All of us, having one or the other time exported to Zimbabwe, know about the lengthy delays that may well occur at the Beitbridge border post between South Africa and Zimbabwe. How can we minimize this time and prevent additional delays?
There may well be long queues in front of the Beitbridge border post going into Zimbabwe. In addition to that the customs clearance process in Zimbabwe often takes some time.
Before a vehicle is allowed to cross into Zimbabwe, the complete clearance process has to be finalized. Whereas we do take care of the export customs clearance process, it is often the importer’s duty to arrange the import customs clearance into Zimbabwe. One can imagine how many clearances have to be done on a consolidation truck as seen above and how many different agents may be involved.
In order to keep the clearing time as short as possible here are a few things that can be done:
1. Allow us to do the import customs clearance
The fewer import customs clearing agents are involved on the Zimbabwe side, the shorter the import customs clearance time of a consolidation truck. We make sure that the consignments cleared by us are pre-cleared before the vehicle arrives at the border post.
We are automatically informed about the status of your consignment, which is not the case with other clearing agents.
2. Loading Authority
Prior to despatch we request a so called “Loading Authority”. This loading authority states that all documentation as well as duties and taxes are in place for the import customs clearance. Should this not be the case, a demurrage of ZAR 4000 per day may be charged to the defaulting party who delayed a vehicle beyond two days at the border.
Since we ship all documentation to the border post prior to departure of the truck, pre-clearance is possible. It is up to the clearing agent to pre-clear the consignments.
3. The import license number must be in place
The so called Business Partner Number must be in place as well as Certificates of Origin where preference is claimed, Original permits, Licences, Duty Free Certificates, Rebate Letters and Value Rulings.
4. Documentation must be in order
All documentation must be in order (no discount to be shown on the commercial invoices). As mentioned before, prior to a vehicle being despatched to Beitbridge, a full set of documentation is sent to our partners at the border to be distributed to the various clearing agents. This enables them to do their work before the truck arrives.