Source: Zimra collects $7,5m as car dealers panic | The Herald 19 OCT, 2018
Thupeyo Muleya Beitbridge Bureau
THE Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) collected $7,5 million in 12 days in car import duty here as car dealers are panicking over rumours of the pending introduction of duty in foreign currency. Zimra collected the duty between October 2 and October 14.
Under normal circumstances, Zimra collects an average of $8,5 million monthly, but there is panic among car dealers hence the huge collection in just 12 days. Zimra is now handling between 500 and 700 cars daily.
Vehicle imports are processed at Manica and Malindi Transit sheds which have a carrying capacity of 600 and 400 vehicles, respectively.
The situation at the two transit sheds has off late been hectic, forcing Zimra to beef up staff and security as restless car importers have attempted to run over the two transit sheds.
Zimra’s acting head of communications Mr Taungana Ndoro confirmed the development yesterday.
“The current increase in vehicles imported has not been caused by the fiscal policy review. It came about from speculation that duty would be paid in US$ from 15 October, 2018. You will therefore note that numbers started to increase on Monday 8 October, 2018, peaking on Saturday where we had 742 vehicles imported in a single day,” said Mr Ndoro.
“We are receiving an average of 500 vehicles that are being imported from South Africa daily. Further to that, we are processing an average of 200 entries of vehicles imports per day. A total of $7 479 167,03 in import duty was collected on 2 834 vehicles during the period under review”.
Mr Ndoro said 3 980 vehicles were imported between October 2 and 14 from South Africa with Manica receiving 2 093 and Malindi handling 1 887 cars.
He said 32 customs officers and four supervisors were handling vehicle imports at Beitbridge.
The Herald is reliably informed that most of the vehicles are shipped from Japan, Singapore and the United Kingdom with a handful coming in from South Africa.
“Yes the staff is not adequate. Zimra currently has four supervisors, 32 officers, four on relief from Masvingo and Bulawayo and two on relief from the border post. We need one more supervisor and 10 staff members to improve the situation,” he said.
The influx in vehicle imports has also exacerbated the fuel shortages in Beitbridge. Most service stations receive at least 20 000 litres a week.
In addition, sources at the Zimbabwe National Road Administration (Zinara) said they were handling nearly 4 000 vehicles a day at the Lutumba toll gate along the Beitbridge-Masvingo highway due to increased activity in the border town.
Off peak they handle under 2 800.
A sales manager at one of the biggest dealers, Mr Clemence Mabidi recently confirmed a sudden demand for cars by Zimbabweans across the border.