Under the customs and excise laws, all foreign vehicles coming into the country are allowed entry under the Temporary Import Permit that is valid for 30 days. However, most of those who came into Zimbabwe via Beitbridge, Plumtree, and Forbes and Chirundu border posts have expired TIPs, which need an extension.
The Department of Immigration announced recently that it will extend visas for visitors who are in the country, especially those affected by the lockdown and the closure of borders to non-essential human traffic.
Zimra’s spokesperson, Mr Francis Chimanda said a total of 1 317 TIPs were processed at Beitbridge (1 207), Forbes (21), Chirundu (23) and Plumtree (66) border posts between March 23 and 27.
“We can only extend TIPs where there is proof that the applicant has enough days endorsed in the passport for the person to stay in the country, proof of carbon tax and insurance is availed,” said Mr Chimanda.
“Zimra cannot extend a TIP beyond the days that the client would have been granted by the Immigration Department.”
He encouraged those concerned to use any of the available emails to communicate with the office for anything to do with their expiring TIPs.
The emails must be directed to the regional office nearest the client’s residential address.
Mr Chimanda said for one to be issued with a TIP at the port of entry they must produce, a valid passport with a valid work permit/visa/student permit/permanent residence and it should be stamped by immigration and qualify to be given period of stay in Zimbabwe.
In addition, he said the traveller should present to the customs officer the original copy/certified copy of the registration book and in cases where the traveller is not the owner of the motor vehicle, a letter of authority/affidavit commissioned by a Commissioner of Oaths and a copy of identity particulars of the owner.
Mr Chimanda said where the vehicle is still under the bank-loan finance facility, the bank should give authority to use the vehicle across the border and the authorising document should indicate the use by the client.
“In addition to the above, the vehicle should be availed for a physical examination to confirm its existence and the driver is expected to travel should obtain third party insurance, pay a carbon tax and road access fees,” he said.
He said on average and on a monthly basis they record 50 TIP violations at Beitbridge, one case at Chirundu One-Stop Border Post and three cases at Forbes Border Post. Mr Chimanda said the consequence of violating a TIP depends on the nature of the violation of the subject TIP.
“The consequences range from a warning to a monetary fine of up to level 12 or seizure of the subject vehicle and possible release will then be made after representations by the client,” he said.
The official said the violations are identified at border posts, at Inland stations where extensions of TIPs are usually applied and enforcement activities.