ZRA innovates e-platform to deal with clearing agents

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Mr Zawe

BUUMBA CHIMBULU writes
@SunZambian
THE Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) has developed a system which will allow importers and exporters to appoint and disengage Customs Clearing Agents to act as their representatives to Customs on an electronic platform.

The new system will be piloted from December 7, this year to the end of March, 2021 before becoming mandatory in the second quarter of 2021.
ZRA acting Corporate Communication Manager, Robert Zawe, said the organisation was implementing the Clearing Agents Management Module (CAMM) on the Customs Electronic Licensing System on the ASYCUDA World system.
Mr Zawe explained that this was aimed at plugging off Tax Payers Identification Number (TPIN) abuse by some Clearing Agents
“The module comes with various benefits to importers and exporters, ZRA and the Government.
“These benefits include mitigating TPIN abuse, reducing Customs fraud by unscrupulous persons, reducing debt stock on the part of ZRA and ultimately reducing revenue leakage,” he said.
He regretted that there had been a lot of cases of TPIN abuse by some people who were avoiding paying Advance Income Tax (AIT).
Some people, he said, were perpetuating fraud such as smuggling and under-declarations to enjoy tax relief available to Public Benefit Organisations (PBOs) and diplomatic missions.
He said the module, the latest innovation from ZRA, was aimed at making improvements in service delivery to its stakeholders.
Mr Zawe said it also aimed at protecting members of the public from having their TPINs abused by unauthorised service providers.
He stressed that ZRA was currently on an innovation drive to improve service delivery as well as customer experience.
“The change comes as a legal requirement under Section 184 of the Customs and Excise Act, Chapter 322 of the Laws of Zambia.
“To deal with the change management component of the innovation, a team of ZRA officers is currently visiting all the Customs borders to engage with Clearing Agents and taxpayers in order to educate them about the change,” Mr Zawe said.

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