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Zimra to auction abandoned cars

The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) has announced that it will auction vehicles that were abandoned at Plumtree Border Post within 30 days, if the owners do not claim them.

Outrage as ZIMRA threatens to seize imported cars

Some of the cars have been at the border post — separating Zimbabwe and Botswana — since 2012.

Zimra is responsible for assessing, collecting and accounting for revenue on behalf of the State through the Finance ministry as well as facilitating trade and travel by ensuring smooth movement of goods and people through border ports.

The Authority said it has no details of the importers or vehicle owners, according to the Government Gazette general notice 2 of 2017 published on January 6.

“It is hereby notified, in terms, of section 39(2) of the Customs and Excise Act (Chapter 23:02), that the following vehicles will be dealt with in terms of section 39(3) and (4) of the Customs and Excise Act (Chapter23:02) if not claimed within 30 days of the publication of this notice in the Gazette. All the vehicles were abandoned at Plumtree Border Post and will be disposed of by auction,” read a notice by acting commissioner general Happias Kuzvinzwa.

The abandoned vehicles include an ERF-E58 Crane truck, 2006 Kia Seddona, 1999 Landrover Freelander, 1996 Toyota Hiace, 2002 Lexus IS200, 2000 LDV 400 Series and a 2004 Lexus GS300, among others.

This comes as government has launched a clampdown on foreign-registered vehicles temporarily imported into Zimbabwe by visitors and residents living abroad by drastically cutting their duration of stay in the country following abuse of the facility by local car dealers.

Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa said government reduced the maximum period under which Zimra could permit such vehicles to stay in the country to three months from 12 months with effect from January 1, this year.

Foreign-registered private vehicles imported into the country by visitors are issued with a temporary import permit by Zimra upon entry.

“…beneficiaries of temporary import permits should abide by set conditions, which include, an undertaking to remove the vehicle at the expiry of the temporary import permit and non-disposal of the vehicle within the country, among others, this, however, has not been adhered to,” Chinamasa said in the 2017 national budget.

“Consequently, a significant number of motor vehicles under temporary import permits have not been acquitted, and some end up being disposed onto the local market, resulting in loss of revenue to the fiscus,” the Treasury chief said.

He also highlighted that Zimra was to develop a system that links motor vehicles issued with temporary import permits to the Central Vehicle Registry and the Zimbabwe National Roads Administration Agency in order to deter registration of such motor vehicles. Daily News