As expected the government has pressed on with the ban on second-hand cars that over ten years old. According to a document circulating on social media, there is an individual who had their recently imported vehicle detained by ZIMRA and they were told to apply for an Import License in order to clear it.
The murmurings were followed by a circular published by the Ministry of Commerce that announced that the ban was now in effect. It reads as follows:
1.0 INTRODUCTION 1.1
In line with the Control of Goods (Import and Export) (Commerce) (Amendment) Regulations, 2021 (No.9). and following the 2021 National Budget Statement, Government gazetted Statutory Instrument 89 of 2021 on the 2nd of April 2021. The Statutory Instrument has removed Second-Hand Motor Vehicles aged 10 years and above from the date of manufacture at the time of importation, from the Open General Import License. It also removes Sugar and Cement from the Open General Import License.
2.0 ADMINISTRATION OF SI 89 OF 2021 2.1
Importation of Second-Hand Motor Vehicles which are 10 years and above from the date of manufacture will now require consideration for import licences. This measure is in line with the NDS1, which underscores value addition and encourages effective standards, regulations and use of road-worthy vehicles that meet environmental and safety standards. 2.2 Commercial vehicles (tractors, haulage trucks. earth moving equipment) and other specialised vehicles used in mining and construction sectors shall be exempted. 2.3 Importation of Sugar and Cement will also require consideration for import licences. Sweets are exempted from import licence requirement.
3.0 WAY FORWARD
The Ministry is therefore advising that:
3.1 Clients whose motor vehicles were bought on or before 02 April 2021 will be required to apply for import licences at the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, attaching proof of payment:
3.2 Clients whose consignments on sugar and cement were bought on or before 02 April 2021 will be considered for import licences.
3.3 In line with decentralisation, clients who meet requirements in 3.1 and 3.2 above will have to make their applications at the Ministry of Industry and Commerce offices at Harare, Bulawayo, Gweru, Mutare and Masvingo.
3.4 Please be advised that there is an e-licensing platform (hups://zimeservices.pfms.gov.zw) that can be used by importers and exporters.
3.5 For inquiries. you can contact the following: Harare Ms Sandauke – 0772 874 213 Mr Gowora – 0774 099 514 Mr Mukanjari – 0773 029 506 Bulawayo Mr Gopoza – 0783 871 460 Mr Dingiswayo – 0774 493 194 Gweru Mr Mtisi – 0775 856 903
On top of this, there is also a fine attached, reports suggest that the fine for the individual is in the region of ZWL$800 000! Added to that the individual will also be paying for storage of the vehicle which is ZWL$800.00 per day within three months counting from the day of detention.
Failure to meet the fine and rent will see the vehicle sold in terms of section 39 of the Customs and Excise Act (Chapter 23:20). Strangely, the details of how the vehicles would be sold weren’t expounded upon.
Will ZIMRA be selling the vehicles locally? If so, then wouldn’t that be contravening SI 89? And if they are sold locally will the person who buys a vehicle have to get an Import License?
You should also check out
Over the weekend we went over the reasons the Minister for Finance said when he suggested the ban on second-hand cars last year. The reasons don’t make sense when we account for all the things that go into buying a car locally. You can check that article with the link below:
You should also browse through the comments. There were some interesting points brought up by the Techzim Community on the matter.