Wednesday, April 24, 2024
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South Africa: BMA, SARS Collaborate to Ease Traffic Congestion

Commissioner of the Border Management Authority (BMA), Dr Michael Masiapato, has signed an agreement with the South African Revenue Service (SARS) to ease traffic congestion at the Lebombo border post.

The agreement, which will see the piloting of a system aimed at eliminating delays, was signed during a bilateral visit to the Republic of Mozambique earlier this month.

The collaboration will ensure efficient and coordinated interventions at ports of entry for easy and cost-effective facilitation of legitimate trade and travel while preventing illegal border crossing of goods and people.

The Lebombo border post has been experiencing increased cargo volumes and this has resulted in long queues and blockages on the N4 corridor, preventing smooth flow of trade through the port.

Also, there have been protests between truck drivers and a taxi association in Komatipoort recently which caused long queues for trucks.

SARS and BMA have now forged a collaboration to pilot a system to co-locate in the canopies at the Lebombo border post to ease movement of trucks as part of the commitment made in the BMA implementation protocol.

Truck drivers will be processed without disembarking from their trucks. The drivers will be required to have all required customs documents and immigration passport ready before approaching the canopies.

After marking for arrival, the driver will then proceed straight to the exit canopy to ease flow in the bypass. This will be done with the exception of cases that require elevation to the police, agricultural services, port environmental or port health.

The marking for arrival and exit are both conducted by customs to facilitate imports and exports. The passport control is conducted by the Border Management Authority at the canopies and will no longer be in building 310 as it was conducted previously.

The aim of this process is to eliminate the time spent in the bypass where drivers were previously required to disembark from trucks and walk to building 310 for passport processing. It is also envisaged that through this process the turnaround time for trucks moving through the bypass will be reduced.

Masiapato emphasised that this process will not negate the requirement by authorities to perform their functions for compliance and border law enforcement at ports.

“It is our main priority to ensure efficient trade facilitation and compliance for the development of the region. This process will contribute to efficient processing at the Lebombo border post,” Dr Masiapato said.

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