The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) has introduced an Electronic Cargo Tracking system (ECTS) aiming to curb transit fraud and avoid goods being dumped within the territory with formalities being observed.
In a statement, ZIMRA said it also aims to enforce controls and avoid importation of restricted or prohibited goods as well as reducing cross border trade costs by facilitation of traffic and reduction in the need for cargo escorts.
The statement further read that 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.
Activated electronic seals affixed to the cargo send regular signals to the control room to show the location of the cargo, and the battery levels of the seal
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.
The statement reads on the functionality:
- On sealing of a truck the driver is required to select a dedicated geo-fenced route to the exit port which is captured in the system
- Any diversion from these routes, or entry into a restricted zone constitutes a geofence violation which attracts a USD2000.00 fine.
- Other violations include unauthorized opening of the seal, tampering with the SIM cards, losing and/or damaging the seal.
- Reaction Teams may immediately be dispatched or action taken at exit point, depending on nature of violation.
The system will however be helped by the addition of speed at all ports of entry to make sure no smuggling is taking place.
An additional CCTV camera system linked to a command centre at ZIMRA head office, will also be put in place.