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Upgrade to customs clearing system causes major disruption at ZIMRA

ZIMRA, Zimbabwe Revenue Authority fraudster

ZIMRAAn upgrade of the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) customs clearing ICT system carried out recently didn’t go too well. Major disruptions in clearing have been experienced and according to reports we got last night, the situation has not been resolved yet.

A tip sent to us from one business executive read:

they’ve moved to a new “IT system” at airport – MASSIVE delays – nothing has been out for about 1 week…. news worthy?  check it out with some clearing agents… it’s shocking no newspaper is writing about it… they are causing zim industry to shutdown…

We gather from a release by the Shipping and Forwarding Agents’ Association of Zimbabwe (SFAAZ) that the upgrade was carried out in October and the most affected customs clearing points are Beitbridge (border with South Africa), Harare port and Harare Airport. The SFAAZ is the representative organisation of shipping lines and customs clearing agents in Zimbabwe.

Here’s the full text of the release:

More than a month ago, in October, the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) embarked on an upgrade of their computerized customs clearing system. Although this was a very welcome development to the Freight Forwarding and Customs Clearing fraternity, the system upgrade has caused serious challenges resulting in commercial customs clearing delays.

Whilst these challenges have been experienced countrywide, Beitbridge, Harare Port and of late, Harare Airport, have been more significantly affected.

In the face of these challenges, the association has been in continuous engagement with Zimra who have expressed their commitment to quickly resolve them in order to enhance trade facilitation.

The delays have affected movement of transit cargo into and out of the region, in addition to the huge storage and demurrage costs that importers and exporters continue to incur. In our view, the costs to industry and the region have been quite significant.

The association sincerely regrets these developments and hopes that the authorities will soon find a solution in order not to prolong the current situation.

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6 thoughts on “Upgrade to customs clearing system causes major disruption at ZIMRA

  1.  the requirements for running the system are too heavy:

    speaking about Zimra and IT projects implementations, their SAP project has been going on for years and how nothing to show for it. South Africa Revenue Services (SARS) run on a similar SAP system but allows its tax payers to do a whole lot more, e.g e-filling

    Please do an article on Systems Implementation in Zimbabwe. all SAP projects have been going on for years.

  2. Most government institutions fail from the tender process, I am sure the consultant was not selected on merit. If there was any bribe then the project automatically fails coz winning the tender is the goal not achieving the project’s intended goal. If this process has been done clean the consultant should take care of the loss if they have an SLA. I am sure this has been very bad if people feel that their very painful batch processing processes were better than the current “computerized” then situation is quite a huge failure. Anyone who has imported a vehicle via beitbridge will tell u that the process does not need 30 mins if its revised but because of batch processing it takes at least 12 working hours to get a vehicle cleared. Zimra’s goals are to beat a revenue target not to offer good service to its clients

  3. Why can’t they run the new IT system in parallel with the old manual system, until they have fully implemended new IT system?

  4. I wish ZIMRA would spend less time putting snowflakes on their website and work in the clearing issue!  I mean snowflakes – seriously!? I don’t’ feel very merry as we have imports for Christmas stuck!

  5. You dont change a system after September 30. Its called year-end freeze. Someone tell that to the ZIMRA officials! 

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