BY FIDELITY MHLANGA
the RESERVE Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) says it will liquidate all foreign currency that will be channelled into the country after the prescribed three-month period for exporters in a desperate attempt to shore up forex flows in the country.
Zimbabwe is experiencing severe foreign currency shortages that are choking industry and government operations.
The country requires hard currency for the importation of key commodities such as fuel, medicines, grain and electricity.
“As part of ensuring compliance in the administration of exports, authorised dealers are advised that all exporters with forms CD1/CD3/TRAS1/TRAS2/PTS1/GSD shall forfeit the expected retention portion of their export proceeds, through the liquidation of such funds upon the market at the prevailing interbank market rate,” RBZ exchange control director Farai Masendu said in a circular last week.
Exporters are allowed to retain between 50 to 80% of foreign currency after exporting, but are expected to use it within three months.
CD1 forms are for real sector goods, CD3s are for declaration of road transport/freight charges and TRAS 1 forms are for declaration of non-consumptive tourism earnings.
TRAS2 forms are used for declaration of consumptive tourism (hunting) earnings, PTS1 is for declaration of post and telecommunication receipts while GSD is for general services
The central bank said for the avoidance of any doubt, exporter documentation such as exporters that are flagged orange or red in the Computerised Exports Payments Exchange Control System (CEPECS) are not entitled to have the retention portion of the new inflow export proceeds until the overdue position is cleared .
CEPECS is a web-based real-time exchange control system that links the central bank to commercial banks, the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority, exporters and other government agencies that facilitate and promote export of goods and services.
The apex bank said authorised dealers were, therefore, required to ensure that the administrative processes for the full acquittal of the export documentation are expeditiously carried out so as to avoid prejudice to the compliant exporters.
Economist John Robertson bemoaned the piling of punitive regulations on businesses, urging authorities to remove them.
“Many companies accumulate forex and it may take more than three months for export proceeds to be paid. This will restrict the ability of business to operate freely. It’s likely to cause problems for some companies and they must be allowed to apply for waiver for special treatment. It’s a pity that we have many regulations affecting business. We should do our best as a country to do away with such regulations,” said Robertson.
Last November, the government gazetted Statutory 249 of 2019 that compels exporters to pay for power in forex.
Zimbabwe is experiencing a debilitating power supply shortage that is lasting over 18 hours per day affecting industry and household operations.