HomeBusiness DigestShipping agents see red over auction system

Shipping agents see red over auction system

Ndamu Sandu

SHIPPING and forwarding agents are crying foul over the use of the forex auction system which has seen a high rise in duties.


Shipping and Forwarding Agents Association of Zimbabwe (SFAAZ) chief executive officer Joseph Musariri told businessdigest that since the system was adopted by the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) duty had shot up.

“Since the auction rate was introduced by Zimra duty has gone up. Before the auction rate there were two rates applying for luxury and non-luxury goods,” he said. “Goods deemed to be luxury used an exchange rate of $847 to the United States dollar while non-luxury goods used a rate of $56,6 to US$1.”

He said with the introduction of the auction rate, Zimra was now charging duty based on that rate.

As a result, Musariri said, importers who had placed their orders before the introduction of the auction rate were affected.

Musariri said SFAAZ held a meeting with the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development last week where the issue was discussed.

“I was not at that meeting but those present discussed the auction rate,” said the SFAAZ boss.

The auction rate issue also cropped up when Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor Gideon Gono met accountants in Bulawayo three weeks ago.

Musariri said SFAAZ was in discussion with Zimra on the auction rate issue, which has resulted in the rise in removal in bond and in transit duties.

Removal in bond duty caters for the movement of goods from the border to the bonded warehouse inland while removal in transit duty covers the goods that are passing through one country to another.

A clearing agent has to get cover from insurance companies and banks.

“A clearing agent pays annual premium and has to provide collateral to cover for the bond,” said Musariri.

Meanwhile freight forwarding and custom clearing company, Anlink (Pvt) Ltd says it is opening an office in the Midlands early next month and another at Forbes Border Post at the end of April.

Managing director Patrick Gwasera said the opening of an office at Forbes was necessitated by the anticipation of more volumes of cargo coming through that post.

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