THE taskforce on the control of importation of edible oils has called on all stakeholders in Zambia to uphold the law that bars the importation of the oils to help the sector to thrive.
This was when the taskforce conducted a tour of the Chirundu Border Post to ascertain why there is still an influx of refined and packaged cooking oil coming into Zambia.
Department of Agribusiness acting principal economist Matongo Munsanje, who is team leader of the taskforce, said the
authorities had in the past two months not issued any permit for refined oils but the commodity continued entering the country.
Mr Munsanje said this showed that there could be something wrong or any other challenges that the stakeholders were facing at the point of entry.
Stakeholders at the Chirundu border have complained that the new system at the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA), which is e – commerce has secluded them from the ASYCUDA programme where they have no access and are unable to know what goods are coming into Zambia.
Environmental health officer, Kabeela Kagula said ZRA takes the lead in processing import permits of commodities and the department was mostly unaware of the products that were passing through the border.
An officer from the Zambia Bureau of Standards echoed similar sentiments and called on ZRA to incorporate other officers in the system so as to help curb vices.
ZRA customs officer Joshua Phiri said there was also need for them to be trained and have machinery that could detect what was crude oil or edible oil so as to put a stop to it.
He said if this could be done then quick intervention could be made with importers being either fined or commodities disposed in accordance with the law.— NAIS