Electronic Data Exchange to Revolutionize Trade between Tanzania and Malawi

Kasumulu/Songwe Border, Tanzania/Malawi – June 5, 2023 – Today, a historic event unfolded as the electronic data exchange between Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) and Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) was officially launched. The data exchange will facilitate sharing of information through the respective Revenue Authorities Customs Management Systems Tanzania Customs Integrated System (TANCIS) for TRA, and ASYCUDA World for MRA (The ceremony took place at the Kasumulu/Songwe border, signifying a breakthrough in cross-border trade efficiency and fostering regional economic growth.

Supported by the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office through TradeMark Africa to a tune of   USD 200,000, , this initiative aims to streamline customs processes, promote transparency, and facilitate seamless trade operations. The integration of TRA-TANCIS and MRA – ASYCUDA World will revolutionize the clearance processes, benefiting businesses and individuals in both Tanzania and Malawi.

According to the United Nations COMTRADE database on international trade, the export value between Tanzania and Malawi in 2022 amounted to USD 81.54 million. With the implementation of this advanced system, it is anticipated that the trade value will witness a significant upsurge, resulting in exponential revenue growth for both countries.

The TRA Deputy Commissioner General, Mr. Mcha Hassan Mcha highlighted the significance of the system stating, “The electronic data exchange between TRA and MRA is a monumental step towards modernizing customs procedures and simplifying cross-border trade. By leveraging advanced technology, we aim to optimize revenue collection, reduce clearance times, enhance trade facilitation, and improve the ease of doing business.”

The MRA Executive Director – Corporate Services, Mrs. Agnes Katsonga expressed her perspective, stating, “Today’s launch of the electronic data exchange represents a significant leap in our mutual efforts to deepen economic cooperation between Malawi and Tanzania. This integration of our customs systems will not only improve trade efficiency but also attract foreign investment and create an enabling business environment. We are optimistic that this collaboration will strengthen our bilateral relations and pave the way for regional economic growth.”

Country Director of TradeMark Africa Malawi, Dr. Jovin Mwemezi commended the project’s importance and benefits, saying, “We are thrilled to support this ground-breaking project that will revolutionize cross-border trade between Malawi and Tanzania.  TradeMark Africa remains dedicated to sustainable and inclusive development in the Eastern and Southern Africa region and across the continent. TMA recognizes and keen to continue investing in innovative digital solutions to foster trade facilitation and economic transformation across Africa. Additionally, the Country Director for TradeMark Africa, Malawi expressed gratitude to the United Kingdom government for its generous funding for this project and many others in Eastern and Southern Africa. The integration of TRA-TANCIS and MRA-  ASYCUDA World represents a significant step forward in trade facilitation. The improved efficiency and transparency will attract foreign investment, create jobs, and enhance economic growth in Tanzania and Malawi. This landmark achievement underscores the commitment of both countries to foster closer economic cooperation and strengthen regional trade ties.

Responding to the speeches delivered by key representatives during the ceremony the President of the Tanzania Freight Forwarders Association: said that

“The launch of the electronic data exchange is a momentous occasion for the freight forwarding industry in Tanzania. This digital integration will enable us to provide faster, more efficient services to our clients, enhancing the competitiveness of our businesses and boosting international trade. We applaud the collaborative efforts of TRA, MRA, and Trademark Africa in driving this initiative forward.”