By Topsy Sikalinda
The Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) last Friday held a successful stakeholder engagement meeting with the Clearing Agents’ Associations.
During a meeting held at the Neelkanth Sarova Premiere Hotel in Lusaka and officially opened by ZRA Commissioner General Dr Kingsley Chanda and Attended by the Zambia Freight Forwarders Association (ZAFFA) Chairperson Mr Emmanuel Mutale, Zambia Customs and Forwarding Agents Association (ZCFAA) Chairperson Mr. John Mumba, The Southern Freight Forwarders Association of Zambia chairperson Mr Best Chikuwe and other stakeholders from government, transporters Association and Trade Facilitation Consultants.
The Meeting Appreciated and recommended the Associations and Customs Clearing Companies that did not participate in the illegal protest against the introduction of the Clearing Agents Module by the Zambia Revenue Authority.
The meeting further agreed to dialogue as means of resolving matters affecting the industry and take interest in the modernization programs that the government is implementing including the new tax online customs system being developed to replace ASYCUDA World.
Kazungula One Stop Border Post (OSBP) was another key issue that was discussed to resolve the operational teething issues arising from the change from ordinary border operation to the One Stop Border Post system.
This was to ensure that Zambia realizes the full benefits of the new facility through the synchronization of working hours with all border agencies and making use of various trade facilitation initiatives such as pre-clearance, pre-registration, inland clearance for exports.
The meeting further resolved to continue engaging government through relevant ministries and agencies to secure business for local small and medium customs clearing companies.
The Zambia Revenue Authority and Clearing Agents’ Associations further reiterated to actively engage each other in order to foster mutual trust and collaboration.
As part of its stakeholder engagement strategy, the Authority will continue engaging not only players from the clearing fraternity but all potential tax payers.
As we close the article for this week, a polite reminder to all who have vehicles that were dubiously imported into Zambia that the dead line is on the 26th May 2021. Please ensure you do the right thing to avoid being found on the wrong side of the law.