The Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) has said Istanbul Convention is vital to the facilitation of trade.
The Istanbul Convention is a single international instrument combining all the existing conventions on temporary admission.
The convention provides for the free movement of goods across frontiers and their temporary admission into a customs territory with relief from duties and taxes.
The Istanbul Convention also requires contracting parties to accept the Temporary Admission (ATA) Carnet which is an international customs document that assures through an international guarantee system that duties and taxes will be paid in cases of misuse.
Speaking when she opened a technical assistance seminar on Istanbul Convention and ATA Carnet System at Ryalls Hotel in Blantyre on Thursday, MRA deputy commissioner for customs Abigail Kawamba said the convention facilitates trade as investors will not be held back in cases where they want to bring equipment for specific periods of time and move it elsewhere later.
Kawamba said under the Istanbul Convention, the international business community enjoys considerable simplification of customs formalities.
“The ATA Carnet serves as a goods declaration at export, transit and import. In addition, no import duties or taxes are collected for the temporary importation of goods covered by the system,” said Kawamba.
In an interview with Glennalee Hayselden, a representative of the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Sacci) who provided some insights of the convention to the meeting attendees, said it is commendable Malawi is party to the convention because the benefits are many.
Hayselden said the convention will necessitate trading activities for Malawians as it will allow them to go outside the country to the 78 countries which are signatories to the convention and use the ATA Carnet System.
The technical assistance meeting was organised to give more enlightenment to the attendees, who included the business community and government officials, before Malawi agrees to the Istanbul Convention.