Zimbabwe relaxes import rules

Zimbabwe relaxes import rules
Published: 05 October 2017
Government has reduced the number of products that require import licences as part of its ongoing efforts to improve Zimbabwe's ease of doing business while at the same time placing imports of school uniforms under import management.

The changes are contained in Statutory Instrument (SI) 122 of 2017, which also consolidates into one single instrument, goods which are currently under import control. The SI was published on September 22, 2017.

Industry and Commerce permanent secretary Abigail Shonhiwa told The Herald Business that the ministry had consolidated all the controlled imports under one instrument for ease of reference by manufacturers. This also comes as the import controls were all being referred to as SI 64 of 2016. Some of the consolidated instruments include SIs 18, 19, 20, 64 all of 2016, SI 150 of 2011 and SIs 6 and 126 of 2014.

"The only addition to goods under import management are school uniforms. There are a lot of companies involved in the manufacture of uniforms in the country and we felt that in order to realise the full implementation of the Cotton to Clothing strategy which promotes the textiles value chain, we should promote local companies," said Mrs Shonhiwa.

Following the amendments, the only four products that still require export licences are fertiliser, raw & refined sugar, gypsum and second-hand equipment which were deemed as strategic. A product may be deemed strategic because of its nature, its limited supply or the risk involved in its export. Some of the products that were removed from the list include butter, cream, vegetable oil, margarine and melamine boards, among others. The recommendation to revise the list was made in consultation with both the Public and the Private Sector under the Ease of Doing Export Business framework.

"The move is the outcome of the Ease of Doing Business Rapid Results Initiative. We received recommendations from stakeholders and came up with the instrument."

The Ministry of Industry and Commerce has also implemented some administrative reforms that include reduced processing time of export licenses from a maximum of fourteen days to a maximum of two days. This comes as Government and the private sector have reached a consensus that export growth was the most effective way for the country to generate much needed foreign currency.

Successful implementation of the RRI recommendations is projected to curb some of the trade-impeding regulations and procedures. ZimTrade Board Chairman Lance Jena said the removal of products from the licensing list comes at a time when Government is looking at various initiatives to grow exports.

"We applaud the Ministry of Industry and Commerce for being exemplary in the implementation of RRI reforms to improve the Ease of Doing Export Business and we encourage other Ministries to follow suit".

Government also removed some raw materials from the import licence list.
- the herald
Tags: Zimbabwe, Import,


Latest News

Latest Published Reports

Latest jobs