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2020 vehicle imports marginally surpass 2019 despite COVID-19 shutdown

by Staff reporter
26 Nov 2020 at 09:52hrs | Views
Vehicle imports marginally increased to 40,052 units between January and October this year up from 40,016 units recorded during the same comparative period last year despite the advent of the Covid-19 induced border controls, statistics reveal.
 
The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) - responsible for revenue generation in the country highlighted that imported units were at a cost of ZWL$10,2 billion this year while ZWL$1,4 billion was generated last year.

The revenue could not be used comparatively owing to the exchange rate fluctuations during the stipulated period.
 
The lowest vehicle imports were recorded in April after President Emmerson Mnangagwa announced the Covid-19 induced lockdown effected end of March.
 
Only 484 vehicles were imported against 4,135 units imported last year during the same month. In May the figure picked to 2,512 units but remained way below the 4,156 units imported during the same month last year.
 
"Variations between 2019 and 2020 can be attributed to the implications of the coronavirus since it affected all nations on imports and exports. Closing of borders and restrictions of movements made it difficult to supply. Also, the  reduction of disposable income resulted in demand for vehicles going down in 2020 as many individuals would opt for essential or basic products," said Zimra head corporate communication Francis Chimanda.
 
Most interestingly, between January to March and from June up to October, statistics availed highlight that more vehicles were actually imported this year than during the same comparative period last year.
 
Zimra hinted that the border control measures further limited their revenue base as movement of goods and persons were restricted.
 
"Revenue collections will be affected significantly as more borders were closed and movement of goods became difficult as only essential goods were being given priority. Free movement of persons across borders is an enabler of increased trade resulting in more revenue collection base. As the number of restrictions within the Region increases, trade will be affected and importations reduced drastically," said Chimanda.
 
However, Zimra managed to surpass its set target for the first, second and third quarter despite limited revenue streams under Covid-19.
 
Chimanda attributed the positive development to a wide variety of measures implemented to enhance tax compliance.
 
These include checking compliance status of VAT operators trading in foreign currency, debt follow-ups and stricter monitoring of debt payment plans, and risk-based audits.
 
The tax collector further intensified roadblocks and border patrols to curb smuggling, and transit management enforced through the Electronic Cargo Tracking System (ECTS) and escorts, among others.

Source - finx

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