THE ZAMBIA Revenue Authority (ZRA) will not hesitate to institute sanctions against erring clearing agencies found guilty of harassing and disrupting the flow of traffic at entry points.
ZRA Commissioner General Berlin Msisika said the Authority was aware of complaints of alleged harassment of members of other clearing agents’ organisations who had no intent of participating in illegal demonstrations or strikes and were being victimised at Nakonde border.
The clearing agents at Nakonde boarder post last week withdrew labour demanding the lift of the suspension slapped on their companies by the ZRA.
ZRA introduced the new Automated System for Customs Data (ASCYUDA) system last year with the aim of speeding up the clearance of vehicles at entry points.
The agents said that due to the deflating system, the ZRA suspended more than 50 transit clearing and forwarding companies from operating because of the outstanding obligations.
Mr Msisika guided that the action by clearing agents to harass other members was a violation of terms of a clearing agent licensed by the Authority.
He said in a statement after holding a meeting with members of the executive committees for three out of the four associations representing clearing agents in Zambia.
“With regards to a complaint raised over harassment of members of other clearing agents Associations who have no intent of participating in illegal demonstrations or strike and were being victimised at Nakonde Border, this action is a violation of terms of a clearing agent licensed by the Authority.ZRA will not hesitate to take sanctions against erring clearing agent companies or its employees who will be found to be harassing other members or disrupting the flow of traffic,” he said.
He said the clearing agents who had been suspended on instances such as duplicating declarations pending cancellation, removal in transit not acquitted and outstanding transactions on the old Asycuda system should appeal on an individual corporate entity basis within the next 14 days through the commission for customs services.
He however, said that the clearing agents were expected to continue to account for transactions which were outstanding on both the new AsycudaWorld and the old Asycuda++ system.
Mr Msiska assured the executive members representing clearing agents that the Authority was working closely with other public stakeholders to ensure that a conducive and secure environment prevailed at all the borders and legitimate trade was facilitated.