The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) implemented Simplified Trade Regime (STR) to help the small trader to benefit from the preferential rates enjoyed by commercial traders when importing or exporting goods within the Comesa bloc.
The regime is operational between Zimbabwe and Zambia, and Zimbabwe and Malawi.
The facility enables traders to enjoy duty and quota free entry of their goods appearing on the Common List.
Comesa STR conditions
The Comesa STR is used under following conditions:
For use by the small scale cross border traders.
STR is used for goods that have been grown or wholly produced in the Comesa Region.
For goods valued at US$1 000,00 or less per consignment.
Please note that the US$1 000,00 should include the cost of transporting the goods and insurance from the country of export to the border.
If the values for freight and insurance are not available, Zimra will add the cost of freight and insurance at 6 percent of the cost of the goods.
The goods should appear on the Common List of goods.
The goods should be for sale in the country of final destination and not in transit country.
Traders with goods that have been grown or made in the Comesa region and appear on the Common List will need to complete the Simplified Certificate of Origin.
The Simplified Certificate of Origin enables the trader to enjoy duty and quota free entry of their goods, provided these goods appear on the Common List.
The Simplified Certificate of Origin must be submitted together with the Comesa Simplified Customs Document (declaration form).
The Comesa Simplified Customs Document and the Simplified Comesa Certificate of Origin should be completed by the trader at the border post and certified or stamped by a Zimra official at the border post
In addition to the necessary travel documents, the small scale cross border trader should possess the following documents: –
Invoices of the goods.
Import or export permits controlled agricultural goods and animal products.
At the border, traders are required to separate goods that appear on the Common List from those that do not.
Traders are required to separate goods into the following categories:
Goods produced in the Comesa Region that appear on the Common List on which no duty is payable.
Goods produced in the Comesa Region that do not appear on the Common List on which duty may be payable.
Goods produced in non-Comesa member states on which duty must be paid.
Goods that appear on the Common List are declared on the Simplified Customs Document Form.
Goods that do not appear on the Common List are declared on another Simplified Customs Document Form.
The Comesa Simplified Certificate of Origin has to be signed and stamped by Zimra for all goods that appear on the Common List.
Please note that traders handling larger consignments who wish to benefit from duty free entry of their goods must use the normal Comesa Certificate of Origin.
Controls on importation and exportation of goods under Comesa STR
The following goods are subject to controls both on importation and on exportation by the relevant controlling authorities:
Chemicals, agricultural foods, plant and animal products such as pesticides, oranges, bananas, milk, eggs, fish, meat or chicken.
Traders are required to report to the offices of the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Agriculture or the Environmental Management Agency with their imports and export permits.
Only goods that meet food safety, plant and animal health regulations including environmental protection will be imported or exported.
This is important to guard against the spread of pests and diseases and to protect human lives as well as the environment
Border Posts implementing the facility:
My Taxes, My Duties: Building my Zimbabwe!!
Disclaimer: This article was compiled by the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority for information purposes only. Zimra shall not accept responsibility for loss or damage arising from use of material in this article and no liability will attach to the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority.–herad.co.zw