The Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) has offered owners of 190 vehicles stuck at Songwe Border post in Karonga to clear them by paying duty in instalments by applying to the commissioner general to use the facility.

According to the public tax collector, the applications can be submitted through any of the MRA customs offices in all the country’s regions.

MRA commissioner general John Biziwick, in a statement made available to Business News saidthat the clearance of the vehicles through the facility is, however, subject to conditions.

“Following the recent advert in the local newspapers by Trust Auctioneers and Estate Agents (TAEA) to sell uncleared motor vehicles at Songwe Border post by public auction, we are informing the owners of the vehicles that there is a facility that allows an importer to clear a motor vehicle by instalments subject to conditions that they apply for initial payment of 50 percent of the assessed duties by June 20, 2013,” he said.

Biziwick said the conditions include that interest will accrue from the day of first instalment under the prevailing commercial bank rates on the balance.

“Balance and interest is to be paid in equal instalments within three months from the date of the initial payment. The vehicle may be collected if there is bank guarantee by the importer, but if this fails the vehicle shall remain under the custody of MRA until full duty is paid,” he said.

Biziwick said MRA reserves the right to sell the vehicle to recover the remaining duty after failure to settle the balance within the agreed period.

MRA deputy corporate affairs director Steven Kapoloma, in an interview on Friday, said the vehicles have been at the border since December 31 2012.

The public tax collector operates as a government tax administration agency under the Ministry of Finance.

The money that it collects goes to the Malawi Government for implementation of various socio-economic development projects such as the construction of roads and bridges, schools, health facilities and provision of social services like national security, provision of salaries for civil servants including the police, the army, judges, doctors, nurses and teachers.

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