Vic Falls cargo restriction to curb smuggling – ZRA
By BUUMBA CHIMBULU
RESTRICTION of commercial cargo at the Victoria Falls border post will curb smuggling activities which have been taking place due to lack of the anti-smuggling facilities.
Traffic has over the years been growing and smugglers have taken advantage by deliberately pushing it towards the small border post because it lacks the anti-smuggling facilities such as inspection bays and scanners.
This is according to the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) Corporate Communications Manager, Topsy Sikalinda.
Mr Sikalinda explained that ZRA had to use the inspection bay at Livingstone port office which created congestion in the tourist capital.
“Smugglers do not want to use these other entry points because of facilities in these borders that make it very difficult for them to succeed in any illegal activities,” he said in his write-up on the border post.
Mr Sikalinda explained that this Statutory Instrument did not affect the clearing industry as claimed by some individuals that they would be job losses because all clearance of goods was done online from anywhere in the world.
He regretted that some smugglers had now teamed up to try and frustrate this new measure because the smuggling route had now been sealed off.
“Other border posts such as Kazungula and Livingstone have proper facilities such as scanners, inspecting bays, CCTV among them,” Mr Sikalinda said.
He said ZRA recently intercepted nine trucks that were declared as Generator sets with zero duty rate when in fact this was assorted wooden furniture that attracted 40 percent duty.
Mr Sikalinda said the people of Zambia would have lost over K2.5 million in taxes if the alert ZRA officers did not intercept these trucks.
“These smugglers conspired to defraud the state tax revenue through smuggling related offences that range from misclassification, undervaluation’s, origin fraud, forgery and failure to report within stipulated time as per customs order procedure,” he said.