An Investigation into the Effectiveness of Customs Strategies in Mitigating Smuggling of Goods in Zambia


  • Chipo Hamachila Graduate School of Business, University of Zambia, Zambia
  • Dr. Chaste Nsama Graduate School of Business, University of Zambia, Zambia



smuggling, taxes, willingness to pay


This dissertation assesses customs strategies' effectiveness in curbing goods smuggling in Zambia. Despite efforts by the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA), which is a statutory body mandated to among other functions, collect revenue on behalf of the Zambian Government and tackle smuggling, the problem of smuggling remains pervasive, necessitating a comprehensive strategy review. Using a Mixed Method approach, the study combined qualitative and quantitative methods. Primary data was collected via semi-structured questionnaires, supplemented by desk research for secondary data. The study targeted individuals from the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA). The study aimed to conjure 100+ responses and key personnel interviews, using purposive sampling. Analysis employed a descriptive and interpretive design to identify themes, patterns, and relationships. Objectives included investigating the effectiveness of the existing customs strategies in mitigating smuggling of goods   in Zambia, evaluating taxes' influence on smuggling, establishing the correlation between willingness to pay taxes and smuggling, and the effectiveness of policy, legal, and institutional frameworks against smuggling. Findings show that the existing customs strategies, while generally effective, needs enhancement. Furthermore, findings revealed a significant positive relationship between taxes and smuggling prevalence. However, the willingness to pay taxes and smuggling relationship is complex, suggesting other influencing factors. Evaluation of policy, legal, and institutional frameworks reveals challenges like corruption, resource inadequacy, and inter-agency coordination limitations, hindering effectiveness. Regarding law effectiveness in combating smuggling, perspectives vary. While some viewed the law as effective, others cited corruption, inadequate penalties, and resource constraints affecting implementation. The study recommended Continuous Monitoring and Adaptation. Given the dynamic nature of smuggling and its relationship with taxation, policymakers should continuously monitor and adapt strategies. Regular assessments of the effectiveness of customs strategies, tax policies, and awareness campaigns to encourage compliance in term of paying taxes are crucial to ensuring that interventions remain relevant and impactful in the evolving landscape of Smuggling activities. Furthermore, the study recommended implementing legal reforms that effectively target existing gaps, establish sanctions commensurate with the gravity of offences, and account for the evolving methods employed in smuggling activities.


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How to Cite

Chipo Hamachila, & Dr. Chaste Nsama. (2024). An Investigation into the Effectiveness of Customs Strategies in Mitigating Smuggling of Goods in Zambia. Management Journal for Advanced Research, 4(2), 12–20.