The Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) has advised cross-border traders to report to the public tax collector any police charging customs duty on their imported goods.
Speakimg during a workshops on Monday in Blantyre organised to educate Crossborder Traders Association of Malawi (Ctam) members on procedures and processes of clearing goods, MRA head of corporate affairs Steven Kapoloma said it is not the police officers’ mandate to charge duty.
He said: “We noted with concern that some police officers charge duty on imported goods at the borders and traders fall prey to that.
“Of course, we work hand-in-hand with our colleagues in the police service as regards to the provision of security and their role ends there.”
Kapoloma said this forces some traders to smuggle goods to avoid some of the charges incurred when using proper routes.
MRA taxpayer education manager McHizo Kawanga said traders also pay more because they lack knowledge on how to calculate duty, and are not aware of various trade agreements within the Southern Africa region that they can utilise to pay less duty.
Ctam president Esther Tchukambiri said the workshop has been an eye-opener as they are now aware of the necessary processes to clear their imported goods at the borders.
The workshops were conducted in Karonga, Mzuzu, Mchinji, Lilongwe, Salima, Kasungu, Mangochi and Blantyre.