Blantyre, Tuesday, July 4, 2017. Five hundred COMESA Virtual Trade Facilitation System (CVTFS) kits have been supplied to the government of Malawi to support trade facilitation.
The CVTFS is a COMESA’s electronic initiative that integrates in one platform, all COMESA trade facilitation documents. Specifically, it links customs offices along a transit corridor from the origin to the destination and thereby enabling real-time monitoring of cargo.
At the handing over ceremony in Lilongwe, the Secretary General of COMESA Sindiso Ngwenya said digitalization of trade facilitation tools was key in the COMESA’s Integration Agenda as this will enhance business transactions and cut the costs of doing business in the region.
He said: “The CVTFS is part of COMESA’s initiative to assist member states adopt e-Business strategies which is the way forward that will enable governments and private sector players to reap the benefits of their investments.”
COMESA has also developed an electronic Certificate of Origin soon which is expected to be implemented soon. The e-certificate shall be embedded in the CVTFS to help in reducing fraud and subsequent loss of revenue collections by governments in the region.
Receiving the kit, Malawi Revenue Authority Deputy Commissioner Mrs Roza Mbilizi said digitalization of trade facilitation tools will improve service delivery in the country as well as the region.
“We shall embrace all the new innovative ideas the COMESA Secretariat is coming up with such as the CVTFS and the e-Comesa Certificate of Origin to enhance the movement of goods and services between our borders,” she said.
The implementation of the CVFTS is intended to contribute to efficient logistics and ultimately the reduction of trade transit related costs. It is further expected to improve the rankings of Member States that are implementing the system on the World Bank Index of doing business across borders.