Govt suspends restrictions on basic food imports

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 and Acting Minister of Industry Sekai Nzenza.

Ncube made it clear that people 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.

Some of the goods which people will be able to import without requiring licences include (Please Note: This is not the full list)

  • Animal Oils
  • Body Creams
  • Bottled Water
  • Cement
  • Cereals
  • Cheese
  • Coffee creamers
  • Cooking oil
  • Crude soya bean oil
  • Wheat flour
  • Ice-cream
  • Packaging material
  • Pizza base
  • Sugar