Delays at Zim border costing importers millions

Border delays damage economy

ZIMBABWE’S firms are haemorrhaging from costs incurred from delays at the country’s borders, which they blame on the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA), the Financial Gazette can report.
According to industry sources, the delays are being caused by the revenue collector’s centralised declaration system under which bill of entry documents are no longer processed at border posts.
Instead, the documents are now being processed in Harare, Bulawayo and Masvingo. These are the three centres that clear passage of vehicle at the borders.
The borders are linked to the three centres by a telecommunications system provided by two mobile telecommunications firms.
But the clearing process experiences problems because the bandwidth provided by the two telecommunications service providers is said to be always down, delaying trucks at the border posts.
Cargo trucks often wait for clearance at the border for days.
Sources within the freight forwarding industry said firms were losing millions of dollars, much of which was   going into demurrage fees charged by cargo shipment firms.
A demurrage is a charge payable to the owner of a freight truck on failure to load or discharge the cargo truck within the agreed time.

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