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Vehicle imports tumble more than 60%

by Staff reporter
20 Apr 2021 at 07:19hrs | Views
Numbers of second-hand vehicles imported through Beitbridge have slumped from around 60 a day to an average of 22 a day this month following the introduction of new regulations that make it very hard to import cars more than 10 years old.

New regulations gazetted on April 2 now require import permits for each second-hand light vehicle —which includes cars, pick-ups and kombis — of 10 years or more since manufacture.  Most heavy commercial vehicles are still under the open general import licence.

The permits for older cars are issued by the Ministry of Industry and Commerce. Zimra spokesperson Mr Francis Chimanda said they were now processing import documents for an average of 22 cars daily at Beitbridge, Malindi, and Manica transit sheds.  

Imports were running at around 60 a day before the new regulations. "Unfortunately, I cannot disclose the amount of revenue we are getting from vehicle imports since our system does not separate revenue from motor vehicles and that which is received from other goods," he said.

Mr Chimanda said Zimra was using the pre-clearance system to ensure a speedy flow of goods at the country's borders. After the submission of all documents for assessment of duty, it could take an importer a maximum of two hours, depending on pressure and number of other assessments already submitted when the documents were received.

From assessment, it was the duty of the importer to pay the duty promptly and get a receipt for onward transmission to the carrier so that the vehicle could be loaded for export to Zimbabwe.

"Upon arrival at transit sheds, compliance checks are done by Zimra for issuance of relevant final import clearance documents and normally within a day, a client can do a compliance check, get the documents, proceed to the payment of storage charges, and release their vehicle," said Mr Chimanda.

Zimra required the importers to produce a purchase invoice, copy of identification card, SAD 500 (Export bill of entry from South Africa), SARS Notification (Release), declaration form 47 by the importer, and Import license (for vehicles more than 10 years old) for Zimra to process the customs documents.

In case of rebates, that is lighter or zero duty, the importer needed to have a rebate letter confirming that they have been allowed to import the vehicle under that specific rebate.

One needs at least US$5 000 to buy a modest second-hand vehicle older than 10 years and at least US$10 000 to buy newer models. This is inclusive of the purchase price, shipping costs and import duties.

Source - the herald