Manual Issuance of Copper Export Permits Phased Out
• The online system is meant to foster transparency for monthly mineral production data
• With the new system cobalt and precious metal exports will be easier to track Zambia’s Mines Ministry has announced that it has phased out the manual issuance of export permits for copper, cobalt and precious minerals like emeralds, to an online platform that is expected to deliver more accurate data on the country’s exports.
In an interview with the Zambian Business Times - ZBT, Alexander Nyirenda who is the Public Relations Manager for Ministry of Mines disclosed that the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development (MMMD) has phased out the manual issuance of export permits for copper, cobalt and precious metals.
“The ministry has introduced an online system called the Mineral Output Statistical Evaluation System - MOSES. Once a metal or mineral producer has been on boarded onto MOSES, they are then able to make export permit applications online”, Nyirenda told ZBT.
Nyirenda further emphasized that the system is not a ZRA system but one that was developed under the mineral value chain monitoring project (MVCMP) with ZRA as one of the lead institution. The MMMD is the main institution while other stakeholders include ZABS, CSO, PACRA, RDA and RTSA.
The online system is meant to foster transparency for monthly mineral production data as well as for the issuance of export permits (for the application and issuance of export permits MOSES was interfaced with old system which was previously used at the ministry of mines.
Meanwhile, the Zambia Revenue Authority - ZRA Corporate Communication Manager Topsy Sikalinda told ZBT that the Revenue Authority’s target is to work with other stakeholders to have all the base and precious metals dealers migrate to the online reporting and export permitting system by mid-July 2018.
The ZRA Communications Manager said that ZRA’s key role is trade facilitation. This online system now allows what has been declared by various stakeholders mainly government agencies to be cross checked. All that ZRA does is check and cross-check the genuity of permits.
The rule is that once export articles are found not to be unauthentic, ZRA would impound and seize the property immediately thereby ceding the property to the state. This would be deemed as a potential smuggling attempt.
Sikalinda further advised trading organizations in Zambia to register with the online platform because it has a number of advantages, which include less inconveniencing, can be easily accessed from anywhere at any time, cheaper, quicker and compliant.
Zambia’s export of mostly precious metals and Cobalt has been challenging to track due to lack of an independent system to facilitate export permit issuance and the allow other independent government agencies such as ZRA to counter check and collect the right levels of taxation.
The manual system was also prone to corruption manipulation and this online system will ensure adequate system built controls are adhered to.