New regulations for vehicle importers

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.

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  1. That’s the way to go. Place more burden on people trying to eke out a living in a dysfunctional economy. Of the accidents that have occurred how many have involved just imported vehicles? Instead of penalizing those responsible for the poor state of our roads instead you decide to profit from an already burdened people. One of these days these things will come back to haunt you.

    1. You are right, our so called Leaders they keep on crafting news system to trouble and make life for Zimbabweans difficult,when are they going to do something good for thier people ie making good roads for the nation to reduce accidents

    2. But how can an uninsured vehicle be driven on a public road irregardless of whether its an import or not? It doesn’t make sense. For obvious reasons all vehicles on public roads should be insured no matter the state of those roads.

  2. nokuti ivo vakaita mari kare

  3. railwayworker

    Iwe gono wat r yu trying to say saka uri kuda kuti totenga mamazda nyika yese ekuwillowvale kunogadzirwa mota 5 pagore dzichidhura futi bots and sa vanoda kushaina zvisina basa.

    1. and are those mercedes benz being driven nana gono, gersham and crew being assembled in zimbabwe anyway ? guys when is this selfihness going to end ?

    2. What Gono is saying makes economic sense. No country has a future if it relies on imports, but the problem that we have is that there is nothing on the ground to boost our economy. Gono should not just complain but should offer solutions. Isnt it a paradox that he is the one who presided over this collapsing economy. He actually precipitated its demise.

  4. Ok.tazvihwa. but the question is,in what way is that so- called insurance of benefit to the vehicle owner in the event of an accident?in zimbabwe!!

    1. In the event of an accident the vehicle owner will only be responsible for costs related to his vehicle but damages to another person’s vehicle, property or even injuries will be covered by the insurance.

  5. This is a normal requirement. My heart skipped when I saw the headline because these guys sometimes comes up with too many restrictive measures to deny us a chance to own cars, but for this one I support them and also ask the Zinara guys not just to modernise toll gates but the roads as well especially the Harare Masvingo beitbridge highway which by far is the busiest but worst road of all.

  6. Yah they can be couried to our borders we still need these second hand cars. As for Gono you can’t just start now to say let us stop importation of finished products when your factories are not working, first fix our factories and thats the way to go. In RSA if you are employed you can have a financial facility from a abank to buy a new car in installments. FBC tried it on Mazda 3s ask them how many takers where there because with the required deposit you could import a very good VW Golf which is better than an M3 and remain with some change. So Gono as you drive in your Merc give a thought to us in our Corollas and Polos, Vitz and Fits, Spacios and the like because after the 30 year destruction of Zimbabwe that is the best we can have. At least these are much better than the 323. Izvozvi izvi ndozvanetsa ku Chisumbanje zvekuda kumanikidzira product instead of marketing a product. How many car plants do we have to stop imports? Toita nyika ye ma 323? ivo vachidriver ma benz, they should stop importing ma benz nema Range Rover, ma Isuzu ne ma Navarra, Ma Toyota Land Cruiser ne Ma Prado, tivaone vari muma M3 tobva tateedzerawo.

    1. Surely this is not a new development/requirement, we have always insured our vehicles and get temporary plates after paying duty. The main issue that should be addressed is maintaining the Beitbridge-Harare highway in a good and safe state by:
      (1) resurfacing it and dualising it.
      (2) fencing the road away from stray animals/donkeys and cattle etc.
      I have it on good authority that each of the four(4) tollgates along this road raises USD10000.00 per day. What is that money used for? Kugadzira mugwagwa wekuShamva. Matiita mapenzi vanhu veZINARA, makawana makudo enyu ekutamba nawo handiti? Apart from paying toll gate fees we pay to buy spares because of the wear and tear caused by this road yangozara tumapundu nemazikomba. Mai Mujuru vanozvionawo here vachienda kupurazi kwavo.? Vanopfuura nepi?

      1. wataura chokwadi insurance yakagara ichibhadharwa

  7. I dont see how this is a new development. Having imported vehicles in the past, it was made very clear at the border post that I coudnt have the vehicles cleared if I didnt have Third party Insurance cover, and for that purpose, in Beitbridge in particular, there is an Insurance cubicle open 24/7.

    Have you run out of stories?????

