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Zimbabwe's Vehicle imports increased

Zimbabwe's Vehicle imports increasedBy Thupeyo Muleya

Vehicle imports through Beitbridge Border Post increased marginally from 24 512 in 2015 to 24 573 last year despite stringent conditions set by Government, the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority said on Friday.

In 2016, Zimbabwean importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of vehicles:

Trucks: US$113.1 million (down -58%)
Cars: $109.2 million (down -21.4%)
Tractors: $45.7 million (down -11.8%)
Automobile parts/accessories: $24.8 million (up 16.1%)
Public-transport vehicles: $17.9 million (down -29.6%)
Trailers: $15.8 million (up 15.5%)
Special purpose vehicles: $8.4 million (up 123.7%)
Motorcycles: $3.1 million (down -30.5%)
Bicycles, other non-motorized cycles: $2.1 million (down -30.1%)
Motorcycle parts/accessories: $666,000 (up 10.3%)

The only top vehicles subcategories for Zimbabwean imports to increase from 2009 to 2016 were: special purpose vehicles (up 123.7%), automobile parts and accessories (up 16.1%), trailers (up 15.5%) and motorcycle parts and accessories (up 10.3%).

Decliners range from -11.8% for motorcycle parts and accessories to -58% for imported trucks.

These amounts and the percentage gains within parenthesis clearly show where the strongest demand lies for different product subcategories of imported vehicles among Zimbabwean businesses and consumers.

The vehicles came mainly from Japan and South Africa and were second-hand.

Others bring their vehicles through less busy ports of entry like Victoria Falls, Chirundu and Plumtree.

Vehicle imports through Beitbridge Border Post are processed at Manica and Malindi transit sheds.

They handle 70 cars a day.

It is understood that a passenger vehicle attracts around $2 500 in import duty. Zimra's board secretary and Director for Legal and Corporate Services Ms Florence Jambwa said the figures comprised vehicles mainly from Japan and South Africa, and those imported under the immigrant rebate facility.

She said it took them an average of three hours for one to clear their vehicles at the border post depending on the submission of adequate documents.

Ms Jambwa said it was important for people to complete declarations forms and to submit all required documents when clearing motor vehicles, and any other goods, on importation.

"The following documents are required on the clearance of imported motor vehicles; commercial invoice, export bill of entry, proof that the car was de-registered in South Africa (in the case of second-hand cars from South Africa), and a South African registration book and South African police clearance certificate, for cars from South Africa," she said.

Ms Jambwa said for one to be considered for the immigrant's rebate, they should submit the following documents; employment record or residence permit, proof that one has completed studies -- for a person who has been pursuing studies -- proof that one has terminated contract -- for a person who has been on a contract of employment -- proof of absence from Zimbabwe -- for a person who has been on an extended absence from Zimbabwe.

"In addition they need to submit a certificate stating that such effects and other goods were owned by the applicant at the time of arrival and at their time of importation. In the case of motor vehicles, confirmation that a rebate has not been granted to the applicant in respect of a motor vehicle during the previous four years, among other things.

"Satisfactory evidence relating to the acquisition, ownership or purchase of the goods as may be required by the Commissioner-General is also essential," said Ms Jambwa.

She said other goods which may be imported under the immigrant's rebate duty-free include personal and household effects such as clothing, linen and furniture.
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