The recent upgrading of security along the Limpopo River, partly driven by the need to stop illegal movement of people spreading Covid-19, has resulted in reduced smuggling with Zimra nailing those caught for duties totalling $13 million and US$120 000 in the last 30 days.
Prior to the deployment of more security personnel, it was estimated that Zimbabwe was losing hundreds of millions of dollars annually in potential import duty.
Zimra's spokesperson, Mr Francis Chimanda said between January 5 and February 5 this year, the authority made 47 seizures of smuggled goods, compared to 22 within the same period last year.
"Between January 5 and February 5 last year, we recovered duties amounting to $105 664,49 after making 22 seizures and this year during the same period we collected a total of $13 893 920,20 and US$119 236,21 from 47 seizures," said Mr Chimanda.
Most of the goods being smuggled into Zimbabwe from South Africa are grocery items, beers and other beverages, chicken cuts, used tyres, meat, fruit, and building material.
Zimra is now searching all light commercial trucks with a carrying capacity of between 15 tonnes and 20 tonnes after finding a surge in false declarations by either the transporters or the importers.
Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister Kazembe Kazembe recently said a raft of measures had been employed to address challenges at the border and to combat crime.
"With regards to the illegal border crossing, the Government has always been seized with the matter and you will recall that members of the National Security Council visited the border on December 11 last year and toured all the undesignated crossing points," said Minister Kazembe.
He said it was important for travellers to obtain the necessary documents before embarking on their journeys to avoid unnecessary inconveniences.