Zambia streamlines border management for faster trade

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ZAMBIA is launching a new Coordinated Border Management (CBM) system to reduce the number of agencies operating at border posts from 12 to six.

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This aims to speed up trade and improve efficiency.

The system will be piloted at the Kazungula and Chirundu One Stop Border Posts starting January 31st, 2024.

Under the CBM model, only six agencies will physically operate at the borders; Zambia Revenue Authority, Immigration Department, Zambia Compulsory Standards Agency, Port Health, Department of Plant Quarantine and Phytosanitary Service, and National Livestock Epidemiology Information Centre.

Other agencies will delegate their functions to those present at the border, enabling them to view and intervene on relevant consignments from all borders electronically.

Yesterday, the Ministry of Commerce, Trade, and Industry hosted a signing ceremony for Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) facilitating the delegation of functions at these border points.

This move is expected to significantly reduce clearance times for imports, exports, and transit cargo.

Ministry of Commerce, Trade, and Industry permanent secretary John Mulongoti officiated the event on behalf of minister Chipoka Mulenga who stated that the MOUs signing was huge stride to implement the CBM system.

He also revealed that Additional supporting systems like the Electronic Cargo Tracking System are also planned to ensure proper enforcement and prevent diversion of goods.

“In addition to signing the MoUs, Government needs to ensure that the national electronic single window system is fully operational, as this will be the backbone for institutions operating inland to operate efficiently by viewing and intervening on consignments of their interest,” he added.

Dry runs and tests of the system will begin today to ensure a smooth transition and avoid disruptions at the borders.

By Moses Makwaya

Kalemba January 24, 2024

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