How to import a vehicle through Beitbridge Border Post

1Purchasing a vehicle is a very big investment one which requires a lot of careful planning. In making this decision most people want to ensure that their money is put to good use and they land a nice looking and reliable vehicle that meets their needs. A brand new vehicle would be the ideal choice; however, there are not many people who can afford that option.  Importing second-hand motor vehicles from Japan has become the second best option to owning a reliable vehicle for most Zimbabweans.

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Importing directly from Japan has a lot of benefits but it also has its drawbacks. The major advantage being that of cost, it is relatively cheaper to import directly from Japan as compared to purchasing locally or from Importers/Exporters who sell their vehicle stocks from across the border. These exporters/importers acquire vehicles from Japan and sell them through their car sales located in the Border towns. At Beitbridge Border Post there are a lot of these car sales located at Mussina, on the South African side.

The biggest drawback however, with importing from Japan has to do with time, and also the fact that you are relying solely on the pictures seen on the car seller’s website to determine the condition of the vehicle. There is always some uncertainty and risk that surrounds online purchases, but the chance of purchasing a faulty vehicle online is very slim. However, for most people it’s still more comforting to physically see and test drive the vehicle before they make their purchase. This article details step by step how to import a vehicle through the Beitbridge Border Post.

Buy your Vehicle

There are lots of car sales that sell Japanese vehicle imports at Mussina. As a vehicle buyer you have a very wide selection; it is advisable to take your time and shop around rather than to immediately make a purchase on the first car sale you get into. Travelling with a mechanic or someone with good knowledge on vehicles is recommended.  You would want to check the vehicle thoroughly and make sure there are no defects or mechanical faults. When you are satisfied that you have found the right vehicle purchasing is a simple transaction. You provide the seller with a copy of your passport together with your payment; in most cases the payment will also be inclusive of the freight charge to transport the vehicle across the border.

Shipping and Delivery

After purchase, the vehicle is loaded onto a carrier and transported across the border to a Bonded Warehouse. At Beitbridge the Bonded Warehouse used to receive imported vehicles is called Manica Container Depot. The first step when the vehicle arrives at the container depot is to check with the Manica Office. If the vehicle has been received you acknowledge by signing against your name on a manifest listing all vehicles that would have been received on that day. After signing for the vehicle you will be requested to make copies of the Vehicle Invoice, first Page of your Passport (page showing your face) and the stamped pages on the Passport (The purpose of the stamped pages is to find out whether you are eligible for a traveller’s rebate on the vehicle). You will be handed one set of the documents and proceed to the ZIMRA offices.


At the ZIMR A offices you will complete a Customs declaration form (Form 47). The form requires that you complete among other details the make, chassis number, engine number and purchase price of the vehicle and any other fields that are relevant to you.

Vehicle Inspection

A ZIMRA officer will proceed with you to the vehicle to carry out a Physical Examination of the Vehicle. The Officer will check and verify the Chassis Number, Engine Number, Engine Capacity, Mileage, Transmission, Year of Manufacture and the general condition of the vehicle among other things. The results of the assessment will be used to establish the correct Value for Duty Purposes for the vehicle (VDP).

Duty Calculations

The duty calculation office will use the results of the Physical Examination, Cost, Insurance and Freight (CIF), other incidental charges or costs up to the point of entry and the market value of the vehicle to determine the appropriate Value for Duty Purposes (VDP). This value will be used to calculate the Customs Duty and Taxes applicable on the Vehicle.

For example, if all the vehicle costs add up to $1 405 and this value is in-line with the condition and market value of the vehicle, this will be taken as the Value for Duty Purposes (VDP)

Duty would be calculated as follows:

Value for Duty Purposes=$1405.00

Customs Duty (40%*1405) = $562.00

Value for Tax Purposes (1405+562) =$1967.00

VAT 15%*1967= $295.05

Surtax 35%*1405 =$491.75

Total duty payable 562+295.05+491.75=$1348.8

The duty calculation office will provide you with an invoice/slip showing the total amount of duty payable together with copies of your vehicle documents. The next step would be to make the payment

Paying Customs Duty

You can make your Customs duty payments either by swiping or a bank deposit in the exact amount deposited into the ZIMRA Account. You can also pay with a Debit card, MasterCard or VISA.

Customs Clearance Certificate (CCC)

The next step is the application for a Customs Clearance Certificate (CCC) .This is done through completing a CCC application form provided by ZIMRA. The form has fields like Date of Importation, Importer Name and Vehicle Details among other things. When the form details have been captured a print out of the CCC is verified and signed by a Customs supervisor.

Vehicle Registration

After receiving the CCC the next step is to purchase Third Party Insurance for the vehicle. This can cost anyway from US$25 to US$35 depending on the insurance broker. You will need to make copies of the Customs Duty receipt, Insurance, CCC, Passport and Vehicle Invoice. These copies will be required at the Vehicle Registry office. This is also located within the Manica Container Depot. You will be required to complete a registration form capturing the particulars of the vehicle. A payment of US$30.00 for temporary number plates will be required. The Temporary plates are valid for a period of 14 days and provide you with enough time to complete the registration process for permanent plates in your area of residence. This  can also be done through the Vehicle Registry Office but could take longer..

Releasing the Vehicle

Release of the vehicle from Manica Storage will require that you complete a hand-over form and pay US$45.00 in storage charges. The US$45 storage fee is only applicable for a vehicle that has spent a day at the depot; however, if the vehicle spends more than a day, a daily charge of US$10.00 per day will be incurred ontop of the initial US$45.

Upon payment of the storage fees you will be issued a receipt and a gate pass. However before you can exit, Criminal Investigation Department (CID) Officers from the Vehicle Squad have to carry out certain checks to make sure the vehicle was not stolen from across the border. There after your gate pass will be stamped and clearance granted.  ZIMRA will also require that you sign off on a register to confirm collection of the vehicle. The last and final steps to collect the vehicle will include a few security formalities of checking out with Manica and ZIMRA security personnel at the exit gate. That’s it! very simple! That’s how you import a vehicle through Beitbridge Border Post.

Get”The Zimborderguide Handbook  to also find out how you can cut costs on duty by over $1000 and also the steps to importing a vehicle from Japan to Zimbabwe through the Dar-es- Salaam Port in Tanzania.

ZIMBORDERGUIDE “The Ultimate Guide to travelling across Zimbabwean Borders”Get Border Smart! Cut Costs, Save Money! Travel and Import like a Pro! Wise up on all the Duty FREE Allowances and products that are available to you. Get expert advice and tips on how to spend the shortest possible time at the Border and enjoy the best Border Crossing Experience.

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