Gaborone — Botswana Unified Revenue Service (BURS) Acting Commissioner General, Mr Segolo Lekau, says the organisation is conducting an operation targeting import car dealerships across the country.
Speaking during a media briefing in Gaborone on Wednesday, Mr Lekau said there was a nationwide campaign, investigating grey import car dealerships and money laundering.
He explained that the campaign was a result of a risk analysis, which BURS conducted, whose outcomes had shown that some motor dealerships had been undervaluing the costs of the motor vehicles they have on sale.
"Given the magnitude of the undervaluation of these cars, BURS is finding it difficult to collect the required and accurate tax amount and therefore Botswana loses on valuable Customs revenue," he said.
Mr Lekau added that loss of customs revenue negatively impacted on the development of the country and urged Batswana to duly pay their taxes without the need to minimise the amounts.
For his part, General Manager - Investigations Compliance and Enforcement, Mr Kaone Molapo, said that results from the risk analysis showed that there was a lot of discrepancies regarding the importation of cars from countries such as South Africa, Japan and China into Botswana.
Mr Molapo pleaded with Batswana to declare the actual amounts they spent to buy their cars so that BURS could charge accordingly, at the various border points throughout the country.
He said according to section 96, subsection 5 of the Customs Act, 2018, 'All goods intended to be placed under customs procedure shall be covered by a customs declaration appropriate for that particular procedure'.
Mr Molapo further added that measures had been taken to ensure compliance and adherence to the act and BURS had decided to seize or detain the motor vehicles pending further investigations on their actual values.
"Traders and travelers are therefore requested to cooperate with customs officials in their course of business to facilitate smooth and fast clearance of goods," he said.
Source : BOPA