Zimbabwe makes it illegal to import vehicles that are more than 10 years old

IT IS now illegal to import vehicles that are more than 10 years old, after the government gazetted a new law yesterday aimed at curbing the purchase of battered cars into the country.

The new law, which comes into effect today, follows proposals that were made by Finance minister Mthuli Ncube during his 2021 National Budget last year, which aimed to lower the country’s burgeoning import bill of second-hand cars.

It also comes as Zimbabwe is pushing to reduce carbon emissions by cars.

Industry and Commerce minister Sekai Nzenza, said yesterday that the importation of cars that were manufactured more than 10 years ago would now require an import licence from the government.

She said commercial vehicles like tractors, haulage trucks, earth-moving equipment and other specialised vehicles used in mining and construction sectors would be exempted from the 10-year rule.

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“This notice may be cited as the Control of Goods (Import and Export) (Commerce) (Amendment) Regulations, 2021 (No. 9).

“Second-hand motor vehicles which are ten (10) years older from the date of manufacture classified under the specified headings of the customs tariff shall require an Import Licence from the ministry of Industry and Commerce,” Nzenza said in the government gazette.

In announcing the proposals last year, Ncube said besides reducing the country’s import bill and emissions, the move would also help promote the domestic motor industry.

This comes as the country has spent a whopping US$1,3 billion importing buses, light commercial and passenger motor vehicles from 2015 to September 2020.

In 2011, the government banned the import of vehicles more than five years old, although the ban was later upturned following an outcry from the public.

Meanwhile, returning residents who have been out of the country for at least two years can now only bring home a vehicle whose landing cost inclusive of import duties does not exceed US$5 000 duty free.

In the past, there was no value limit.

In a notice yesterday, Ncube rang the changes to the returning residents’ car import clause effective from October last year.