Zimbabwe Government Suspends ban on goods importation

The Zimbabwe government has suspended Statutory Instrument 122 of 2017 until the economic situation in the country returns to normal.

The temporary suspension of the moratorium banning means that citizens who have access to funds will be able to import a variety of goods into the country without restrictions.

A wave of price increases and tenacious shortages of basic commodities has led the Government to lift the ban, this according to Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube.

Minister Ncube said there was no longer need for licences to import basic commodities though the measure was temporary.

Speaking at the same media briefing the Minister of Information and Publicity, Monica Mutsvangwa said the government will continue to support local industries.

“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 can’t get basic commodities. Hence the decision to suspend the SIs (statutory instruments)” said Mutsvangwa.

In the year 2016, Zimbabwe gazetted Statutory Instrument 64 of 2016 (SI 64). The SI 64 required traders to obtain an import licence from the Ministry of Industry and Commerce before importing basic commodities such as coffee creamers, bottled water, white petroleum jellies and body cream, among others.

The SI 64 was designed to meet two specific national objectives, namely, limiting consumer spending on luxury imports, since Zimbabwe is facing a huge Balance of Trade deficit, which was putting pressure on foreign currency balances and Industrialise by import substitution, and promote “buy local”.