Integrated Border Management – Border Operations Assessment Kasumbalesa
AuthorMagdeline Mabue et al.
The high cost of exporting and importing goods to, from and within Southern Africa discourages international trade, makes commerce and industry less competitive and contributes to food insecurity. Some of the main contributors to the high cost of trade are delays at the border posts. The main aim of the IBM program is to reduce the time goods take to cross borders and therefore reduce the cost of trade. As one of the initial steps in the implementation of the IBM, a team from SATH conducted a border operations assessment (BOA) at Kasumbalesa border which lies along the Dar es Salaam Corridor from 10 -14 October 2011.
The primary purpose of the border operations assessment was to analyze what the current border operations are with a view of making recommendations that would reduce the time and cost of transportation of goods and to set time baselines for the border which will be used to assess the impact of the implementation of the recommendations.In recognition of the critical role played by Informal traders in the SADC region's economies, the border assessment exercise also covered the clearance procedures for goods for small traders/ informal cross border traders (ICBTs).
The assessment entailed undertaking interviews with both public and private agencies at Kasumbalesa borders to understand their roles and processes they follow in the clearance of commercial goods. The Kasumbalesa Branch of the Cross Border Traders Association, as well customs officials were also interviewed to establish the operations of small border traders at the border. A guided tour of the market was facilitated by the CBTA. Finally to establish time baselines for crossing Kasumbalesa Zambia border, data collection assistants were used to record truck entry and exit times at the border. Data was also extracted from the ZKVC ICT system which recorded the time of arrival and departure of the truck at the Kasumbalesa border facility.
Findings of the border assessment identified challenges including the following at Kasumbalesa border:
- The alternate movement of trucks caused by the state of road infrastructure significantly reduces the numbers that could be cleared per day at the border;
- There is high traffic using the border but operation hours are short (06:00hrs – 18:00hrs)
- Staff Shortage resulting in officers doing assessment on consignment being the one to carry physical examination where require
- Lack of facilities like inspection sheds and scanners
- A lot of undeclared goods crossing the border due to the porosity of the border.
On average freight trucks spend 24 hours to cross Kasumbalesa border to DRC, 6½ hours of which are spent in the parking facility doing clearance & other border procedures and waiting for a turn to cross the border. Trucks coming from DRC spend an average of 5½ hours to cross the border into Zambia.
Key recommendations from the BOA were that a Joint Border Committee that comprises representatives from public and private sector agencies be established at Kasumbalesa and that a JBC Action Plan be developed to address the identified challenges.