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Zimbabweans enjoy border digitisation gains

by Staff reporter
19 Jun 2024 at 02:23hrs | Views
The digitization of the Beitbridge port of entry through the Zimbabwe Electronic Single Window (ZESW) platform is significantly improving trade facilitation and clearance efficiency. Introduced in 2022 by the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra), the ZESW aims to streamline the process of importing and exporting by centralizing regulatory services and allowing for online transactions, thereby reducing turnaround times and enhancing transparency.

Zimra is rolling out the project in phases, starting with the Beitbridge port on May 16, 2024. This initiative benefits various stakeholders, including importers, exporters, shipping and freight forwarders, transporters, funeral parlours, and customs administration. Government agencies involved in the movement of food, drugs, health, and agricultural products are also being integrated into the system.

Key features of the ZESW include the ability for clients to lodge documents electronically from their offices and make payments online. This consolidation reduces the need to move between different agencies, which improves efficiency and reduces the risk of revenue leakages. Since its launch, there has been a steady increase in the number of transactions processed through the ZESW at Beitbridge, surpassing the initial rollouts at Forbes Border Post and Robert Mugabe International Airport.

During its first weeks, Beitbridge processed a significant number of import and transit entries and conducted numerous online inspections of human remains. The system has been well-received by customs clearing agents, funeral parlours, and other stakeholders for its ability to centralize operations and simplify the submission of required documents.

Mr. Gladman Njanji of Zimra highlighted the positive response from stakeholders, emphasizing the platform's potential to enhance convenience and increase revenue collection. He noted that training and awareness workshops were conducted to ensure all stakeholders, including Zimra staff, transporters, and funeral parlours, are well-versed in using the new system.

Overall, the ZESW is part of the government's broader strategy to improve the ease of doing business in Zimbabwe by making trade processes more efficient and transparent.

Source - The Herald
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