Thursday, 7 July 2016

IMPORTS BAN CLARIFIED

Government has clarified that the statutory instrument number 64 of 2016 which restricts the importation of selected basic commodities is targeted at commercial imports and not individuals.

Addressing delegates at the Sixth Buy Local summit in Mutare today, Trade and Industry Permanent Secretary MrsAbigail Shonhiwa said those importing goods on an individual capacity should not be affected by the policy.

“There was no clarity and there has been confusion regarding the statutory instrument. However, communication will be made, this policy is for commercial imports and not someone bringing in their 2litres of cooking oil or whatever product that is on that list,” she said.

She said the policy did not bar people from importing a few products as has been the assumption.
Last month, Government gazzetted SI 64.2016, which removed goods that are locally available from Open General Import Licence exemption. The goods include bottled water, mayonnaise, salad cream, peanut butter, jams, maheu, canned fruits, vegetables, pizza, yoghurts, flavoured milks, dairy juice blends, ice creams, cultured milk, cheese, coffee creamers, camphor creams, white petroleum jellies, body creams and plastic pipes.

The SI also controls importation of second-hand tyres, urea and ammonium nitrate fertilisers, tile adhesives and tylon, shoe polish and synthetic hair products. Goods categorised as builder-ware products including wheelbarrows (flat pan and concrete pan wheelbarrows), roofing frameworks, pillars, columns, balustrade, shutters, towers, masts, roofs and roofing framework are also part of the restricted list. Flash doors, beds, wardrobes, bedroom and dining room suites, office furniture and specified woven fabrics of cotton were restricted.

The restrictions follow banning of the wholesale importation of cooking oil through a similar mechanism two years ago. Since that ban, locally manufactured cooking oil now occupies 95 percent of supermarket shelf space, a massive jump from 15 percent in 2014, according to official statistics.

Those wishing to import the products are required to apply for special permits, as Government seeks to boost the local industry. herald

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