Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) is implementing a new management of customs procedure codes, which will improve delivery of service and also facilitate trading across borders.
MRA commissioner general Ralph Kamoto said under the current practice, all duty-free beneficiaries apply to the commissioner general for approval to clear their goods, which has resulted in delays in processing and clearing of the concerned goods.
However, to improve doing business and cut delays in clearing of goods, MRA has decentralised customs procedures codes and will be processed at designated stations at Blantyre, Mwanza, Lilongwe and Songwe ports.
MRA, an authority mandated to collect tax and facilitate international trade, has said requests to clear duty-free goods will now be made to its tation managers depending on the location of the importer.
Kamoto, however, said importers under duty-free projects with blanket approvals should submit approved and endorsed bills of quantities to the technical department in Blantyre and the clearance offices.
In the recent World Bank Doing Business report, Malawi stuck on rank 170 out of 189 economies on trading across borders, an indication that the country requires to do more to ease doing business in the area.
According to the report, to export goods, Malawi requires 11 documents against an average of eight in sub-Sahara Africa and it takes an average of 34 days to export against 30.5 days in sub-Sahara.
The World Bank report also shows that it takes an average of 39 days to import against 37.6 days in sub-Sahara Africa while to import, the country requires 12 documents against an average of nine days in sub-Sahara Africa.
However, last year, in an attempt to improve trading across borders, increase revenue and control smuggling of goods, Malawi launched cargo scanners on its main borders to limit the frequency of physical examinations, thereby facilitating legitimate trade and improving the doing business environment in Malawi.