Saturday, June 6, 2009

COMESA: One Stop Border Post to Open in September 2009

The Prime Minister of Zimbabwe, the Right Honourable Morgan Richard Tsvangirai has announced that the One Stop Border Post between Zambia and Zimbabwe at Chirundu border will be launched on 1st September 2009.

This concept has been introduced in the region in an effort to ease congestion at border posts as well as reduce transit times for traders and transporters.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Tsvangirai says the impending launch of the Customs Union is a key milestone in the development of the region and will give greater impetus to enhancing intra regional trade.

“It will offer a more predictable economic environment for both investors and traders across the COMESA region, since regionally administered tariff rates tend to be stable. The Customs Union will also assist to level the playing field for the region’s producers since it imposes uniform customs procedures and external tariffs on goods imported from third countries,” Honourable Tsvangirai said.

He was speaking when he gave the key note address at the official opening of the Business Forum in Zimbabwe.

He cited the COMESA Yellow Card, Customs Bond Guarantee Scheme as well as the Harmonised Axle Loading and maximum Vehicle Dimension as some beneficial instruments put in place by COMESA with regard to transport and communication.

Prime Minister Tsvangirai mentioned the COMESA Clearing House and the African Trade Insurance as some equally important institutions of COMESA that work to reduce costs of transaction and guards against political risk for businesses.

On tariff barriers, Hon. Tsvangirai said an online reporting system to eliminate these has been developed and it has since been extended to SADC and EAC countries in an effort to harmonise the programs within the context of the tripartite forum.

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