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ZRA Discovers Origin Fraud Scam in Paper and PVC Imports

The Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) has exposed a smuggling scam involving origin fraud by certain importers dealing in paper boards and PVC films. 

The illicit activity was detected earlier this year when intelligence reports revealed that companies claiming to import paper from South Africa were actually sourcing it from India and China.

To evade taxes, these importers exploited SADC certificates of origin, as goods originating from SADC member states receive benefits such as duty exemptions. 

ZRA officers, acting on the received intelligence, tracked a specific consignment through Victoria Border Post and directed the driver to report to Makeni Enforcement Center.

Upon a physical inspection of the goods, discrepancies were identified in the packaging and labeling, indicating potential fraud. 

The PVC film, initially categorized for a 25% customs duty exemption under the assumption of South African origin, was found to have originated elsewhere—thus constituting origin fraud.

The seizure comprised 20 pallets of shrink film and 14 pallets of duplex board, resulting in a financial loss of approximately K605,000 for ZRA. 

The authority has characterized this incident as part of a broader syndicate and plans to conduct a comprehensive audit of previous imports to ensure accurate duties are collected. 

ZRA remains committed to curbing fraudulent activities and maintaining the integrity of the customs duty system.

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