22 September 2017

Zimbabwe: Reprieve for Pharmaceutical Exporters

As part of the ongoing Ease of Doing Export Business - Rapid Results Initiative (RRI), the Medicines Control Authority of Zimbabwe (MCAZ), through the Ministry of Health and Child Care recently reduced the cost of two permits that are essential for exporting pharmaceutical products.

The RRI was an initiative that was spearheaded by the Office of the President and Cabinet, in collaboration with ZimTrade and the Ministry of Industry and Commerce.

Under the initiative twenty-two (22) statutory reforms were proposed across all sectors to improve the ease of doing export business. Two of them were gazetted on September 1, 2017, pertaining to the cost of processing export permits and Certificate of Pharmaceutical Product (CCP).

According to communication received from the MCAZ, "The application fee for a CCP certificate for a pharmaceutical product has been reduced by 47 percent to $80 from $150".

MCAZ also confirmed that, "The Medicines and allied substances control: import and export of medicines Statutory Instrument 99 of 2017 reduces the application fee for an export permit from the Medicines and Allied Substances Control Authority to $40 from US$50".

In addition to these two legislative reforms, exporters of pharmaceutical products can now access an export permit to export samples at no cost. Prior to the reforms, the cost of exporting samples was equal to the cost of exporting a consignment. A representative from one of the pharmaceutical exporters confirmed that the authority is processing export permits for samples free of charge.

Pharmaceutical exporters have also confirmed that as recommended through the Rapid Results Approach, the processing time for an Export Permit has been reduced to less than two days.

Commenting on the developments, the ZimTrade board chairman Lance Jena said, "Although there has been slow progress in the implementation of some of the proposed reforms, we applaud the Ministry of Health and Child Care and MCAZ for leading in the implementation of the identified statutory reforms. We encourage other Ministries to take a leaf from this initiative. This will certainly go a long way in enhancing export competitiveness".

The Doing Export Business Implementation Taskforce (DEBIT) is working on ensuring that the remaining twenty (20) proposed statutory amendments identified during the Rapid Results Initiative are finalised. ZimTrade is encouraging exporters of pharmaceutical products to take advantage of these reforms.

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