The Zimtrade Client Service Delivery Director Allan Majuru listed the need for prior clearance on exports as a factor delaying business from delivering its products to customers outside the country, making local business less competitive.
According to the ZimTrade website, a proposal to scrape the products from the general export license has been made excluding four products which are fertiliser, raw and refined sugar, timber and timber products. The products are considered to be of strategic importance.
“We want to limit the need for export permits so that companies spend time worrying about how to export competitively and not how to be on the right side of the law because when our competitors in South Africa find an opportunity they start exporting while we spend a lot of time moving from one office to another for permits,” said Majuru on the ZimTrade website.
Zimbabwe has created the National Competitive Committee to ensure that the country’s products become competitive internationally. The export permit is backed by Statutory Instrument 138 of 2007 sections 3 and 4 which offers goods for the export of which a permit is required.
The primary objective is to ensure that the country’s export earnings are fully accounted for and that Zimbabwe realizes the true and fair value of its exports.
“The exporter should prepare a commercial invoice as well as a packing list and apply for exchange control approval (CD1
Form) through his/her commercial/merchant bank,” states the Zimtrade New Exporters’ Guide.
The country, however, faces a threat from smugglers of goods with the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) working hand in hand with the Wildlife Management Authority in curbing smuggling of python skins, crocodiles and ivory products at all entry ports.
Zimbabwe is working out on measures to reduce the trade deficit through Statutory Instruments such as S.I.64 and also through strategies which are meant to encourage the exportation of products from the country.
The country’s top 10 exports in 2016 include: Gems, precious metals: US$1 billion (36% of total exports); Tobacco, manufactured substitutes: $927 million (32.7%); Ores, slag, ash: $318.6 million (11.3%); Iron, steel: $122.5 million (4.3%); Sugar, sugar confectionery: $58.9 million (2.1%); Salt, sulphur, stone, cement: $57.2 million (2%); Nickel: $35 million (1.2%); Raw hides, skins not furskins, leather: $29 million (1%); Cotton: $24.9 million (0.9%) and also Wood: $23.6 million (0.8%).