Zimra scales up automation

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BY PATRICIA SIBANDA
ZIMBABWE Revenue Authority (Zimra) says it will beef up its automation systems to ease pressure at the country’s border posts and introduce drones to monitor smuggling at unauthorised entry points.

“Zimra has, indeed, scaled up its automation drive to create a culture that embraces the use of digitised information by creating a business ecosystem characterised by databases that provide flexible and convenient technologically-based services through innovative initiatives,” said Zimra acting commissioner-general Rameck Masaire in Bulawayo during the commemoration of World Customs Day yesterday.

“We continue to increase our automation footprint, not only from a strategic planning perspective geared towards modernisation, but also as a direct response to COVID-19 threats, with measures aligned to social distancing, limited office staff presence, telecommuting, and the need for business continuity within COVID-19 restrictions.”

He said Zimra had embraced online banking to curb face-to-face interaction.

“ICT products and systems enabling these interventions include, among others: cargo and baggage scanners as well as sniffer dogs at ports of entry, electronic cargo tracking systems for transit management and increased online usage covering declaration processing, applications for registration of various customs products, applications for tax clearance certificates, dispute resolution and information dissemination to internal and external stakeholders,” he added.

Speaking at the same function, Finance minister Mthuli Ncube said: “The solutions that customs have availed to the needs of all stakeholders, chief among them, importers, exporters, transporters, clearing agents, and the general public have seen a significant transformation from complex and cumbersome manual processes to simplified digital solutions, most of which are accessed remotely via the country’s robust digital platforms for effective trade facilitation.”

Minister of State for Bulawayo province Judith Ncube applauded Zimra for “efficiency and good tax systems” that she said had improved economic performance.

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