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Cumbersome export procedures irk business

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CUMBERSOME and tedious export procedures are inconveniencing the business community, prompting calls on the government to urgently solve the burdensome process.

Speaking to The NewsHawks Business this week, Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce president Tinanshe Manzungu hinted that the country still lacks standardised export procedures with a unique set of licences being required for different commodities.

“This depends on the type of product being exported. Agricultural products require an export permit from the Ministry of Agriculture and at times depending on the customer’s requirements, a phytosanitary certificate or a vet certificate, again depending on the product.

“Other documentation required is a CD1 form from the bank and a bill of entry obtained from Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra). Export permits for agricultural products are valid for three months and can be a cumbersome task, if an exporter is processing a lot of exports,” he said.

While Manzungu acknowledged the impact of reforms which have been made so far, resulting in some export permits being scrapped, he bemoaned the tortuous process followed by government departments in assessments.

“Certain products are deemed strategic and therefore require some form of controls. There is a vehicle in the form of the Rapid Response Initiative (RRI) whose aim is to reduce impediments to doing export business and the government has been playing an active role in resolving these issues.”

He added that the business environment should be made conducive by removing impediments that have been identified through the RRI.

Apart from imposing the onerous demands, the government is currently demanding the Control of Goods Import Permit US$70; Control of Goods Export Permit US$50; Plant Import Permit US$18; Phytosanitary Certificate US$5; Seed Import and Export Application fee US$10; and Carcass Movement Permit US$2.

Also speaking on the need to reform export laws, United Refineries Limited chief executive Busisa Moyo, who is also Zimbabwe Investment Development Authority (Zida) chairperson, urged the government to look into the bottlenecks posed by export requirements.

“When we export we normally sign a service level agreement which stipulates what must be exported and, if one fails to export within the agreed timeframes, a heavy penalty is charged,” he said.
— STAFF WRITER

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