Thupeyo Muleya, Beitbridge Bureau
THE Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) has unilaterally increased import duty on second hand vehicles at all the country’s borders.
Since Tuesday last week, duty for a range of vehicles increased by between $300 and $1,000.
In June last year, Zimra also increased duty by the same margins.
Revelations are that where an importer used to pay $1,920 duty for a Honda Fit (GD1) 2002 model, one now needs to fork out an extra $400 to meet all the costs.
Those who used to pay $2,300 import duty are now required to pay $2,800.
Investigations by our Beitbridge Bureau have shown that vehicles such as Toyota Corolla Bubble shapes, Honda Fit, Toyota Corolla old shape, Toyota Vitz and Toyota Raum (old and new shapes), which are on high demand locally, were the worst affected by the new regulations.
The move tightens screws on importers.
Zimra director of corporate and legal affairs Florence Jambwa had not responded to questions by end of day yesterday.
However, customs officials at Beitbridge Border Post said the main objective of the changes was to ensure all motor vehicle importers pay a standard amount of duty for various vehicles.
“We’re now calculating value of duty based on a revised national catalogue. The idea is to avoid the idea of the same type of vehicle paying different duties at different ports of entry and under the latest development the duty is now uniform,” said one official on condition of anonymity.
The official said the percentages on which import duty was calculated had not changed.
Under the current import duty schedule, a modest vehicle is charged duty at 96 percent inclusive of VAT and Surtax.
Zimra calculates duty on vehicles based on year of manufacture and fuel transmission (automatic or manual).
The new development has seen tax authorities processing few vehicle imports at the Manica Transit shed in Beitbridge mostly those that were imported direct from either Japan or United Kingdom.
In separate interviews, car dealers and clearing agents blasted Zimra for imposing the new values without prior notifications or consultations.
Car dealers on the South African side of the border started slashing prices of vehicles by 30 percent in January due to low demand.