SI64 spurs imports decline by 8%

IMPORTS into Zimbabwe declined 8% in the month of July 2016 due to import control measures put in place by the government recently to boost local industry, latest trade data from the national statistics agency shows.


Government recently gazetted Statutory Instrument (SI) 64 of 2016, which removed goods that are supposedly locally available from the open general import licence exemption, triggering mass protests either side of the Beitbridge border post.

Under the new regulations, those who want to import restricted products have to secure a $30 permit, only valid for three months, after justifying why they should be allowed to bring products into the country.

Data released by the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (ZimStat) showed that imports for the month of July decreased by 8% to $395 million compared to $430 million recorded in June.

Exports, on the other hand, increased by 4% to $184m.

Cumulatively to July, the country’s imports bill stood at $3 billion, a decline of 12% from $3,4bn in the same period in prior year, while exports amounted to $1,3bn, indicating a slightly continued reliance on imported goods as local industry remains depressed.

Trade deficit in the period under review amounted to $1,6bn.

Imports from South Africa, the country’s largest trading partner, reached $176m in July, while exports stood at $148m.

Some of the imported products include cheese, sausage casings, fish, milk, agricultural products including maize, sugar-related confectionaries, biscuits, chemicals, fertilisers, vehicles and generators.

Exports included beef, soaps, tobacco and other agricultural produce as well as wines, minerals and scrap metal.


  1. Has there been an impact on local prices for those products covered by the statutory instrument? I suspect that prices have risen slightly.

    1. don’t suspect mr analyst..why don’t u go and check..

  2. products pricing policy is what is needed. imports ban is a temporary measure, south african products are cheaper owing to lower production costs and efficient production methods hence they are competitive in sadc region. people buy from south africa because of lower retail prices and not because of quality. let’s the policy makers look at production policies as well as pricing policies.

  3. First step done. Nyika haingararame neku importer. When you import from South Africa you create employment in South Africa and people will always trek down there to look for jobs. It’s better to buy slightly more expensive goods and jet jobs here and the cumulative effects of keeping money in the economy are tremendous. We have normalised an abnormal situation where one goes to South Africa to shop for groceries instead of the local supermarket. Kukwira bhazi 700km kunotenga chingwa here akomana.

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