Zimra Acquires $ 2.1 million Cargo Tracking Technology

THE Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) has acquired a Cargo Tracking system valued at $2.1 million in a bid to curb transit fraud cases through monitoring cargo from the point of entry into Zimbabwe to the point of exit. This is a response to the behavior by some cargo transporters who falsely declare their imports as transit cargo yet the goods will be consumed in Zimbabwe, thus defrauding the State of Customs Duty.

Briefing a media workshop in the capital, Zimra acting Commissioner General Happias Kuzvinzwa hinted that they had gone a notch higher in fighting corruption which he said was prejudicing the economy of millions of dollars.

TechnoMag Reporter

We have acquired electronic cargo tracking system that we are piloting as we speak. We will be rolling it out soon to ensure that no one makes false declarations at boarder posts regards the destination of cargo. Only cargo goods that are destined for Zimbabwe must be remain in Zimbabwe and those that are in transit must go to their respective destinations.

“We have also put CCTV cameras at all boarder posts so as to ensure we monitor activities at boarder posts and how our officers are conducting themselves. We can replay the vedio clips from the recordings, this has proved to be fruitful in our efforts to curb corruption,” said Kuzvinzwa.

A Haulage Truck

Zimbabwe becomes one of the few countries to adopt the technology, following in the footsteps of Tanzania making Tanzania the third nation to approve the SGS OMNIS Solution—consisting of Savi Technology’s sensors, active RFID readers and software—to track the movements of cargo and when it might be diverted or stolen during transit.

The TRA has recruited five suppliers of tracking technologies to sell their solutions directly to transporters and cargo owners.

One TRA-approved electronic-tracking solution is being provided by SGS and Savi, according to Philippe Isler, the global business-development manager at SGS’ governments and institutions services (GIS) division.

The SGS OMNIS system has been adopted by government agencies in Kenya, Ghana and, Tanzania, and most recently Zimbabwe in order to obtain data about the supply chain of cargo, as well as create a record of their movements along traffic routes.

The Savi technology, known as the Savi Mobile Tracking System, includes hardware installed on vehicles with a variety of sensors (such as those for monitoring temperature, humidity, light or pressure) to detect and transmit data regarding the load, according to William Clark, Savi’s president and CEO. The Savi system also includes software that receives, manages and stores that information and provides alerts as necessary. Savi Technology hosts the server on which that data is stored and then shared with the TRA and logistics companies.

However, experts believe the technology might not be the solution to the problems of transit fraud since it has its own loopholes which include tempering,  and the fact is that the satellite signals used in most GPS applications are not secure. GPS cargo tracking systems for high level security is vulnerable to a number of different kinds of attacks, including blocking, jamming, spoofing, and physical attacks. Authors: Robert Johnston and Jon Warner.

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