An 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.