Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) Commissioner Customs, Sydney Chibbabbuka has called on the clearing and forwarding sector to ensure that all exports are processed from inland ports.
Speaking on when he officiated the Zambia Customs & Forwarding Agents Association (ZCFAA) General Meeting on 23rd September, 2021 in Lusaka, Mr. Chibbabbuka inland processing has numerous advantages such as process efficiency and enhanced trade facilitation because trucks carrying exports do not need to stay longer at the borders.
He said benefits include reduced congestion at the borders thereby minimizing the risk to spread of Covid-19.
“As a result of exports being processed from inland posts, the results are that border posts will concentrate on imports thereby creating a process efficiency that results in reduced dwell times and costs of doing business”, Mr. Chibbabbuka said.
Mr Chibbabbuka also took time to listen to the concerns raised by the clearing agents. The issues included delays at the borders, interceptions by enforcement teams for goods such as removals in bond among them.
He assured the clearing agents that customs value is beyond imports and added exports will always be prioritized because they have a huge indirect benefit to the whole country.
The Commissioner further gave various updates about ZRA including the new customs management system that is likely to ride on the name TaxOnline while the customs aspect will be a module on the said system.
He revealed that on the new systems, challenges such as system instability, bonded warehouses and the transit module will all be running smoothly on the new system.
The Zambia Customs & Forwarding Agents Association has 36 strong companies that account for over 80% of customs revenue value countrywide.
Mr Chibbabbuka further encouraged all stakeholders in the clearing sector to engage the authority mutually in order to get maximum benefits on various issues.
In the recent past, a trend has been noted by some players wanting to engage the Authority through social media with threats of work boycotts which have potential to hinder revenue collection.
The event was themed “collaboration for sustainability”.