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Govt Suspends Restrictions On Importing Goods, Says You Can Import If You Have Free Funds (Updated)

The government has suspended Statutory Instrument 122 of 2017 until the economic situation in the country returns to normal. This means that citizens who have access to “free funds” will be able to import a wide range of products into the country without restriction. The government made the decision to lift the restrictions on the importation of basic commodities after noting the price increases and persistent shortages of basic goods, particularly cooking oil and sugar. The decision was announced at a post-cabinet briefing which was attended by Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube, Information Minister Monica Mutsvangwa, Attorney General Prince Machaya, Acting Minister of Industry Sekai Nzenza and Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet Misheck Sibanda.

Ncube made it clear that while people will no longer need licences to import the basics they will still need to pay duty to Zimra. However, Ncube stressed that this was a temporary measure. Speaking at the briefing, Mutsvangwa said

We continue to support local manufacturing industries. We will continue to do allocations for forex for the said companies. But we cannot allow a situation where people cant get basic commodities. Hence the decision to suspend the SIs.

Statutory Instrument 122 of 2017 repealed Statutory Instrument 64 of 2016 which required people to get licences to import most goods.  The goods which people will be able to import without requiring licences are:

  1. Animal oils, fats (lard, tallow and dripping)
  2. Baked beans
  3. Body creams
  4. Bottled Water
  5. Cement
  6. Cereals
  7. Cheese
  8. Coffee creamers
  9. Cooking oil
  10. Crude soya bean oil
  11. Fertiliser
  12. Finished Steel Roofing Sheets
  13. Wheat flour
  14. Ice-cream
  15. Jams
  16. Juice Blends
  17. Margarine
  18. Mayonnaise
  19. Packaging material
  20. Peanut Butter
  21. Pizza base
  22. Potato Crisps
  23. Salad Creams
  24. Shoe Polish
  25. Soap
  26. Sugar
  27. Synthetic Hair Products
  28. Wheel Barrows and wheelbarrow parts
  29. Yoghurts
  30. Agrochemicals
  31. Stockfeeds

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