Elisha Tshuma: Chairman
A number of trade developments have taken place in Zimbabwe and Africa in general. In March 2018, 44 out of 54 AU member states signed the Agreement establishing the AfCFTA. As of July 2019 , 54 countries had signed the Agreement and on 29 April 2019, the threshold of 22 ratifications to bring the AfCFTA was reached and AfCFTA came into force on 30 May 2019. Zimbabwe deposited its instruments of ratification on 24 May 2019.
Zimbabwe has also ratified the EPA agreement with the UK in preparation of the Brexit.
During his 2019 State of the Nation Address, the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, His Excellency E.D. Mnangagwa alluded to the fact that Zimbabwe should become a logistics hub. Zimbabwe should be a transiting route of first choice for goods coming from South African, Mozambican and Namibian sea ports.
It is my view that one of the factors for all the above to be successful is smooth movement of goods across African borders. Goods should be moved faster and at low cost. Players in the supply chain should facilitate genuine trade.
I participated in a boarder economy study done by Tutwa Consulting Group on behalf of the Global Economic Governance (GEG) which covered South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Some of my observations during the study were that the field of customs and excise was not taken seriously as a profession and that many countries in Africa did not have formal and government recognized training for supply chain agents such as customs brokers and freight forwarders. In some cases there was no written code of conduct and ethics for practitioners.
To address the above observations, an initiative was made to form a voluntary professional board for CUSTOMS, EXCISE and Trade Experts.
The Zimbabwe Institute of Certified Customs and Excise Expert`s objective is to protect the integrity of customs profession in Zimbabwe and beyond. Our aim is to promote professionalism among customs and excise practitioners. Professionalism and integrity are at the heart of the customs profession because a customs and excise practitioner facilitates compliance with customs legislation and procedures. Unethical behavior results in loss of government revenue or may result in a trader incurring avoidable penalties and interest. In addition to being a threat to revenue, unprofessional conduct is a threat to local industry survival as it exposes it to unfair competition. A professional customs and excise expert facilitates legitimate trade.
Our members shall abide by a strict code of ethics. Traders who receive unsatisfactory level of service from our members now have a platform to register their complaints. The complaints will be handled in accordance with the Zimbabwe Network of Customs and Excise Experts Constitution. This is an advantage to traders who choose to deal with Zimbabwe Network of Customs and Excise Experts accredited members.
The members of the board of trustees have different skills and experience which complement each other as they work as a team. One is a legal practitioner, another one is a chartered accountant and others are customs and trade experts.
My wish as Chairman of the Zimbabwe Institute of Certified Customs and Excise Experts is to promote:
- A culture of continuous personal development among members, a learning culture.
- Research based contributions for industry development.
- Build capacity through focused training.