The Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) has hailed Clearing and Forwarding Agents in Zambia for improved tax compliance and trade facilitation.
ZRA Commissioner General Kingsley Chanda has said the Authority appreciates the work of Clearing and Forwarding Agents because they are important in the facilitation of imports and exports.
Mr. Chanda has been particularly impressed at the competence levels and professionalism of some clearing agents.
The Commissioner General has cited the top 10 Clearing and Forward Agents who have scored highly in value for declarations and Value for Duty Purposes (VDP).
Mr. Chanda praised the top 10 Clearing and Forward Agents who are also controlling 90% of the business in terms of value as Bollore Africa Logistics Zambia Limited; Customized Clearing and Forwarding; Transtra International Zambia Limited; Global Logistics Limited; Cargo Management Logistics; Ultimate Logistics Limited; Esse Clearing Limited; Hill And Delamain (Zambia) Limited; Uti (Zambia) Limited; and Barthsam Freight Services Limited. He however warned that any acts of misclassification of goods and smuggling risk having their licenses revoked.
The clearing industry in Zambia currently has 719 active clearing companies out of which 10 companies control 90% of business and the rest 709 companies share the remaining 10%.
Mr Chanda said the top 10 having over 90% of the market share in terms of revenue are mainly international firms who have clear business systems and challenged the local firms to up their game so that they get into the top 10.
He said with the changing business environment and systems, the Authority will continue engaging Clearing and Forwarding Agents so that they also enhance their skills.
“We cannot focus on building competences, enhancing integrity within ZRA and forget about the external stakeholders because they have a role to play in our mandate. They interact with the business, declare their goods and so they must have the same set of skills that we expect from ZRA officers”, Mr Chanda said.
Mr. Chanda said ZRA has a standard system for the licensing of clearing and forwarding agents. These standards conform to the World Customs Organisation (WCO) standards. With this licensing, agents are able to do business with both local and foreigner exporters and importers.
The Commissioner General was speaking in Nakonde when he visited Northern and Muchinga Provinces.