MRA upbeat about more people operating export warehouses

By Robert Katuli

Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) says it is expecting more people to operate export warehouses government introduced last year to curb tax evasion and smuggling of farm produce.

MRA’s Head of Corporate Affairs, Steven Kapoloma, said this on Tuesday when the Authority toured some of the customs-controlled export warehouses in Lilongwe.

Kapoloma said more businesses are now coming to MRA to get licenses to own and operate the warehouses.

MRA’s Head of Corporate Affairs, Steven Kapoloma,

“We are overwhelmed by the number of people that want to own and operate export warehouses. This is due to the benefits reaped by those that were the pioneers of these warehouses. More people are now coming into their warehouses and using them to export,” said Kapoloma.

He further said the initiative has improved processes of monitoring and following up of export proceeds from farm produce, hence ensuring a clear tracking, from buying the commodities from the farms to exporting them through the borders.

James Nyasulu, Warehouse Manager for African Commodities Trading which is one of the export warehouses MRA inspected, hailed the initiative saying it has raised their business to higher standards.

“Previously, our standards were a bit diminished because we didn’t have time to grade our products. However, with the warehouses, our commodities are now of quality such that we have never experienced customers turning them down as was the case previously,” Nyasulu said.

Rachel Banda, an accountant for Giant Sprouts Ltd, an Export and Import company that owns a groundnuts export warehouse along the Bypass Road in Lilongwe, concurred with Nyasulu, saying the warehouses are a real deal.

“We lacked security, prior to the warehouses, which was making us generate losses as there was a lot of damage to the goods. With the warehouse, we are able to stock huge quantities and still maintain the same quality,” said Banda.

Apart from Giant Sprouts Ltd and African Commodities Trading, MRA also inspected Wahida Investments, another export warehouse in Lilongwe.