LUSAKA, Nov. 20 (Xinhua) -- Zambia's revenue collection agency said on Wednesday that it was putting in place measures aimed at ensuring that local customs clearing companies get a large share of the business.
The measures follow increased reports that foreign firms have hijacked the customs clearing business at the expense of local firms.
President Edgar Lungu said last week that skewed business activities towards a few customs clearing agents needed to be addressed and that the anomaly where 80 percent of the customs clearance was done by a few clearing firms while 800 small clearing firms were fighting for a paltry 20 percent should be corrected immediately.
Zambia Revenue Authority corporate communication manager Topys Sikalinda said the agency has since presented a proposal to the finance ministry on legally available options to empower Zambians in the customs clearing business.
He said the proposed measures include compelling government institutions to clear goods using indigenous Zambian-owned companies. The revenue agency has since urged local clearing agents to form one association so that they have a strong voice and work together.
Currently, there are 821 registered and licensed clearing companies in Zambia with over 80 percent of the business being done by foreign multinational clearing companies including those owned by foreign firms through Zambian proxies.