The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority, ZIMRA is pursuing the use of integrated automation and innovative technology in order to bring convenience to clients and reduce physical interaction, in an effort to reduce exposure to corona virus.
In line with Government’s call to ease business, Zimra has said that full automation will improve revenue inflows and compliance across all tax heads, at the same time making it difficult for taxpayers to commit fraud or engage in corrupt activities.
Officiating at a belated event to mark International Customs Day, Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Professor Mthuli Ncube applauded the revenue authority for hastily adopting a digital system in face of COVID-19 as this would have hindered the National Development Strategy (NDS1) economic growth and national stability programme.
“Government acknowledges that despite the pandemic’s threat to destabilise the economy, cross border trade of goods should continue, as the local industry depends on imported inputs into production, and also requires export revenue, hence borders should remain open to commercial traffic.
“As such Zimra should also ensure that the ASYCUDA system, which is the backbone of the Online Customs Clearance System, continues to operate with minimal interruptions, in order to maintain a paperless clearance process, thereby safeguarding lives,” said Professor Ncube.
Concurring with the Ministers’ sentiments, ZIMRA Acting Commissioner General, Rameck Masaire said that there was thus need to bring all stakeholders into a new modus operandi, particularly the need to adopt a paperless customs and strict adherence to pre-clearance regulations, which will go a long way in reducing physical contact, as well as reducing opportunities for rent-seeking behaviour.
“The Authority has increased online clearance methods -motor vehicle valuations are now being processed online, while application for Temporary Importation Privileges (TIPs) can be done on email as well.
“Appeals and applications for rebates are being submitted and responded to online markedly improving our compliance to new normal protocols; while immigrants rebate interviews are now done on skype after submissions of required documents have been sent online,” said, Mr Masaire.
Customs continues to support business through strengthening the Global Supply Chain, harnessing technology, hence this year’s theme, “Customs Bolstering Recovery, Renewal and Resilience for a sustainable supply chain”.