Zimbabweans who wish to import vehicles into the country will now be required to pay for nuclear inspection and decontamination if the vehicles originate from countries which have experienced nuclear incidents.
This was revealed by the Radiation Protection Authority of Zimbabwe (RPAZ) on Tuesday. According to J Chipuru, the Chief Executive Officer of RPAZ, the move has been necessitated following the gazetting of Statutory Instrument 281 of 2020 titled Radiation Protection (Safety and Security of Radiation Sources) (Amendment) Regulations, 2020 (No. 5).
The RPAZ specifically mentioned vehicles coming from Japan as now being required to be inspected for radiation contamination. If the vehicles are contaminated, the importers will be required to pay for the decontamination.
What does the notice from the RPAZ say exactly about nuclear inspection and decontamination for vehicles?
Below is the notice from the Radiation Protection Authority of Zimbabwe which iHarare is publishing in full.
NOTICE TO ALL VEHICLE IMPORTERS
Radiation Protection Authority of Zimbabwe wishes to Inform you that it is now a requirement in terms of Statutory Instrument 281 of 2020 titled Radiation Protection (Safety and Security of Radiation Sources) (Amendment) Regulations, 2020 (No. 5), that all vehicles being imported into Zimbabwe from countries that experienced Nuclear Incidents (Japan) be inspected for radiation contamination with Immediate effect. The contamination inspector fees are as follows;
Description: (a) light motor vehicle and minibuses.
Contamination Inspection per vehicle: (USD)10
De-contamination per vehicle: (USD)50
Description: (b) buses, heavy vehicles, haulage trucks and trailers.
Contamination Inspection per vehicle:
(USD)20. De-contamination per vehicle: (USD)100
For your convenience, we recommend that you make use of the prepayment facility to pay for your radiation assessment clearance into the Authority’s FCA Account provided below and present and/or forward proof of payment to [email protected]
Account name: Radiation Protection Authority of Zimbabwe Account Number (FCA): 01122628550035 Bank: CBZ Branch: Kwame Nkrumah
What Is Nuclear Decontamination?
Decontamination is the removal of radioactive material from a person, object, or place. In this specific case, it is the removal of radioactive material from vehicles.
Why Was Japan Singled Out For Nuclear Decontamination?
It is not yet clear what caused the government to implement the new Statutory Instrument considering that the last nuclear incident in Japan happened almost 10 years ago.
In March 2011, Japan recorded the most severe nuclear accident since the Chernobyl disaster in 1986. The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster occured when an earthquake and a tsunami-affected the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. 4 people died from labour accidents while a broader number of older people died from the evacuation stress.
What Effect Will This Have On Zimbabweans?
The Contamination Inspection Fees and the Decontamination Fees will add to the cost of acquiring vehicles for most Zimbabweans. Particularly when considering that Japanese second vehicles are very popular among Zimbabweans.
The news is unlikely to be welcomed by most Zimbabweans coming a few days after Minister of Finance and Economic Development Mthuli Ncube effectively banned the importation of cars older than 10 years.