Harare, (New Ziana) – The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) said on Thursday it raked in over US$1.3 million last year in cargo sealing fees and associated violation fines.
Through its Electronic Cargo Tracking System (ECTS), the tax agency seals and tracks cargo entering and leaving the country in a bid to enforce controls on the importation of restricted or controlled goods.
The system is also designed to curb transit fraud and avoid goods being dumped in the country.
“Electronic seals are affixed to cargo containers, box trucks, soft sided trucks (flat decks with side curtains), tankers, and break bulk (goods under tarpaulin) the electronic seals send regular signals to the control room to show the location of the cargo,” Zimra said.
“The electronic seal connects to the internet and the control room is manned 24 hours a day and relays information of violations to the reaction teams.”
Once goods are sealed, truck drivers are asked to choose a specific route to use to get to their destination which allows the tax agency to track the movement.
“Any diversion from these routes or entry into a restricted zone constitutes a geo-fence violation which attracts a US$2 000 fine,” Zimra said.
“Other violations include unauthorized opening of the seal, tampering with the SIM cards, losing and/or damaging the seal.”
In 2020, Zimbabwe sealed a total of 35 076 vehicles, earning the agency US$1.083 million while fines raked in US$216 900.
High risk cargo which is targeted for sealing includes petroleum products, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, basic commodities, electricals, clothing and footwear.
Meanwhile, Zimra is targeting to acquire drones worth US$2 million as well as install advanced closed circuit television system to deal with rampant smuggling and underhand dealing at ports of entry.
“The CCTV system will be linked to a loss control command centre at ZIMRA head office that will have sight of the footage live feed from the border post. The system is expected to be procured and installed from funding in the 2021 budget,” the agency said.