Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) problematic ASYCUDA software system is finally getting updated. ASYCUDA (Automated System for Customs Data) is a computerised customs management system which covers most foreign trade procedures. The system handles manifests and customs declarations, accounting procedures, transit and suspense procedures. It also compiles accurate trade statistics.

The system is used in over 90 countries but ZIMRA’s Commissioner-General, Ms. Faith Mazani admitted that the system in use in Zimbabwe was 11 years behind. Back in December, the system broke down and caused long queues at the Beitbridge border post as ZIMRA staff had to manually process import and export documents. The downtime also led to losses of about $20 million.

People responsible for collecting revenue, must know that this is quite unacceptable. The fact that ZIMRA is looking into fixing the situation is good but it’s a bit shocking that it has taken this long for them to announce when a fix will be in place and not the actual fix.

When is the new system expected to be in place?

The system is expected to be up and running by the 1st of June, 2018. ZIMRA Director of ICT did admit that the 2013 system was rushed and authorities had not followed all of the steps to make sure of efficiency. Hopefully, the promise of diligence is kept before this revised system goes live in order to minimize losses and also ensure there is less frustration for travelers.

Other improvements promised by Zimra…
  • Along with the upgrades to ASYCUDA, ZIMRA also acquired servers that will work hand in hand with Ascuda. The aim is to boost server capacity whilst also improving maintenance and improving efficiency.
  • ZIMRA intends to also increase its current stock of Electronic Cargo Tracking System that monitors trucks moving in Zimbabwe.