|Used car import rules to change: Official|
|Monday, 16 May 2011 20:53|
By Peter Matambanadzo
GOVERNMENT is considering relaxing the age limit of vehicles to be imported into the country from five years to another limit to be advised next week as the June 30 deadline approaches.
Secretary for Transport, Communication and Infrastructure Development Mr Partson Mbiriri yesterday said Government was in the process of reviewing the number of years for second-hand vehicles to be allowed into the country.
He said his Minister, Nicholas Goche, would issue a comprehensive statement next week de-tailing all the changes to be implemented. Mr Mbiriri, however, insisted that the June 30 deadline banning the importation of the old vehicles from Asian countries, mainly Japan, still stands.
If no changes are effected, it means Zimba-bweans will be allowed to import vehicles that are five-years-old and below after June 30.
He, however, assured the nation that by next week Minister Goche would have clarified the matter.
The decision to ban vehicles that are over five-years-old had sparked outrage from many Zimbabweans who feel the regulations would make vehicles expensive and beyond the reach of most people.
Last week, there was congestion at Beitbridge Border Post following a sudden influx of used vehicle imports, mainly from Japan, as car dealers and individuals rushed to beat the June 30 deadline.
According to reports, the border post used to handle 15 car carriers per day, which is 101 cars, but the number had since risen to between 30 and 40 car carriers per day translating to about 250 cars per day.
But, the congestion eased over the weekend after the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority deployed more officers to clear the backlog of cars being imported into the country.
In September last year, Government gazetted Statutory Instrument 154 banning the use of left hand driven vehicles and those older than five years old.
It also seeks to ensure that vehicles that are imported have residual value that will benefit the importer, users and the economy of Zimbabwe, given that the best practice of international accounting is that light vehicles (for example) are amortised at five years.
A vehicle that is more than five-years-old - in terms of the international accounting practice - would have reached its peak and the residual value would, therefore, be less and thus compromising benefit to the receiving country.
Most Zimbabweans, particularly low-income earners, rely on second-hand car imports which are affordable, as they are cheaper than vehicles less than five-years-old.