BoN and NamRA launch trade verification system

Stefanus Nashama

The Namibia Revenue Agency (NamRA) and the Bank of Namibia (BoN) have jointly unveiled a new Trade Verification System (TVS) to ensure that trade activities are conducted legitimately and in full compliance with Namibia’s international trade obligations.

The new system is designed to oversee the nation’s trade relations with the rest of the world, ensuring alignment with national laws under the auspices of NamRA and BoN.

Deputy Minister of Finance and Public Enterprises, Maureen Hinda-Mbuende, speaking at the launch, said that the TVS establishes a secure and efficient framework for international business transactions.

She noted that the system is expected to contribute to the reduction of potential tax-related offences estimated at N$33 billion, as reported by the Financial Intelligence Center in the National Money Laundering, Terrorist and Proliferation Financing Risk Assessment Report of 2021.

Hinda-Mbuende stressed that the TVS aims to significantly reduce fraudulent Value Added Tax (VAT) refund claims while empowering the Namibian government to uphold fair trade practices and financial transparency.

Furthermore, the system will play a vital role in curbing illicit financial activities, preventing misreporting, and ensuring accurate and efficient tax collection.

The Deputy Minister clarified that the TVS reinforces compliance with various laws, including the Currency and Exchanges Act No. 9 of 1933, the Exchange Control Regulations of 1961, Financial Intelligence Act No.13 of 2012, Customs and Excise Act (Act No.20 of 1998) amendments, and VAT Act (Act No. 10 of 2000) amendments related to import transactions and VAT obligations.

She said that the TVS contributes to creating a favourable business environment for economic development and improving taxpayer services and cross-border payment regulation.

Additionally, the automation of fund tracking and manual processes within the system will enhance trade efficiency, especially since Customs operates 24/7.

Hinda-Mbuende recommended that the TVS launch marks the beginning of a transformative journey that will help Namibia navigate the complexities of global trade more effectively.

During the launch, BoN Deputy Governor Leonie Dunn said that the TVS strengthens mechanisms to address nationally identified vulnerabilities, enhancing global market integrity and competitiveness.

Dunn stated that the TVS will intensify efforts to combat illicit and illegal export and import practices.

NamRA Commissioner, Sam Shivute, accentuated the significance of the TVS and said that it paves the way for Namibia to align with world trade regulations.

He also stressed the importance of collaboration with BoN and reiterated that the successful implementation of such a system requires skilled and experienced stakeholders to manage and ensure its effectiveness.

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