Zim market complies with import regulations: Bureau Veritas

Business Reporter BUREAU VERITAS, one of the companies contracted by the Government to conduct inspections on imported products, says the domestic market has demonstrated willingness to comply with pre-shipment and destination inspections on used vehicles brought into Zimbabwe. Used vehicles, as well as plant and machinery for productive sectors, are among the top products the […]

Zim market complies with import regulations: Bureau Veritas

Business Reporter

BUREAU VERITAS, one of the companies contracted by the Government to conduct inspections on imported products, says the domestic market has demonstrated willingness to comply with pre-shipment and destination inspections on used vehicles brought into Zimbabwe.

Used vehicles, as well as plant and machinery for productive sectors, are among the top products the country imports from across the globe.

In 2015, the Government engaged the services of a France-based and global standards firm, Bureau Veritas, to carry out consignment-based conformity assessment (CBCA) of imported products, including used motor vehicles, before shipment or upon arrival in the country.

CBCA is aimed at eliminating substandard and hazardous products, including used vehicles in the country.

It also seeks to improve the quality of products through applicable standards and regulations, something significant at a time when the continent has embraced the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement.

AfCFTA is aimed at eliminating tariffs on 90 percent of goods traded among member states over a 10-year period.

This means industries across the continent need to brace for stiff competition, and strengthening of value chains is essential to ensure Zimbabwean businesses are able to compete.

The AfCFTA is also expected to boost intra-African trade by 53 percent by 2025, with potential to create up to 30 million jobs.

Bureau Veritas contracts manager for Zimbabwe and Botswana Mr Tendai Malunga said the CBCA programme has grown from strength to strength since its inception in 2015.

“In 2022, the Government ushered in the compulsory pre-export verification of conformity of some categories of used vehicles to ensure and guarantee their roadworthiness.

“The market has demonstrated a lot of willingness to comply and to understand the requirements.

“We are continually deploying various awareness initiatives to sensitise both business and individuals on the principles and the significance of the mandatory inspection requirements, as well as how the process works,” he said.

“We have more and more categories of used vehicles now under the scope of this regulation, courtesy of SI (Statutory Instrument) 35 of 2024 and we are doing our best to support those who are affected through deployment of a quick and efficient same-day service.”

Mr Malunga said there are consequences of non-compliance and this includes mandatory penalties of 15 percent of the free on board value of the consignment, before the importer is asked to go for destination inspection modalities, for those who import without going through the process.

“The penalty has a deterrent effect; to try and ensure that most of the vehicles are assessed prior to importation.

“We encourage stakeholders to make extensive use of our global footprint as Bureau Veritas to ensure that we do all the assessments prior to importation to ensure that they don’t face any punitive sanctions on arrival,” he said.

Mr Malunga said the inspection is a mandatory requirement aimed at ensuring that safe and compliant vehicles are imported, while reducing or mitigating the risk of potential catastrophic accidents in the country.

“It also plays a pivotal role in ensuring that we do not pollute the environment through excessive emissions.”

The inspection involves a comprehensive assessment of various components of a vehicle to identify any issues or potential problems.

The initiative typically covers both the mechanical and safety aspects of the car to ensure it meets specific standards set by the Government.

“The key principles in terms of protecting consumers and the environment include deterring odometer fraud, checking the structural damage on the vehicle, ensuring that vehicles are not water damaged, radiation checks and ensuring that vehicles are not producing excessive emissions,” he said.

Zimbabwe imports vehicles from various markets that mainly include the United Kingdom, Asia, the Middle East and the Southern African Development Community region.

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