BUUMBA CHIMBULU writes
ABOUT K8.4 billion was last year realised from over 80,000 trucks which crossed the Kasumbalesa border post, as Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) agree on the need to improve revenue collection and trade facilitation during the COVID-19 period.
Kasumbalesa serves as a key route for the country’s exports to DRC, says ZRA Acting Commissioner General, Brigette Muyenga, yesterday in Lusaka during the Cutoms Meeting with DRC.
Yesterday’s meeting was a follow up activity to the 10th session of the DRC/Zambia joint permanent commission on defence and security that was held in Lubumbashi, DRC, in August 2020.
Just in 2019, Ms Muyenga said, over 80,000 trucks crossed the Kasumbalesa border with an estimated value of K8.4 billion.
“It is for this and many other reasons as stated above and the strategic nature of Kasumbalesa border crossing that our meeting will focus on improving the flow of trade through this border post,” Ms Muyenga said.
She stressed that trade cuts across all sectors and customs remained at the centre to ensure the efficient border management processes for enhanced international trade.
Ms Muyenga said the meeting would therefore focus on the possibility of implementation a one stop border post at Kasumbalesa border, and transits management – breaking of loads and transshipment of goods on the Zambian side.
She said the meeting would also focus on cross-border international trade rules violation and relocation strategy of goods depots (warehouses) along the common border, among others.
Ms Muyenga also said the importance of customs had become more evident during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The covid-19 pandemic has made us realize the essence of efficient movement in trade and most importantly the need for us to work together,” she said.
DRC Customs Director General, Nkongolo Kabila, was optimistic that meeting held in Zambia would strengthen the cooperation between the two countries.
Mr Kabila said Kasumbalesa border post played a strategic role in facilitating trade between Zambia and DRC , hence the need to ensure that the operations were normalised at the border.
“We hope that this meeting will help to put in place a one stop border post at Kasumbalesa sharing borders between Zambia and DRC to facilitate the smooth cross border trade between the two countries,” he said.