  8. You are right SHIBOBO this is not a new development

  9. Mr Governor, i believe we all know the situation is not solved simply by stopping imports. Our local manufacturing industries are shutting down all around us e.g Dairibord in Byo and you discourage imports?? This issue needs to be addressed before you blame other countries for maximizing on our inadequacy to produce locally. As for second-hand vehicles that is what average earners can afford in this country. Only the creme de la creme of society (you included Sir) can afford to rip off the plastic and smell new leather!!! Our salaries do not permit such extravagance so do not blame us for seeking ways to better our lives!

  10. Nothing new here, importers have been paying insurance for a long time, we can’t compare ourselves to South Africa and Botswana regarding newer cars, we don’t have sufficient money to all afford newer cars and at end of day we only buy older Japanese cars coz that’s what we can afford , I have just imported an immaculate 2001 car from Japan and its much better condition than most 5 year old South African cars or Botswana

  11. it is good to craft policies but we should not just craft policies that further impoverish the poor. belovedZimbabweans. our problem is that we have government leaders who manage other countries’ monies, prouctions, cars, purchases, people while they are paid for not thinking. tatove a capitalistic state. varombo kuvarombo. hazvinamhosva, mangwana muchazviona.

  12. Tibvirei apa who doest want to own a car. chibvai pazvigaro pavauye vanogona basa

  13. This is not news. It has always been the case. I thought the story was about doing away with bogus insurance agents at the boarder that offer cover notes that do not guarantee any cover at all when accidents occur. There is also the issue of fake cover notes being issued.

  14. kana vanhu vagarisa pazvigaro vanoda kuchinjwa, nyika inofamba anouya anoziva kuti zvichgaro ichi zvinopera kwete kupedza makore uchiterere same song.

  15. Corrupt vatongi

  16. cant even understand . there is one problem with us zimbabweans. instead of focusing on ways to create legislature that will encourage setting up of new industries that encourage economic growth we are busy kutsvaga nzira dzekutorerana mari.

    bvisai zvimutemo zvenyu zveku dzvanyirira vamwe.
    todawo kufamba nemota isu.
    makajaira kugara muchingotibira.

  17. Mr Gono…how can you as a Zimbabwean so utterly disregard the economics of scale???

    To make something cheap you have to do it in quantity, fast and with low energy cost.

    Zimbabwe is a nation of at present 8 million souls.

    We are a very small country impoverished by ego, politics and bad education.


    Begin with a solar farm…and for heaven sakes open a book on production.

  18. Which Botswana is being referred to? coz the one where I am with capital called Gaborone those imports are still coming in and available for sale to anyone with money!

  19. I concur with those who say this provision has always been there on vehicle imports. The third-party insurance cover, as correctly reported covers you for only fourteen days and I think it ranges between $20 and $35. It’s unfortunate the reporter did not bother to do a background check on the whole issue. The only new thing here is that Zimra will be dishing out these insurance covers as an agent. That means Zimra will be getting commission from the insurers for doing business for them. Easy money for Zimra!!!!!!!!!!!!

  20. maponde chris

    Its only one day when people will up rise and resist this sucking of blood. Mari inongotorerwa vanhu vagara vachitambura kare kuti ivo vagare muma hotels,driving latest models,going for holidays kuAsia.Pasi nevanhu vakadai.PASI, PASI, PASI, PASI NAVO.

  21. general ndugu

    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.

    This is rubbish considering that people like him can afford to buy new vehicles not from our local MAZDA but buy new vehicles direct from overseas yet they complain that poor people like us are putting pressure on the economy. We also want to drive just as much as they want to drive. How many cars do they own yet they want to block others. You should offer people alternatives rather than suppressing them.if u can make Mazda sell cheap cars then we wont have to import and we will be @ their doorstep tommorow promoting our local industries. wake up hypocrites!!!!!!!!!!!

  22. how much enough is enough mr gorvenor ? . u are saying so many people have bin killed on da roads yet we still pay toll gates fees. upto now how many roads have bin done to avoid carnege .why dont u have a case study on countries like Bots which has got affordable viechle scemses with banks not for us to rely on gvt onwed wilovale mazda ..

  23. There should be a one stop shop at the point of entry,

    pay your duty plus the registration amount due to Zimra, have your car cleared there, pay your insurance, zinara fees, and get your plates before you leave the border.

    This clear the whole bottleneck of registering cars imported by individuals

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