their customs transactions within the comfort of their offices, cutting out the time they used to spend running with files and queuing up at different offices.

“This is supported by the e-Payment platform which allows payment of due taxes at the taxpayers’ place and time of convenience within the set deadlines of payment. We also have operational cargo scanners that are assisting in risk management by countering false declarations and tracking concealed goods at Songwe station, Lilongwe Inland Examination Centre and here at Mwanza,” he said.

In his remarks, Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism Principal Secretary Ken Ndala said the various attractive innovations by MRA should benefit the private sector and members of the public. 

“Government is currently making headway in the implementation of initiatives aimed at reducing the cost of doing business in Malawi.

“We, therefore, urge all players, especially the business community to utilise the available platforms and not always complain that authorities are not providing the required environment for businesses to operate.

“Government will continuously explore more ways of improving the business environment by introducing favourable regulatory and legislative framework in order to encourage investment,” he said.

This year’s theme highlighted customs’ role in supporting the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

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