Home » Business » Zimra System Failure Affects Cargo Trucks

Cargo trucks destined for various countries across the region are stuck at border posts as the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority struggles to upgrade its System for Customs Data known as ASYCUDA.

The system is more efficient and aanced for customs data processing since it is Internet-based.

Under the system, any clearing agent registered with Zimra can lodge a bill of entry from anywhere in the world where there is Internet connectivity and communication is done electronically.

Among the worst affected ports of entry is Beitbridge Border Post, where cargo has been stuck on the South African border since Sunday morning.

Close to 15 000 haulage trucks pass through Beitbridge going either side of the border per month. It is understood that things went off the rails when Zimra started upgrading the online clearance system on Sunday.

Zimra’s director of corporate and legal affairs Ms Florence Jambwa yesterday said the upgrading of the customs clearing system had met technical challenges.

“The authority is currently in the process of rectifying these challenges for normal online transactions to continue,” she said.

“Alternative measures have been put in place at all ports of entry and exit to facilitate the smooth movement of cargo and reduce inconveniences to our valued clients.

“ZIMRA, therefore, urges its clients to approach their respective station managers for any challenges they may encounter in the movement of their cargo during this transitional period. Any inconveniences caused during this period are sincerely regretted.”

Customs clearing agents and importers said in different interviews that Zimra carried out the upgrading of the clearance system without prior notification.

“Things are not moving at all, cargo is piling up on the South African border because the Zimra online clearing system is under maintenance,” said a customs clearing agent who preferred anonymity.

“The problem is also affecting other ports of entry across the country.

“We are appealing to Zimra so that they address the challenges as a matter of urgency.”

Under normal clearance system, cargo has to move to either sides of the border after getting prior notification that the export or import papers have been processed.

Shipping and Forwarding Agents Association of Zimbabwe chief executive officer Mr Joseph Musariri said Zimra should quickly fix the system failure.

“We welcome the statement and action by Zimra though they took their time to accept we have a problem. We have been continually engaging them over the issue. It is very important that the teething challenges are addressed expeditiously so that we move cargo across our borders.”

Source : The Herald