The Challenges of E-Commerce Regulation for Tax Policy in Africa

The United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) defines electronic commerce (e-commerce) as “commercial activities conducted through an exchange of information generated, stored or communicated by electronic optical or analogs means…

With e-commerce now accounting for 80 percent of all global commerce[1], there is an urgent need to regulate these transactions to meet tax policy objectives of broadening the tax base and eliminating erosion. Taxing e-commerce will ensure equal treatment of national production and imports of the same product in order to avoid market distortion. The lack of a standard legal framework can lead to double taxation or double non-taxation; and different regimes for taxation of electronic goods sold electronically and sales of national products in the non-electronic market can distort overall market equity.

Continue reading “The Challenges of E-Commerce Regulation for Tax Policy in Africa”

The Basis for the Harmonization of VAT and Excise Taxes in SADC

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) aims to become a Free Trade Area, Customs Union, Common Market, and Monetary Union through the introduction of the single currency, with support for regional integration by Member States utilizing the basic elements of fiscal policy coordination and harmonization.

Continue reading “The Basis for the Harmonization of VAT and Excise Taxes in SADC”

Coordinated Management of Mozambique’s Borders: Challenges for Implementation

On January 26, 2016, the World Customs Organization (WCO) celebrated 64 years of representing customs administrations (now numbering 180 and accounting for approximately 98% of international trade). The WCO promotes the use of information and communication technologies by customs administrations and other stakeholders under the motto: “Digital Customs: Progressive Engagement.”

Customs authorities in Mozambique began using information technologies in 1997 with the Trade Information System (TIMS), and Mozambique upgraded to the Single Electronic Window in 2011. The Single Electronic Window currently processes 90% of import and export declarations.

Continue reading “Coordinated Management of Mozambique’s Borders: Challenges for Implementation”