THE government has trimmed down the list of products that require export licences under the ease of doing export business-rapid results initiative (RRI) launched last year, ZimTrade has revealed.
BY MTHANDAZO NYONI
In a statement on Friday, ZimTrade said the reduction was done through Statutory Instrument (SI) 122 of 2017, which was published on September 22, 2017.
Following the amendments, the only four products that still require export licences are fertiliser, raw and refined sugar, gypsum and second-hand equipment.
“These products are deemed strategic and, hence, still require export licences to enable the government to regulate their exportation. A product may be deemed strategic because of its nature, its limited supply or the risk involved in its exportation,” ZimTrade said.
“Some of the products that were removed from the list include butter, cream, vegetable oil, margarine and melamine boards. The recommendation to revise the list was made in consultation with both the public and private sectors under the ease of doing export business framework.”
ZimTrade said there are several reforms that were recommended to various ministries in the RRI, which are yet to be implemented.
An taskforce has been put in place to oversee the implementation of the agreed reforms, Zimtrade said.
“The taskforce is also mandated to address any challenges that may arise in the implementation stage of the reforms. It will also attend to additional recommendations that may be submitted by various stakeholders under the ease of doing export business framework,” the statement read.
Commenting on the development, ZimTrade board chairperson, Lance Jena said the removal of products from the licensing list comes at a time when the government is looking at various initiatives to grow exports.
“We applaud the ministry of Industry and Commerce for being exemplary in the implementation of RRI reforms to improve the ease of doing export business and we encourage other ministries to follow suit,” he said.
The Industry and Commerce ministry has also implemented some administrative reforms that include reduced processing time for export licences from 14 to two days.
The ministry also expressed its willingness to extend a moratorium to companies that have been reluctant to export due to Standard Development Fund arrears that the companies may owe.
The reprieve will, however, be extended to companies on a case-by-case basis.