Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe.
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe.
Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra), has started tracking cargo coming into and out of the country in a bid to curb transit fraud (File Picture: ANA)
Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra), has started tracking cargo coming into and out of the country in a bid to curb transit fraud (File Picture: ANA)

INTERNATIONAL - Zimbabwe will penalise cargo trucks and other vehicles passing through the country for diverting from stipulated routes, while also giving a transit period of only three days, including weekends and public holidays to the trucks and other vehicles, the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) said yesterday.

The new stringent measures for transit trucks, containers and other vehicles come against the backdrop of suspicions that unscrupulous traders are falsely declaring goods as in transit when they are discreetly destined for Zimbabwe, fuelling smuggling of finished products.

The southern African country is a major transit corridor linking South Africa and other regional countries through the Beit Bridge and Chirundu border posts. Zimbabwe links South Africa and Zambia, Malawi and the Democratic Republic of Congo. “The transporter shall be liable to a penalty of $2000 (R26500) for diversion from the route specified,” the Zimbabwean revenue authority said.

Zimbabwe is tightening revenue leakage loopholes in a bid to raise more funds for the state’s coffers. Last month, it surpassed its revenue targets of about $267.6million after collections surged to $307.9m. Zimra acknowledged that smuggling was a major issue despite the introduction of import restriction measures last year to boost local production and tax payments.

Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra), has started tracking cargo coming into and out of the country in a bid to curb transit fraud (File Picture: ANA)

According to the new measures, “tank wagons shall not have interlinking trailers,” while any tampering with electronic seals on cargo containers would attract a $1300 fine. All road cargo carriers would be required to pay $30 for seals or magnetic sealing cables on cargo. “All road vehicles and containers conveying goods through Zimbabwe shall be fitted with a device to facilitate customs sealing.

"Road vehicles conveying break bulk cargo through Zimbabwe shall be covered with a single tarpaulin tent with reinforced holes at the edges for placement of magnetic sealing cable and electronic seals,” Zimra added.

- BUSINESS REPORT