THE Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) has said Temporary Importation Permits (TIPs) cannot be issued for periods exceeding an initial three months to qualifying importers to cover the visitor’s stay in Zimbabwe.
The remarks follow an outcry by some Zimbabweans working in South Africa who came for the holidays, and were given until tomorrow to go back to their places of residence, in line with the dictates of rules governing the issuance of TIPs.
In written responses yesterday, Zimra corporate affairs executive Mr Gladman Njanji said TIPs for foreign registered vehicles are issued to the importers of such vehicles who meet the status of a visitor to Zimbabwe.
“This includes importers who are not Zimbabweans and are ordinarily resident in a foreign land. Zimbabweans who are permanently or temporarily resident in a foreign land also qualify for this privilege,” said Mr Njanji.
“The Zimbabwean residents covered by the current temporary South African resident permits qualify on this basis, only to the extent that they remain so in terms of the validity period of those temporary resident permits.
“The temporary import permit is issued as part of rebates and privilege extended to qualifying importers, dependent on their visitor status and the validity period of such status as denoted by the expiry dates of any permit or the residence status denoted by their travel document.”
Mr Njanji said Zimra cannot therefore not issue a TIP for a visitor’s vehicle beyond the period that entitles the importer to a status that qualifies them for the rebate or privilege.
“The privilege falls away at the expiry of such temporary resident permit and in all cases, any visitor should remove the vehicle from Zimbabwe on expiry of the temporary importation permit, or when he leaves Zimbabwe, whichever occurs first.
“Temporary importation permits can be issued for periods not exceeding three months initially, in terms of the legislation to qualifying importers and this is meant to cover the visitor’s stay in Zimbabwe, given that the importation is for the personal use of such visitor in terms of the legislated conditions governing the granting of such privilege,” said Mr Njanji.
He added that in the event of expiry of a TIP, but the visitor wishes to extend their stay in Zimbabwe, the importer is entitled to an extension of such permit provided that visitors who are not Zimbabweans and are ordinarily resident in a foreign land, the extended period of stay for such visitor has been authorised by the Department of Immigration in Zimbabwe and the visitor presents such proof to Zimra on application for extension of the TIP.
For Zimbabweans resident in a foreign land, the TIP will be extended on production of proof from the foreign land officials that they hold a valid permanent or temporary residence permit for the foreign land covering the duration of the period for which the extension for the temporary importation permit is required.
Mr Njanji said in terms of its mandate, Zimra implements the provisions of the laws relating to the importation and exportation of goods, including vehicles and has no mandate to implement any laws relating to the movement of people, which is under the jurisdiction of the Department of Immigration.