Government agencies sign inter-agency agreement

Source: Government agencies sign inter-agency agreement | The Herald November 3, 2016

Business Reporters

Government is accelerating the implementation of Doing Business Reforms after ten Government agencies mandated to operate at the country’s ports of entry signed an inter-agency agreement aimed at creating a single window facility.This move is pursuant to Finance and Economic Development Minister Patrick Chinamasa’s pronouncement in the 2015 National Budget Statement that there was need for the establishment of a single window facility at all ports of entry in Zimbabwe.

A single window facility is a system which facilitates submission and processing of data and information at ports at the same time.

It is a cross border facility that allows parties involved in trade and transport to lodge standardised information, mainly electronic, with a single entry point to fulfil all import, export and transit related regulatory processes.

“Government is reviewing the ease with which business is being conducted in Zimbabwe, following President Robert Mugabe’s pronouncements that it was high time that Zimbabwe reviewed its highly regulatory environment to improve the investment climate.

“Government continues in its accelerated implementation of Doing Business Reforms, which are meant to enable a streamlined, more transparent and predictable business environment that will contribute to the competitiveness of the economy, and help attract and maintain local and foreign investors,” Deputy Chief Secretary in the Office of the President and Cabinet Dr Ray Ndhlukula said at the signing ceremony for the inter-agency agreement in Harare yesterday.

Dr Ndhlukula said the agreement will strengthen the co-ordination and partnership among Government agencies to effectively and efficiently implement the

single window facility at all border posts, in order to improve service delivery.

Government agencies active in the operationalisation of the single

window facility include, Zimbabwe Revenue Authority, Environmental Management Agency, Ministry of Health and Child Care, Zimbabwe National Road Administration, Ministry of Defence, Zimbabwe Republic Police, Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development, Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development, Agricultural Marketing Authority and National Biotechnology Authority.

Dr Ndhlukula said once operational the single window facility’s benefits to both Government and clients/trading community include reduction of number of stops in cross border trade and other transactions by combining border control activities of the Government agencies at a single location.

The facility will also enable faster clearance and shorter release time

for goods at the ports of entry thereby, enhancing operational efficiency

and facilitation of regional trade, collaboration, integration and exchange of regional trade information through highly automated trade facilitation.

Transport operators are also set to benefit from the single window facility as it will enable faster movement of goods through border posts leading to reduction of costs, reliable accurate information on movement of goods provided to clients, more efficient and productive use of human resources and accurate scheduling of cross border goods collection.

“Government remains committed to improving the country’s competitiveness which is demonstrated by this

initiative among other ongoing reforms,” said Dr Ndhlukula at the ceremony.