The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) introduced the Electronic Cargo Tracking System (ECTS), becoming fifth revenue administration in Africa to have such an operational Electronic Cargo Tracking and Monitoring System.
The system became effective in January 2017 and was officially commissioned by the Minister of Finance and Economic Development Patrick Chinamasa on May 15, 2017.
The robust ECTS system tracks and monitors transit cargo from the point of entry into Zimbabwe to the point of exit using electronic seals that are armed on the cargo. The system covers containerised cargo, break bulk cargo and fuel tankers.
The system was also integrated into Zimra’s main ASYCUDA World System for bills of entry processing. Currently, Zimra is using 19, geo-fenced transit routes for the convenience of its valued clients, covering all major commercial cargo processing.
The monitoring is real time and the sealed cargo will constantly be under the ECTS control room radar throughout the geo-fenced route. The electronic device sealed to the transiting cargo is linked to the control room and reports any violations or any tampering.
Any violation and tampering alarms are promptly attended by the stand-by Zimra Reaction Teams for corrective action, which may involve penalties or seizure of the cargo and/or the truck depending on gravity of the offence.
What transporters, clearing agents and companies should do?
Zimra has several geo-fenced transit routes across the country which transporter or clearing agents can choose. Upon processing of Transit Bill of Entry at the port of entry, they should indicate and choose their route and this information will be immediately linked to the device and the control room. Once a geo-fenced route has been chosen, transporters should follow it until the truck exits the country.
Offences picked by the ECTS system
- Diverting from the chosen geo-fenced route. The offence attracts some fines payable at the port of exit, which have to be paid before the offender exits the country
- Tampering with any of the electronic devices. Seal tampering attracts penalties and fines
- Tampering with the cargo along the route. This is tantamount to transit fraud and is a prosecutable offence
- Sealed trucks going off route to their garages in areas not marked as safe parking zones by Zimra without prior arrangements
- Taking too long idle time or parking time along the way will trigger an alarm for the Reaction Team
Benefits of the ECTS to business and the country
The Electronic Cargo Tracking System is an effective counter-smuggling and transit fraud curbing system which increases revenue to the Treasury. The ECTS system has brought efficient clearance processes at the border posts and decongested the points of entry and exit, thus making Zimbabwe a preferred trade and travel corridor in the region
The system is also a corruption fighting mechanism through embracing modern automation processes, which reduce opportunities for corruption.
The Zimra Electronic Cargo Tracking System has dovetailed quite well with the Government of Zimbabwe’s Ease of Doing Business thrust.
This article was compiled by the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority for information purposes only. Zimra shall not accept responsibility for loss or damage arising from use of material in this article and no liability will attach to the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority.
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