Malene van der Merwe, Regional Manager: Beitbridge, gives some insight into the current state of road border operations.
July’s looting has caused a slight backlog as most border offices were closed. However, there has been a reduction in cross border sales where locally manufactured goods are not exported since they are needed locally to replace what was looted.
Many border offices (especially the Botswana offices in the North-West corridor) are sporadically closed and decontaminated due to Covid-19 outbreaks – causing delays.
While there is a steady flow of traffic going through the Beitbridge Border, the upgrades to the Beitbridge border have also caused delays. However, Zimbabwe Revenue Officials (Zimra) have confirmed that a section of the corridor will be open in September and delays at the container depot (Condep) – where trucks are inspected – will be reduced.
Most compliant agent at borders
If a customer is not registered correctly with customs, has an unpaid license, is not VAT registered or if any documentation is not updated, they risk facing heavy penalties (and delays) from SARS. Ziegler, therefore, promotes compliance and assists our customers wherever possible. SARS has and will continue to conduct sporadic audits at different companies, and it is vitally important to make sure that all documentation is in order.
Transporters have to register as a carrier with the new Reporting and Conveyancing of Goods (RCG) policy – even if removing goods in bond. In addition, the driver’s details and passport have to be added to the documentation.
As opposed to other clearing agents, a customer’s documentation is typically handled by one person. This ensures that the customer receives a more personal service from Ziegler and does not have to engage with a multitude of people. We focus on communication and share information, so it makes no difference if a customer phones at 10h00 in the morning or 22h00 at night, someone in the office will be able to report on the shipment’s status.