THE Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) says there is need to strengthen trusted trader programmes at border posts to fight organised crime and terrorist threats.

ZRA commissioner of customs Dingani Banda said customs has to tackle evolving and emerging risks at borders, including narcotic traffic, fake medicines and counterfeits that threaten the environment and the health of citizens.

Mr Banda said this in a speech read by deputy commissioner for operations Nkanga Shimwandwe at the national workshop on safe framework of standards and authorised economic operator.

“The economic prosperity depends on a consistent, stable and predictable environment for commerce, and that security plays a critical role in creating and protecting this stable and predictable environment,” he said.

Mr Banda said in order to have security, trusted trader programmes will need to grow.

He said authorised economic operator has become a flagship for customs authorities, as it offers an opportunity for customs to share security responsibilities with the private sector.

“Partnership programmes with the trade enable customs to do more with less, and aim at ensuring sustainable and long-term compliance through incentives such as reduced levels of control and reputation benefits,” Mr Banda said.

Mr Banda said though the authorised economic operator concept was originally driven by security, it has grown to address risks and compliance in other areas such as revenue assurance.

He said authorised economic operator will help customs and the trade to find the right balances between security and trade facilitation.

“Building a modern customs model in accordance with standard, general rules and recommendations of world customs organisation is one of the targets of customs development strategy,” Mr Banda said. – (Daily Mail)

BY NANCY SIAME

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