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Pre-clearance of commercial cargo now mandatory

by Staff reporter
14 Feb 2018 at 05:34hrs | Views
Government has started insisting on the pre-clearance of commercial cargo imports, which became mandatory on February 1.

The new measures are contained in Statutory Instrument 9 of 2018, which was published in the Government Gazette of January 26.

The regulations are meant to enhance efficiency and improve the turnaround time in the clearance and movement of commercial goods. The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) started the full implementation of the new regulations last week.

In a notice sent to all customs clearing agents and importers on Monday, the revenue authority said no truck shall be allowed into the customs area without documentary evidence to the effect that the goods have been pre-cleared.

"Please be advised that with effect from 1st February 2018, all goods coming into Zimbabwe are required to be pre-cleared before they arrive at the port of entry," said Zimra.

"This is in terms of Section 5A subsection 2 of the Customs and Excise (General) (Amendment) Regulations 2018 (Number 89) published in Statutory Instrument 9 of 2018, which states that: "An importer or his agent shall with effect from 2018 lodge with the commissioner the preceding documents before the arrival in Zimbabwe of all goods dispatched by road.

"In the regard, no truck shall be allowed into the customs area without documentary evidence to the effect that the goods have been pre-cleared." Zimra's head of communications Mr Canisio Mudzimu was not readily available yesterday.

The chairperson of the Shipping and Forwarding Agents Association of Zimbabwe (SFAAZ) Beitbridge Chapter Mr Laddie Gamanya said most of their members had started complying with the requirements. He said the pre-clearance facility would help lessen the time cargo was kept at the border.

"Prior to the latest development, we had two option of clearing goods, either upon arrival or using the pre-clearance facility," said Mr Gamanya.

"So far, we haven't encountered any challenges relating to the introduction of the pre-clearance system. However, there are a few specified goods made in South Africa which will be cleared upon arrival. These need a SADC clearance certificate, which in most cases is issued or processed at that country's port of exit."

Mr Gamanya said under the new facility, clearing agents or importers lodge all the necessary importation documents with Zimra prior to the arrival of the goods in the country. He said when the cargo arrives at the border, there would be less paperwork, which usually delay its movement.

"When the cargo arrives, there will be less paper work, but mere verification of the consignments," said Mr Gamanya.

"This cuts on the time goods spend at one point before getting to its final destination."

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Source - theh erald

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