Border Management Authority (BMA) Commissioner 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 introduces the piloting of a system aimed at eliminating delays, was signed during a bilateral visit to the Republic of Mozambique.
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 experienced increased cargo volumes in recent months, leading to long queues and traffic blockages along the N4 corridor, preventing the smooth flow of trade. Truck driver and taxi association protests in Komatipoort have also caused long queues, resulting in the burning of rigs last Friday.
The BMA said it will collaborate with Sars to pilot a joint processing system in canopies located at the Lebombo border post to ease the movement of trucks as part of its implementation commitment.
Truck drivers will be processed without disembarking from their trucks. The drivers will be required to have all required customs documents and their passports ready before approaching the canopies.
After marking their arrival, drivers will proceed straight to the exit canopy to ease flow in the bypass. This will be effective except for crossings that require escalation to the police, agricultural services, port environmental and health authorities.
Cargo marked for arrival and exit will be conducted by customs to facilitate imports and exports, and BMA officials will conduct passport control at the canopies. Drivers will no longer have to report to building 310.
The new process aims to eliminate time spent in the bypass where drivers were previously required to disembark from trucks and walk to building 310 for passport processing. It should, therefore, reduce the turnaround time of trucks moving through the bypass.
Masiapato said the process will not negate the requirement of authorities to perform their duties to ensure 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,” Masiapato said. – SAnews.gov.za