Vehicle imports decline

Source: Vehicle imports decline | The Herald August 27, 2016

Thupeyo Muleya Beitbridge Bureau
The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) recorded a 2,7 percent decrease in car imports through Beitbridge Border Post between January and June this year compared to the same period last year. Official figures from Zimra show that a total of 13 976 motor vehicles were imported through Beitbridge Border Post against 14 358 vehicles that were imported during the same period in 2015.

It is understood that the imports through Beitbridge have declined as many importers and car dealers are now preferring to use less busy stations such as Plumtree, Kazungula and Chirundu border posts.

Zimra recently stopped accepting values of second hand vehicles which are being sold in South Africa saying they were below standard market values. This has resulted in importers opting to buy vehicles direct from Japan or Tanzania, where prices are relatively low.

Zimra’s director of legal and corporate affairs, Ms Florence Jambwa on Thursday said they were processing an average of 72 vehicle imports per day at Manica Transit Shed. “For the period January to June 2016, 13 976 motor vehicles were imported through Beitbridge Border Post, compared to 14 358 vehicles which were imported during the same period in 2015,” she said.

Ms Jambwa said Zimra was practicing standard valuation procedures that are consistent with the prevailing market values.

“Where the declared values are way below the prevailing market values, the law provides that an assessment of the value be done.

“If the sales prices are in line with prevailing market values, they are accepted by ZIMRA. However, if the declared values are not in line with prevailing market prices, an assessment of the value is done to establish the correct Value for Duty Purposes.

“This is to ensure that the correct duty is paid for that particular importation,” she said.

Ms Jambwa added that during the same period under review they witnessed a decline in the volume of commercial vehicles accessing the country through Beitbridge Border Post.

She said a total of 55 509 north-bound commercial vehicles passed through the port in the first half of this year, while 58 309 were recorded last year.

“We had a total of 60 745 commercial vehicles leaving via Beitbridge in the period January to June this year and in 2015 we had 66 003 vehicles, ” she said.

She added that the volume of transits trucks going either side of the border remained at between 12 000 and 15 000.

Ms Jambwa said with respect to those who failed to clear their goods on time, Zimra was disposing them off through rummage sales.

“The law provides that seized goods be disposed of after 90 days.”

However, this may take longer in cases where the matter is before the courts or where there is an appeal.

“For goods/cars held by Zimra on a Receipt for Items Held, disposal is after 60 days, provided there is no appeal or no court process with regards to the detained goods,” said Ms Jambwa.