New virtual currency spurs Beitbridge border chaos
12 Apr 2019 - by Adele Mackenzie
Cargo movements at the Beitbridge Border Posts have reportedly come to a virtual standstill after the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) introduced the new real time gross settlement (RTGS) dollar as a virtual currency.
News reports out of Zimbabwe have cited transporters and customs clearing agents as saying that Zimra’s new regulations around confirming payments for duties on cargo, coupled with the complications around the new currency, have affected clearance through the Automated System for Customs Data (ASYCUDA) World system.
According to a report by the state-owned newspaper, The Herald, clearing agents said payments would previously reflect on the ASYCUDA system within 30 minutes but that it was taking up to 24 hours for payments to come through now.
The Zimbabwe Situation newspaper quoted the chairman of the Beitbridge Crossborder Transporters' Association, Osbert Shumba, as “confirming” the issue.
Last month, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe launched the new RTGS dollar – which is supposed to be on a par with with the US dollar – as a means to “bring sanity into the foreign currency market, promote exports, boost Diaspora remittances and investments, eliminate multi-tier pricing and preserve the value of local forms of money” according to a Government Gazette statement.