Crackdown on smuggled clothes to boost local industry as Zim targets AfCFTA goals

16 Apr, 2024 - 15:04 0 Views
Crackdown on smuggled clothes to boost local industry as Zim targets AfCFTA goals Smuggled second hand clothes

eBusiness Weekly

Business Writer

As part of efforts to meet African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) regulations, the government will close loopholes in the second-hand clothing trade to support the domestic clothing sector.

Speaking during the listing ceremony of Edgars on the Victoria Falls Stock Exchange (VFEX) Industry and Commerce Minister Mangaliso Ndlovu said Government is aware of the plight of the clothing sector and will see its revival through.

Apart from challenges like inflationary pressures, exchange rate volatility, foreign currency shortages and erratic utilities supply, the clothing sector is also battling second-hand clothes that are sold  cheaper.

“Government also notes that unfair competition from the informal sector is threatening some retail businesses, including the clothing retail sector, which is also negatively affected by illegal imports of second-hand clothing,” he said.

Zimbabwe banned the importation of second-hand clothes in 2015 to protect the local textile industry and encourage value addition. Restrictions were, however, eased following an outcry from vendors’ associations, whose members survive on the business. Imports are now controlled.

Government promulgated Statutory Instrument, S1 122 of 2017, to regulate the importation of second-hand clothing.

“However, we still have challenges posed by our porous borders. Suffice it to say that Government is seized with these issues and efforts are underway to come up with technology based surveillance systems aimed at curbing smuggling of second-hand clothing,” he added.

Traders ordinarily source bales of second-hand clothes from Tanzania, Mozambique, South Africa and Zambia for as little as US$150.

Due to import controls, the bales are often smuggled into the country using undesignated entry points.

According to the Minister, Government will also continue to come up with intervention measures to level the playing field between formal and informal businesses.

Share This:

Sponsored Links