Without any warning, the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) on Good Friday in the middle of the day blocked all imported cars that were manufactured before 2011 from leaving the border posts.
Cars that were cleared on or before Thursday but were still waiting to be collected by owners could not leave the border after 12 noon yesterday.
No deadline was ever given for importers to know when the new law, SI 89, was going to be enforced.
At the end of November in 2020, Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube made the proposal when he unveiled the 2021 National Budget but it is unclear when this was gazetted into law.
The ban on imports of second-hand vehicles more than 10 years old is meant to contain the import bill and promote the domestic motor industry, while all vehicles imported from Japan now require prior clearance to ensure they are not contaminated by radioactivity from the 2011 accident at the Fukushima nuclear plant.