SA-Zim border still closed until further notice

The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) has stated it’s going to use the pre-clearance facility to expedite the movement of commercial cargo between Zimbabwe and South Africa when the two nations’ border reopens.

South Africa closed its part of the border on Wednesday afternoon after one of its customs officers examined positive for the novel coronavirus.

The border closure is supposed to offer health officials in the neighbouring nation time to fumigate its customs yard. By end of the day yesterday, the border remained closed, with Zimbabwean authorities processing cargo that had already crossed into the nation between Wednesday and yesterday.

Under the pre-clearance facility, declarations and import duty funds are made for consignments before they arrive to the port of entry. When the products finally arrive at the border, customs officials only test for compliance and conformity versus starting the entire clearance processes which takes something from three to 24 hours depending with the availability of the required paperwork.

Zimra’s spokesperson, Mr Francis Chimanda, stated contingent plans had been put in place to speed up the movement of cargo at Beitbridge.

“Certainly, South African Revenue Services (SARS) advised us that they’re closing the border till further notice due to issues associated to Covid-19,” he stated.

“What it means is that no cargo will be shifting in and out. Queues are, due to this fact, more likely to build up on both sides of the border till they’re opened. Zimra will use the pre-clearance facility to cut back congestion as soon as the borders are opened.”

Previous to the most recent development, an average of 1 000 commercial vehicles have been being cleared at the country and Sadc’s busiest inland port of entry.

The border has solely been open to industrial cargo and repatriations of South African and Zimbabwean residents in both nation. An estimated 100 remains of Zimbabweans are being repatriated from South Africa weekly.

ZRP and Beitbridge Municipality police have directed all industrial vehicles to truck parks to decongest roads, pending clearance.

SARS head of media and communications, Mr Siphithi Sibeko, was not obtainable for comment yesterday, but stated on Wednesday that they are going to resume operations after fully complying with standard Covid-19 administration guidelines set by their Authorities. He stated after they resume operations, they are going to give precedence to the clearance of important cargo, particularly perishables, medication and explosives.

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