THE upgrading of the Asycuda World System by the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) will be complete by the end of next month after it collapsed in December last year, a Cabinet Minister has said.
Asycuda World is a customs system which allows Zimra clients to submit their customs documents to the tax collector from anywhere in the world as long as one is registered with the authority and there is Internet connectivity at the place from which one would be transacting.
The system also enables pre-clearance of goods. This means importers can clear their goods before arrival at the port of entry to facilitate the smooth flow of cargo. Following the system collapse, there was a logjam and delays in cargo clearance at the country’s borders.
Responding to questions in the Senate, Finance and Economic Development Minister Patrick Chinamasa said in the meantime, as a result of the systems failure, Zimra was using the manual system.
“Yes, the Asycuda system collapsed in December, but fortunately, we have been supplied through the African Development Bank,” he said.
“We have now sorted out that problem and it should be sorted out by end of March. So, in the meantime maybe they are still using the manual system but in fairness to Zimra, we must say that in 2017, they collected above the targets we gave them.”
Last year, Zimra exceeded its gross annual performance by 17 percent while net collections after deducting refunds were surpassed by 10 percent. Actual gross collections during the period under review amounted to $3.978 billion while net collections stood at $3.75 billion, surpassing a target of $3.4 billion by $350 million.
“So, as far as I am concerned, I think the reform of Zimra is on course and I would want Honourable Members to understand that reform of institutions is not a one day wonder,” said Minister Chinamasa.
Zimra director of Information Communication Technology (ICT) Mr Shami Moyo told our Harare Bureau last week that the commissioning of the Asycuda system in 2013 was hurriedly done and that the authority had not followed the right steps to guarantee efficiency of the system. The authority said it would focus on upgrading its systems to maximise on revenue collection.