In Moçambique, the Port of Beira has set up various disinfectant posts to cope with an increase in cargo brought in by sea freight diverted away from South African ports which have been operationally closed due to the coronavirus pandemic (Covid-19).
According to Jan de Vries, CEO of Beira concession holder Cornelder de Moçambique, the port’s container volumes are in excess of projected figures released earlier this year, this is mainly due to the increased volumes of food and fertilizer being moved to Zimbabwe and Zambia.
Meanwhile in South Africa, to ensure reduced congestion once lockdown has ended, Government has lifted regulations requiring goods to be sanitised on arrival, Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma has been quoted saying; “If goods have been at sea for many days, there is no need for them to be sanitised because the virus will have died by the time they reach the port”.
South Africa and the European Commission have agreed to calm the current required regulations that expects the submission of original certificates of origin to prove the originating status of goods at the time of clearance – copies or electronic versions will be accepted.
SARS released the following statements:
“While Article 26 to Protocol I of the SADC-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) requires the submission of an original proof of origin within ten months, SARS will honour or accept copies or electronic versions of certificates of origin while awaiting the submission of the original versions within twelve months of their being issued in the EU,”
“Traders are encouraged to register for the generous Approved Exporter Scheme, within the meaning of Article 25 to Protocol I of the SADC-EU EPA, which allows an origin declaration to be presented in the importing country no longer than two years after the importation of the products to which it relates.”
Over in Zambia excitement is growing as the Kazungula bridge is nearing completion, the bridge was expected to be functional in 2018 but due to labour unrest and payment issues this delayed the construction of the bridge.
This “game-changing” bridge close to 1km long, will shorten travel times quite substantially compared to the current out-dated ferry service being used.
No official dates have been given for when the bridge will be opened but construction is expected to be completed in June this year.