THE government has announced new regulations for vehicle importers compelling them to get temporary insurance cover, as carnage on the country’s major highways remains high.
Report by Business Reporter
According to a joint notice by the Insurance Council of Zimbabwe (ICZ) and the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra), all imported vehicles will with immediate effect get third party insurance which expires 14 days after the vehicle is imported.
Experts say before this development, the ICZ had an arrangement with the revenue collector to provide cover for foreign registered vehicles being driven into the country.
“In order to comply with the Road Traffic Act legislation on insurance, all imported vehicles that are being driven from border entry points to other destination points in Zimbabwe will be required to buy insurance from Zimra, acting as agents for the motor insurance pool, at the point of entry,” the notice in part reads.
“Cover under this is for third party liabilities and does OT cover damage to the insured vehicle. In the event of an accident during the period of cover, a report should be made to the police then the Insurance Council of Zimbabwe.”
Under local traffic legislation, one cannot drive an uninsured vehicle. The poor state of the country’s road network has been widely blamed for the high frequency of accidents. The Harare-Beitbridge Road which links Zimbabwe to South Africa has over the last decade claimed hundreds of lives leaving several road users maimed.
According to media reports, close to 50 000 second-hand cars are imported into the country yearly.
Botswana has since banned imported second-hand vehicles more than five years old on its roads, leaving Zimbabwean car dealers and individuals importing cars through the neighbouring country in quandary.
That country’s customs unified revenue service told the Botswana media that the country had begun enforcing the Southern Africa Customs Union agreement that prohibits the use and registration of imported second-hand vehicles that are more than five years old.
Last week the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor Gideon Gono expressed concern over Zimbabwe’s reliance on imports, saying the development was depleting the country’s foreign currency base.
“We remain worried that we are depending on imports, particularly finished products, and we cannot build a strong economy by importing jobs and subcontracting producers in other jurisdictions to produce for us when we can produce for ourselves,” Gono said.