Thupeyo Muleya Beitbridge Bureau
The movement of cargo has improved at Beitbridge Border Post after Government reviewed its position on the new pre-shipment regulations under the Consignment Based Conformity Assessment (CBCA) programme.
The programme took off with a host of challenges last Tuesday.
The new regulations that were gazetted into law on December 18 last year require that goods be tested for conformity with required standards prior to importation into Zimbabwe became operational on March 1.
Government introduced the programme with the view to reduce hazardous and substandard imported products and improve customs duty collection.
Bureau Veritas has been appointed by the Ministry of Industry and Commerce for the verification and the assessment of conformity of goods in exporting countries.
The new developments resulted in cargo piling up on the South African side of the border with most importers failing to produce the required transitional certificate of conformity.
By the end of day yesterday, movement of locally destined goods had normalised after Government waived the pre-shipments of CBCA certificates on consignments shipped before March 1.
In separate interviews customs and clearing agents said that the new regulations would only apply to cargo coming into the country from the date of implementation.
Shipping and Forwarding Agents Association of Zimbabwe (SFAAZ) chief executive Mr Joseph Musariri commended Government for acting swiftly on the matter.
“The association has successfully lobbied for the Ministry of Industry and Commerce to waive certificates of conformity on goods that were dispatched from the country of export before March 1, 2016. I am advised by the ministry that the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) has now been communicated with in this regard.
“Cargo dispatched on or after 1 March must be accompanied by a CBCA certificate for specified products,” he said.
Mr Musariri said there is conflict between ZIMRA’s interpretation of the legislation and the Ministry of Industry and Commerce’s position.