via Zim mulls one-stop border post – DailyNews Live 30 NOVEMBER 2014 by KUDZAI CHAWAFAMBIRA
HARARE – Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa will before end of June introduce a one-stop post on the Zimbabwean side of the border as part of measures to improve the clearing processes.
The facility will entail coordination and cooperation among all agencies involved in regulatory requirements at the ports of entry.
Chinamasa said this measure was in order to facilitate fast clearance of cargo, movement of travellers and also enhance revenue collection, thereby reducing the cost of doing business.
“The electronic single window platform will guarantee access rights to view and monitor enforcement of regulations by all relevant agencies, through an interface to the ASYCUDA World System under the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra),” he said in his 2015 National Budget presentation on Thursday.
He said all fees and charges would be collected by the revenue collector in addition to enforcing prohibitions, restrictions, import and export controls, permits and licence validations on behalf of all regulatory agencies.
This comes as Zimbabwe witnessed a proliferation of government agents at ports of entry, leading to congestion and unnecessary delays of movement of travellers and cargo.
Government agencies that are currently present at borders include the Environmental Management Agency, the ministry of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Rural Development, the Veterinary Department, Plant Inspectorate, the National Bio-Technology Authority, the Zimbabwe National Roads Authority and Port Health.
In an effort to combat smuggling, Zimra would collaborate with the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) and relevant security agencies to minimise leakages through the undesignated entry points, he said.
He noted that about 32 undesignated crossing points, through which goods are smuggled, have been identified along the country’s border line.
“This has undermined measures instituted over the years to curtail the importation of goods, in support of industry revival. Negative consequences of smuggling include importation of prohibited goods, illicit currency outflows and loss of revenue to the fiscus, among others,” he said.
In September this year, Industry minister Mike Bimha told Parliament that government was tightening border controls in a bid to stem the flow of illegal imports.
He noted that Zimbabwe’s ports of entry have become “very porous” and Cabinet had crafted measures to curb the smuggling.
“There is a lot of corruption going on because goods do come in and sometimes through the normal channels at the border, but no duty is paid,” Bimha said.
The minister said they had recommended to Cabinet as a ministry the setting up of a multi-sectoral team to look into the matter.
He told Parliament they had been given approval by Cabinet.
“We are in the process of putting up this multi-sectoral team which will ensure that we inspect the goods which come through our borders,” he said.