Government yesterday said it had with immediate effect banned the free importation of fuel by individuals for personal use. Government, two years ago allowed individuals to import up to 2 000 litres of fuel per month for personal use without obtaining a permit from the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (ZERA). ZERA said importation of fuel was now strictly reserved for oil companies.
“The Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (ZERA) hereby notifies the public that Statutory Instrument 171 of 2015 Control of Goods (Petroleum Products Prices (Amendment Number 5) that allowed members of the public to import up to 2 000 litres of fuel per month without a Zera licence has been repealed by Statutory Instrument 122 of 2017,” the energy regulator said.
“After the repeal, the importation of all fuel has to be done in terms of the provisions of the Petroleum Act that stipulate that only companies licensed in terms of Section 29 are authorised to import fuel.”
While ZERA did not state the reason for the ban, it had been noted that the facility has in some cases been abused by individuals mostly staying in border towns who have been importing fuel and reselling it on the local market.
Fuel imported into Zimbabwe mainly comes through haulage trucks or is pumped through the pipeline. Experts in the sector are pushing Government to revise a number of taxes imposed on fuel imports which contribute to making the product more expensive when compared with other countries in the region.
The different taxes add up to nearly half the price of the retail cost of the commodity which is currently ranging between $1,35 to $1,39 diesel. – New Ziana.