Customs controlled warehouses helping curb smuggling, says MRA

The Malawi Revenue Authority ( MRA) says the introduction of export warehouses has streamlined the process of monitoring and tracking farm produce exports thereby curbing the issue of smuggling of the farm produce.

The Malawi Revenue Authority ( MRA) says the  introduction  of  export warehouses  has streamlined the process of monitoring and tracking  farm produce exports thereby curbing the issue of smuggling of the  farm produce.

Head of Corporate affairs at MRA Steven Kapoloma made the statement on Tuesday during a media site tour to the several warehouses in located at Chitedze, Kaphiri and Bypass  in Lilongwe.

Kapoloma said that previously people would  export tonnes of farm produce such as rice , groundnuts or beans  to other countries without necessarily  tracking the data which was a loss to the country’s economy.

He added that MRA is now able to track the process  from the sales because it registers the quantity  of goods  going into the export warehouses.

“We are also tracking those that are exiting from the export warehouses because  these export warehouses  are controlled  area. As a result, we are able to track  down  the buying  of the commodities to the export warehouses through our borders. What is also more important is that we are  able to know  that  a certain amount of, for example, groundnuts was exported and we are expected to get a certain amount of forex from that and then the authorities are able to know whether those proceeds are  coming into the country or not,” he said.

Kapoloma went on to say that the list of warehouses owners has increased  considering that the journey started at a snail’s pace where some of the people did not want to operate export warehouses.

According to Kapoloma, more businesses now want  to get licenses to own and operate the warehouses.

On his part, African Commodities Trading Warehouse Manager James Nyasulu said that before the  export warehouses their standards were a bit diminished because they didn’t have time to grade  the agro-products.

Now, they have time to bring in commodities, grade and export them.

He said that  apart from MRA, they are also working with the Malawi Bureau of Standards which sets the standard in terms of quality of commodities.