By IMMANUEL CHITWA –
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.
ZRA Commissioner General Kingsley Chanda said that the authority noted with concern that smuggling had taken a new twist from outright smuggling to under valuations, under declarations and misclassifications.
He said that importers should take note that under Circular number 1 issued on March 31 2017, all items undervalued, underdeclared 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.
This is according to a statement issues by ZRA corporate communications manager Topsy Sikalinda in Lusaka yesterday.
Mr Chanda said ZRA had received information that some importers had parked their trucks in neighbouring countries waiting for the enforcement activities to be withdrawn.
He said that all importers should now know that the enforcement activities would not be withdrawn but would be sustained.
Mr Chanda 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.
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 advised that all trucks that will be intercepted for routine operations by the enforcement teams to cooperate with the officers.