Complaint

Complaint number
NTB-000-972  
NTB Type
7.5. Lengthy procedures  
Complaint
There is usually a very long queue of north-bound trucks on the South African side of the border. This situation is very undesirable at it negatively affects trade facilitation along the north-south corridor and is a big concern in efforts to fight the covid-19 pandemic. These trucks are held up at the border due to some of the following reasons:

1) The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority Document Processing Centres (DPCs) are opening at 0800hrs and closing at 1500hrs. Outside this period trucks are still moving and documents are continuously lodged into the system by clearing agents. Processes that should be done in the Zimra system cannot be performed during this period. The border post is open for 24 hours and closure of the DPCs creates a bottleneck. Operating hours of the DPCs have been affected by the national curfew (0600hrs-1800hrs) that was recently introduced by Government to fight against the covid-19 pandemic.

2) Other customs processes such as cargo release (manual) procedures and query resolution are taking too much time to be done.

3) Due to the recent upward movement in the exchange rate, clearing agents sometimes do not have enough bond cover to move goods in transit. This has also resulted in truck movement delays. A proposal to have these bonds denominated in USD (in order to introduce stability in the system) has been made by the association to Zimra.

4) There are delays by Zimra in generating T1s which allow movement of transit cargo even in cases where bonds sufficiently cover the goods.

5) Of late Zimra did very well by opening a fast lane (green route) for some traffic but there has been no consistency in this process. The route is closed at times.

6) There are undesignated check-points within the border which humper movement of trucks.  
Progress update note
On 29th July 2020 , ZIMRA provided the following explanations to clear the complaint:
a) The delays are experienced where there is insufficient surety to enable generation of T1s however, monitoring in undertaken to ensure T1s are generated on time for sufficiently funded bonds. Where sufficient surety are provided, ZIMRA promised that effective supervision and monitoring will be implemented to remove delays in the generation of T1s
b) The bus lanes incorporating the green route and red route are still operational and grains trucks, low risk cargo and transit cargo not destined to Condep are using the route all the time. Consistency in the operation of the green lane is totally guaranteed considering the benefits being delivered from its use.
c) The issue of checkpoints by other Government agencies has been dealt with by the Ease of doing business task force, however In the interim as the lead agent, ZIMRA will escalate the challenges to the responsible authorities of the respective other agencies making reference to the Ease of doing business resolutions and will monitor to ensure checkpoints as agreed in the Ease of doing business meetings are adhered to. The ZIMRA checkpoints in the yard are well defined and there is need to engage the responsible relevant stakeholders operating any undesignated checkpoint.
d) The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority Document Processing Centres (DPCs) are opening at 0800hrs and closing at 1500hrs. Outside this period trucks are still moving and documents are continuously lodged into the system by clearing agents. Processes that should be done in the ZIMRA system cannot be performed during this period..
e) The operational hours for the Declaration Processing Centres were affected by the recent National Lockdown pronouncement and efforts are underway to engage the responsible Authority for exemption of DPC offices. To mitigate the challenge, Beitbridge seconded officers from other Sections to assist in examining and assessing of bills of entry.
f) Skeletal staff members are manning the Sections in an effort to observe social distancing during the COVID 19 pandemic and efforts are underway to speed up queries resolution a process that also require reciprocal support from Clearing Agents. Constant monitoring of trucks movement is done to ensure speed release of trucks.
g) The proposal was done at National level and it is still under consideration, the Clearing Agent in the interim are implored to uplift their bonds which will be urgently approved in the interest of trade facilitation.  
Policy or regulatory NTB
No 
Location
Zimbabwe: Beitbridge (Border post)  
Reporting Country or Region
 
Country specific trade issue
No  
Date of incident
2020-07-24  
Status
In process  
Product Description
 
Total value
0  
Date reported
2020-07-28 10:23  
Modified
2020-07-29 15:31