Rumbidzayi Zinyuke Manicaland Bureau
Importers should use the pre-clearance facility, which allows them to clear goods before arrival at the port of entry and reduce the time spent at the border, the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) has said.
This comes in the wake of a demonstration by truck drivers who closed off the Road Motor Services (RMS) depot in Mutare last week citing poor sanitation and service delivery. Tankers sometimes spend up to five days at the holding bay waiting to complete all Zimra formalities before proceeding to their des- tinations.
In e-mailed responses to The Herald, Zimra head of corporate communications Mr Canisio Mudzimu said truckers only needed to use the holding bay when they have failed to clear their goods before arrival at the border. He said the pre-clearance facility en- abled importers to submit customs clearance documents before they got to the border.
“All pre-cleared cargo that would have completed customs formalities – except for cargo referred for physical examination or for sealing in line with the authority’s risk profiling strategy – is quickly released at the border without the need to use services of transit sheds, container depots or storage facilities,” said Mr Mudzimu.
He said the pre-clearance facility reduced congestion and time spent at the border, which ultimately improved convenience to the importers and transporters. Mr Mudzimu, however, acknowledged the deplorable state of the sanitary facilities at the Mutare holding bay.
“Zimra has engaged the National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) on the matter you have alluded to and we can confirm that the authority will also continue to engage operators of transit sheds, container depots and any other storage facilities for the improvement of conditions for the convenience of our valued clients,” he said.
More than 100 fuel tankers that enter Zimbabwe through Forbes Border Post from Mozambique daily, park at the NRZ-owned holding bay as they wait sealing of their cargo. The rest of the truckers that come in through the border post park at the GMS Mutare dry port awaiting clear- ance.