By Bester Kayaye
The Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) has identified the transport sector as a key element that promotes smuggling of goods into and out the country.
A meeting between the tax regulatory body and transporters in Malawi’s southern region held to discuss customs and excise processes, procedures relating to importation and exportation of goods noted the existence of a criminal syndicates in the rail, air, river, maritime and mostly in the road transport sectors.
According to MRA’s Taxpayer Education Manager, McHizzal Kawanga, smuggling remains one of the bottlenecks that deprives government import and export tax revenue that would otherwise have helped it to fulfil its financial obligations.
The meeting was aimed at acquainting transport sector players with relevant legal processes required to be followed when importing or exporting different goods.
“We are aware that some of the players are not familiar with laws involved in their businesses and may be vulnerable to manipulation or cohesion to smuggle goods using unchartered routes or to provide false information to tax authorities.
“We appeal to transporters desist from such acts and ensure that their drivers are well warned against the malpractice,” he said
Commenting on the influx of foreign transporters getting more transportation deals as compared to local transporters, Kawanga said that despite MRA not being the responsible body that facilitates transport contracts, it would be commendable if local players are prioritized since it’s the local players’ value chain that contributes significantly in taxes.
In his remarks, Mike Missi, a representative for Zagaf Transport, commended MRA for engaging them on taxation issues regarding importation and exportation of goods, saying the transport sector is indeed vital in tax evasion through combating smuggling.