For Immediate Release
Lusaka, Zambia 26th October 2017.
The Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) has enhanced anti-smuggling operations across the country.
This renewed commitment to fight smuggling is a strong signal and warning to smugglers to rethink and stop their illegal trade.
The Authority notes with concern that smuggling has taken a new twist from outright smuggling to under valuations, under declarations and misclassifications. Importers must take note that under Circular No.1 issued on 31st March 2017, all items undervalued, under declared and misclassified will be deemed as smuggled. These will be out rightly seized and forfeited to the state together with the vehicle or vessel used during importation.
The Authority has also received information that some importers have parked their trucks in neighbouring countries waiting for the enforcement activities to be withdrawn. However ZRA wishes to inform all importers that enforcement activities will not be withdrawn but will be sustained. These are now part of our routine operations going forward.
ZRA Commissioner General Kingsley Chanda has advised all importers to desist from the practice of smuggling and other forms of tax evasion that deny the government of the much needed revenue.
Mr. Chanda said the Authority has stepped-up its enforcement activities in order to enhance compliance in the import and export business. To this effect, all port/ station operations have also been enhanced to ensure compliance at the points of importation or exportation.
“I will repeat and remind all traders that when we say smuggling does not pay, we mean it. It is very expensive to smuggle than to pay taxes because when we catch you, we impound and forfeit both the goods and the vessels used to smuggle. In addition, you stand a very high chance of prosecution in certain cases”, said Mr. Chanda.
The Authority wishes to advise all importers that the route to smuggling is long, rough and risky while the route to compliance is very short, smooth and dignified.
ZRA will serve and respect compliant taxpayers and importers who follow laid down procedures while punishing firmly those that decide to abrogate the law.
Mr. Chanda has advised that all trucks that will be intercepted for routine operations by the enforcement teams to cooperate with the officers. These trucks that will have all genuine documentations, correctly classifications and value of goods and taxes will be released within the shortest possible time after verification.
All importers are encouraged to cooperate with these measures for their smooth trade facilitation.
Issued By : Topsy Sikalinda
Corporate Communications Manager