By Thupeyo Muleya
Zimra is now implementing manual clearance as a temporary reprieve for transporters and clearing agents waiting for their required online profiles from the authority so they can use the automated e-road cargo manifests recently introduced.
Only those who have applied for the required profile will be able to use manual clearance while they wait to be loaded into the application by Zimra. Cargo has been piling at Beitbridge Border Post, Zimbabwe’s busiest port of entry handling at least 1 500 commercial trucks daily, as transporters wait to be able to go online and use the Automated System for Customs Data on Asycuda World.
Zimra spokesperson Mr Francis Chimanda said the challenge faced by some users of the e-Road Cargo Manifest emanated from the delays in processing applications by transporters for Asycuda World profiles.
“After the implementation of the module, Zimra received a huge influx of applications, which it is now processing. However, as an interim measure and to ensure that traffic is not delayed at ports of entry, Zimra will be accepting manual submission of road cargo manifests for transporters who can prove that they have submitted applications for Asycuda World profiles,” he said.
Mr Chimanda encouraged transporters who have not done so to submit their applications for Asycuda World profiles quickly. The advantages of the new automated module include reduction of time spent at the ports of entry as the manifests are registered and processed before the goods arrive at the border posts.
Meanwhile, the Zimbabwe National Roads Administration (ZINARA) said it was ready to engage more staffers to deal with an increase in vehicle traffic through Beitbridge during the festive season.
Zinara spokesperson Mr Tendai Mugabe said so far the authority was handling 1 200 trucks daily up from 600.
“We are having five traffic controllers at the border, who started in October and we hope this will go a long way in managing the flow of traffic. We were short-staffed and we have beefed up our numbers.
“The plan is to have seamless flow of traffic and avoid having static vehicles on the New Limpopo Bridge. Our intention is to keep the bridge clear with the cooperation of other stakeholders,” he said. The Herald.