NRZ to charge exporters in forex

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THE Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) has given the National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) the green light to collect rail charges in foreign currency for goods exported under the Cost, Insurance and Freight (CIF) conditions.
This comes after the ailing parastatal wrote to the central bank and to the Finance ministry seeking permission to charge all exporters in foreign currency.
In a response to NRZ, the central bank authorised the parastatal to charge railage collection under the CIF basis.
“Please kindly note that in terms of the current Exchange Control administrative arrangements, where a transporter has shipped goods under the CIF basis, the respective transport or railage portion may be received by the transporter in foreign currency. Under the circumstances highlighted, NRZ may receive such portion of railage charges in foreign currency.
“Kindly, therefore, submit a specific application through your authorised dealers to have the necessary exchange control administrative structure for this arrangement to be operationalised,” read the response.
In a statement, NRZ chairperson Martin Dinha welcomed the development, describing it as progressive for the sleeping giant.
“The intervention by the central bank is critical for NRZ considering that foreign currency has been essential in funding the organisation in hiring wagons and locomotives from the region to address resource and capacity gaps, hire interchange, as well as procuring spares and accessories for wagons, locomotives and infrastructure maintenance.
“The need for foreign currency for the organisation has become huge and urgent especially to hire locomotives and wagons for the movement of imported grains, to alleviate drought-induced shortfalls, amongst communities in Zimbabwe,” Dinha said.
The advent of Statutory Instrument 142 in February last year affected NRZ’s operation as it was forced to stop charging railage in forex.
Recently, NRZ’s general manager Lewis Mukwada revealed that the shift in the macro economic environment scuttled their plans to hire the locomotives, a development that saw the rail entity moving 2 648 million tonnes of cargo last year compared to 3,178 million tonnes moved in 2018.

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