The Energy Regulation Board ERB has suspended fuel importation licenses for Oil Marketing Companies OMCs.
ERB Director for Consumer and Public Affairs, Agnes Phiri says that this has been done in public interest to allow for smooth transition before the private sector takes over procurement of petroleum products.
In a statement availed to Breeze News, Ms. Phiri says that the suspension is merely an interim measure and does not amount to revocation.
She says that the suspensions are also meant to curtail misconduct in the sector which had resulted in some unlicensed entities engaging in fuel importation, contrary to the law, which prohibits importation without a valid license.
Ms. Phiri further explains that other malpractices involve OMCs wholesaling products and offering 30 days credit to their counterparts, when they do not hold wholesale licenses duly issued by the ERB.
She says that ERB is also aware that some OMCs were evading tax through the imports by abusing the SADC rules of origin provision and ignoring ERB license conditions, which do not allow transportation of fuel directly to service stations but through deports.
Ms. Phiri has pointed out that as a result government has suffered losses through tax evasions.