Customs clearing agents are a vital cog in the machine of international trade, handling all the documentation needed to clear goods arriving and leaving the country. If well-trained and professional, these agents can ensure that documentation is error-free, that traders pay the correct fees and that goods keep moving smoothly and efficiently across borders.
In Malawi there is little proper training available for customs clearing agents, meaning the level of service is inconsistent. Goods are often classified incorrectly, fuelling distrust between customs and traders and leading to more physical inspections and delays at the border. These delays are costly for both government and business.