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ZRA develops module on Customs Management System

• The module will give access to importers /exporters to electronically appoint Customs clearing agents on the system.
• This requirement is provided for under Customs and Excise Act.
• New module will also help mitigate TPIN abuse.

Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) says it has developed a module on the Customs management system in a quest to strengthen taxpayer focus and enhance Customer experience while improving controls.
Authority Commissioner General Kingsley Chanda told Money FM News in a statement that the module will now give access to importers and exporters to electronically appoint Customs clearing agents on the system with an option to drop and add others depending on their business needs.
Mr. Chanda stated that the new module will also help mitigate Tax Payer Identification Number (TPIN) abuse by linking the TPIN of the Importer and Exporter to that of the appointed clearing agent, hence an agent who is not officially appointed by the importer or exporter will not have access to the system.
He said Customs clearing agents are also poised to benefit from the new module because only authorized persons will present or select their companies on the system, a measure that will help reduce the number of outstanding transactions that contribute to the frequent automatic suspension of the agents’ accounts on the system.
Mr. Chanda explained that this is in a bid to ensure accountability and transparency in the import and export of goods in and out of the country.
“The requirement by importers/exporters to appoint a Customs clearing agent is provided for under Section 184 of the Customs and Excise Act, Chapter 322 of the Laws of Zambia. Please note that this is not a new inclusion in the Act, it has always been there.”
“Previously, importers and exporters would appoint agents manually and other un authorized agents would clear goods without the knowledge of the importer or exporter. In case the importer or exporter defaults, the burden would be on the clearing company to settle the outstanding dues which has proved to be expensive and an unnecessary inconvenience for the Customs clearing industry,” Mr. Chanda stated.
He said the operationalization of the new module on Automated System for Customs Data (ASYCUDA) World will require Customs clearing agents to obtain authority from the owners of TPINS through the ZRA platform before clearing the goods with Customs.
“This module will start with a pilot phase mid-February and final implementation is expected to be rolled out by June 2021,” he added.

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