PUBLISHED ON June 8th, 2023

Malawi, Tanzania move to ease trade, curb smuggling

Malawi and Tanzania have launched an electronic data exchange system interface to enable verification of quantities, valuation, origin and tariffs of goods exported and transiting between the two countries.

The system interface, to be managed by Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) and Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA), was launched on Monday at Kasumulu Border Post in Mbeya, Tanzania.

Before the system, data was being exchanged manually, leading to delays and movement of contrabands from Malawi to Tanzania or vice versa without detection.

In his presentation, MRA custom systems and procedures manager Andrew Mtukuleni said the collaboration will promote trade facilitation, enhance revenue collection, and secure the movement of goods under imports, exports and transit regimes.

“We now anticipate advance exchange of trade data for risk management purposes and increased detection of contraband leading to secure supply chains,” he said.

MRA corporate services executive director Agnes Katsonga-Phiri said the system will enable the institution to know how much revenue would be collected.

She said: “Having the system can be an achievement on its own, but if the human capital does not change mindset, we will not achieve much.

“We expect honesty and those traders should not stand for too long before being assisted.”

TRA deputy commissioner general Mcha Hassan Mcha said smuggling remains a major challenge.

“We think that with this system interface, we will reduce the malpractice because it simplifies the procedure as most traders will be using it rather than going to unofficial routes,” he said.

The system interface has been financed by the UK Government through TradeMark Africa and complemented by the two revenue administrations.

TradeMark Africa programme manager responsible for digital trade services Alex Kipyegon said they pumped in $200 000 (about K207 million) to help improve trade between the two countries

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Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of TradeMark Africa.