Used car im­ports in­crease by 40%

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page -

THE Zim­babwe Rev­enue Au­thor­ity (Zimra) has recorded a 40,9 per­cent in­crease in pre-owned ve­hi­cle im­ports at Beit­bridge Bor­der Post in the last eight months.

Of­fi­cial statis­tics in­di­cate that the tax watch­dog is col­lect­ing $8,5 mil­lion from ve­hi­cle im­ports at the coun­try’s busiest in­land port of en­try monthly.

Zimra’s act­ing head of com­mu­ni­ca­tions Mr Taun­gana Ndoro said yes­ter­day that they were pro­cess­ing an av­er­age of 205 im­ports of sec­ond hand ve­hi­cles at Beit­bridge alone daily.

These, he said, in­cluded those cleared un­der the re­turn­ing res­i­dents’ re­bate fa­cil­ity (Im­mi­grant Re­bate). Sec­ond hand ve­hi­cle im­ports mainly from Ja­pan, UK, Sin­ga­pore and South Africa are han­dled at Malindi and Man­ica Tran­sit shades re­spec­tively, while new and those, which fall un­der the im­mi­grant re­bate are done at the bor­der post.

“We have recorded an in­crease in ve­hi­cle im­ports at Beit­bridge be­tween Jan­uary and Au­gust this year in com­par­i­son to the same pe­riod in 2017. This year we pro­cessed 45 368 im­port doc­u­ments for ve­hi­cles com­ing in through South Africa against a to­tal of 26 781 han­dled last year dur­ing the pe­riod.

“In ad­di­tion, in 2017 we were pro­cess­ing an av­er­age of 2 000 cars per month and the num­ber has in­creased to around 5 000 in 2018,” he said.

Ac­cord­ing to Statu­tory In­stru­ment 154 of 2001 — Cus­toms and Ex­cise (Gen­eral) Reg­u­la­tions, 2001, an Im­mi­grant Re­bate is granted to any per­son who en­ters the coun­try to take per­ma­nent res­i­dence, or a visi­tor but re­mains to take up em­ploy­ment or per­ma­nent res­i­dence or a diplo­mat but re­mains to take up em­ploy­ment or per­ma­nent res­i­dence or to at­tend any ed­u­ca­tional in­sti­tu­tion or for the pur­pose of at­tend­ing any ed­u­ca­tional in­sti­tu­tion.

These are al­lowed to im­port house­hold prop­erty and ve­hi­cles duty free on con­di­tion that they sat­isfy the Zimra com­mis­sioner gen­eral that they owned the goods and the same (goods) were fully paid for be­fore or on the first oc­ca­sion of en­try into the coun­try and declaration as an im­mi­grant.

Mr Ndoro said un­der nor­mal cir­cum­stances one mo­tor ve­hi­cle should be cleared within five and six hours from the time of sub­mis­sion of the req­ui­site and cor­rect doc­u­ments.

“This in­cludes three hours for phys­i­cal ex­am­i­na­tions and duty cal­cu­la­tions and pay­ments and an­other two hours for the nec­es­sary ver­i­fi­ca­tion and pro­cess­ing of the Cer­tifi­cate of Cus­toms Clear­ance (CCC),” he said.

Our Beit­bridge Bureau is re­li­ably in­formed that Govern­ment is los­ing thou­sands of dol­lars in po­ten­tial rev­enue to syn­di­cates who are abus­ing the im­mi­grants’ re­bate fa­cil­ity (Re­turn­ing Res­i­dent) to clan­des­tinely im­port ve­hi­cles duty free across most ports of en­tries.

It is un­der­stood that the racket is well pro­nounced at Beit­bridge Bor­der Post where most ve­hi­cle im­ports from South Africa are pro­cessed. Statis­tics from Zimra show that 17 im­mi­grant abuse cases were in­ter­cepted be­tween De­cem­ber 2017 and April this year.

Fur­ther, a to­tal of 3 256 cars were im­ported un­der the Im­mi­grant Re­bate fa­cil­ity via Beit­bridge Bor­der Post in 2017. On av­er­age a modest ve­hi­cle at­tracts im­port duty of be­tween $2 500 and $5 000.

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