Zimbabweans based in South Africa have raised concerns over the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority’s (Zimra) random variation of the validity of Temporary Import Permits (TIP) for those driving foreign registered vehicles into the country. The worst affected are those visiting the country and fall under the Zimbabwe Special Permits (ZSP), which was recently replaced with the Zimbabwe Exemption Permits (ZEP).
Under the country’s customs laws, visitors or Zimbabweans working outside the country who drive foreign registered vehicles, are allowed to bring in the cars duty free for a period of 30 days and renew at the expiry of that window. In case of defaulting, the vehicles are either seized or the owners are fined $500. In addition, motorists are allowed a window period of one week to exit the country from the date of the expiry of the TIP.
However, unscrupulous customs officers take advantage of this misinformation and fleece motorists of money during the one week window. In separate interviews, disgruntled motorists said the customs authority was restricting them to a visit of 10 days instead of the usual 30 days.
“This is despite the Department of Immigration having allowed us a stay of 30 days. In addition, the South African government has made a pronouncement that we can travel with the ZSP pending the finalisation of our new permits, which is likely to be completed in March next year, ”said one motorist.
Details to follow…