Foreigners or foreign based Zimbabweans arriving into the country using their foreign registered vehicles are required by law to obtain a Temporary Import Permit (TIP). A TIP is a permit that allows a visitor to temporarily bring in a foreign registered vehicle into a country for their personal and for a set period of time.
The traveler applies for the TIP at the border and is also required to pay Road Access Fee, Carbon Tax and compulsory 3rd Party Insurance (even if they have their own insurance). Total costs of a TIP depend on the engine size of the vehicle but range from about $55 -$120. The TIP will be valid for one month but can be extended by going to the ZIMRA (Customs) office in Harare or other large towns. The traveler has to pay those charges again and can only extend for a month. For travelers that have a visa it is advisable to extend their visa first as they will also need to show this extension to ZIMRA in-order to extend their TIP.
Close note should be taken on the expiry date for the TIP and efforts made early to renew it on or before this date. ZIMRA gives 30 days for the TIP but it’s possible that the Immigration Department might give a visitor more than a month of days in Zimbabwe. The traveler might find that their TIP expires before the entry stamp on their Passport. Due diligence has to be taken in such instances as ZIMRA will still charge penalties for any late renewal of the TIP regardless.
Conditions for a TIP
The TIP is applicable to passenger type motor vehicles designed for transport of less than 15 people including the driver, commonly known as saloon cars or sedans and station wagons. Also goods-carrying motor vehicles with a gross vehicle weight of five tonnes such as pick-ups and double-cabs Caravans and trailers towed by the qualifying vehicles
For a traveler to qualify for a Temporary Import Permit they have to be in possession of the following:
- Valid driver’s passport clearly indicating the duration of the stay in Zimbabwe (as shown by immigration stamp and endorsement)
- Original vehicle registration book If not owner-driven, letter of authority to use the vehicle in Zimbabwe from the registered owner of the vehicle
- The vehicle should be for the personal use of the visitor.
- You should undertake to remove the vehicle from Zimbabwe at the expiry of the TIP or at the time you leave Zimbabwe, whichever occurs first.
- You are not allowed to sell, offer, or display for sale, lease, hire, lend, pledge or dispose of the vehicle in any other manner to any resident in Zimbabwe without prior written authority of the Commissioner General of ZIMRA.
- Payment of the full duty applicable at the time the vehicle was imported into Zimbabwe will have to be paid when the the authority to sell it is granted by the Commissioner General.
- In the event of an extended stay, you should approach the nearest ZIMRA office for extension of the TIP upon payment of Carbon Tax and Insurance.
- In the event of a breakdown or an accident, you should report to the nearest ZIMRA office before departing from Zimbabwe. Where you seek to extend your stay in Zimbabwe, you should approach the nearest ZIMRA office for an extension before the expiry of the TIP
- All vehicles imported on TIP should be exported at the time of the tourist’s first departure from Zimbabwe after the grant of the rebate.
If you happen to depart from Zimbabwe and leave the vehicle without notifying ZIMRA or leave the vehicle behind due to a break down and not mentioning this to ZIMRA. The consequences can be quiet severe. The vehicle will be seized and you will be liable to penalties, fines and even convicted of a criminal offence with a charge of smuggling.
For more information on effortless border crossing, Customs and Immigration procedures