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8.5. Infrastructure (Air, Port, Rail, Road, Border Posts,)
Due to the topographic nature of the Forbes Border Post, trucks cannot be parked and cleared at the Border as it would create congestion. The trucks are allowed to proceed out of the Valley where the border is situated and must park in Customs Approved Yards in Mutare. Dry Cargo (Flat Decks) have a Dry Port Yard whilst Petroleum Tankers must park at the RMS Yard (Railway Maintenance Yard Customs created the yards to enable them to clear the loads.
1. Transporters are charged a fee to park in these RMS yards. This is an unnecessary charge and there is no evidence that the funds are used for the upkeep of the yard.
2. Despite the fact that this yard houses Dangerous Goods there is limited access control at a rickety gate. The perimeter is not suitably fenced. The view of the tankers is blocked from the main road by strategically placed defunct railway wagons. There is no access control and the yard is surrounded by a maze of tunnels and hedges where trade in stolen fuel is conducted. Third Party vehicles are allowed access to the yard and unfortunately siphoning from side tanks is evident. Given the lack of security staff, fencing and lighting, the situation worsens at nightfall. Recently truckers have been plagued by theft of items from trucks eg batteries from the trucks.
3. There are no facilities for the drivers. The congestion at Forbes is already well documented due to the failing Ascudya system and inefficiencies in the Customs Sealing process and drivers are stuck a minimum of 48 hours in this yard. There are no ablutions and limited access to running water. It is an inappropriate holding yard where a driver cannot rest before leaving on the next leg of his journey. When it rains, the area becomes a muddy morass
There are several truck yards in the area that are well equipped and offer the drivers clean facilities. Customs are requested to not charge for the RMS yard, clean it up and offer the appropriate security and facilities, or allow vehicles to park in other yards.
Transporters have brought this situation to the authorities before but to no avail. Its seems there are vested interests in keeping valuable cargo parked in this insecure area. Drivers are spending too long in filthy and dangerous conditions while being charged for a service that forms part of Customs responsibilities.
- Status note
On 9 Beruary 2018, Zimbabwe Revenue Authority advised that Vehicles with uncleared goods are sent to park at a Depot licenced and bonded to keep goods before Customs clearance. This is a privately owned premises which does not belong to Customs and therefore the owner charges for accommodating the trucks.
2. The concerns raised for RMS have since been addressed. Tankers are as from 7.2.18 being parked at a new premises (truck yard) while awaiting finalization of clearance process. The new premises has a perimeter fence, ablution facilities, showers and CCTVs
- Progress update note
- Policy or regulatory NTB
Zimbabwe: Forbes (Border post)
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