Delays are currently experienced in getting goods cleared into Zimbabwe, which may also affect the dispatch of the same as well.
A new, three tier, currency structure has been introduced by Zimbabwean authorities. These are the US$, the forex RTGS and the domestic RTGS. The US$ is known to all of us.
Whereas anyone in Zimbabwe may hold a US$ account, any US$ funds received into this account are discounted by between 20% and 35%, depending of the business sector of the receiver of these funds.
The Zimbabwe authorities take between 20% and 35% of these funds and replace them by so called “RTGS Forex credits”.
Any US$ received must be used within a period of 30 days or will be changed into “RTGS forex”. “RTGS forex” being an electronic currency, basically equal to the US$. This electronic currency however comes at a premium, since it is not at all widely accepted for outside purchases.
The Zimbabwe Government has fixed the rate of exchange USD / RTGS at 1.00 / 2.50. In reality however it is traded on the black market at 3.50 – 4.00. Hence the purchase of Forex becomes very expensive indeed. All statutory charges now have to be paid in RTGS, and hence duties and taxes become 2.5% more expensive than before.
Not surprisingly, importers are cancelling orders since their affordability becomes questionable.