Zambian Government considering banning second-hand vehicles

Used Japanese Vehicle Imports
Used Japanese Vehicle Imports

 The head of Zambia’s road safety agency said on Wednesday that the government was considering banning second-hand vehicles that have flooded the southern African nation.

Zindaba Soko, the director of the Road Transport and Safety Agency (RATSA) said the government was concerned at the increased number of second-hand vehicles that have flooded Zambia and was currently considering modalities on how to effect the ban, according to Radio Christian Voice.

The road safety agency chief however could not reveal when the ban will come into effect as discussions on the matter with various government agencies were still in progress.

According to him, most of the second-hand cars coming into the country have been declared unsafe in their countries of origin.

Zambia has seen an increase in companies trading in second-hand cars, especially from Japan.

However, stakeholders have expressed over the increase in second-hand vehicles patrolling the country and have asked the government to consider restricting the importation of the cars in order to guard the country from being turned into a dumping ground for vehicles that are not road worthy.

Last year, Zambian President Michael Sata censured his vice for glorifying the purchase of second-hand vehicles, saying it was not right to praise the importation of the vehicles.

Xinhua News Agency.

Xinhua is China’s state-run news agency.


Statistics for Used Japanese Vehicle Imports

The actual statistics for volumes of used car imports into Zambia is not so clear as certain records seemed to be designed to assist with whatever purpose the statistics are going to be used for. The following story can only give a rough estimate of actual volumes of used car imports flowing into Zambia.

Most used car vehicles are imported from Japan, however there are a small volume of used vehicles being imported from countries such as Singapore, United Arab Emirates (Dubai), England (U.K.), and U.S.A. All these vehicles are imported via Dar-Es-Salaam or Durban ports. The reason for uncertainty of actual volumes of import vehicles available is because many vehicles are custom cleared in Japan with final destination as Dar-Es-Salaam or Durban. The actual destination is only confirmed after the exporter sells the vehicles from the bonded yards at these ports however it is not necessary to advise Japanese Customs afterwards. We assume that 30% of the volumes of used vehicles destined for Durban port or Dar-Es-Salaam port are bound for Zambia. There is a very small volume of vehicles beig shipped via Maputo and Walvis Bay, but the figures are insignificant at this stage.

There is also a large volume of vehicles that are shipped direct to Zambia using shipping terms CIF Lusaka. These vehicles are either transported by container from Japan all the way into Zambia, or cleared at the port and either driven or carried on a truck to Zambia. This volume has been fast increasing and becoming a very convenient service for many Zambians. The figures for the last few years of the total number of used Japanese vehicles being imported into Zambia are as follows:

2009 – 14,441 per year (1,203/mth average)
2010 – 26,356 per year (2,196/mth average)
2011 – 32,519 per year (2,956/mth average) (to November only)

A very interesting statistic amongst the above figures is the rapid increase for used vehicles delivered direct to Zambia (CIF Lusaka). The actual figure has been increasing from 1,850 vehicles in 2009, to 3,861 vehicles in 2010, to 8,708 vehicles just up to Nov 2011. There is an obvious need for the clients to have their vehicles delivered all the way to Lusaka and avoid the hassle of arranging clearance in Dar-Es-Salaam ports themselves.The figure has more than quadrupled in just under 3 years.

Compared to other countries, Zambia’s volumes are very strong and shows that the economy is improving better as more affordable, good quality used Japanese vehicles make their way into this market.

Let’s keep the economy strong and make 2012 a bigger year for used car imports, both for personal and commercial use.

Click for more information of Japanese car export statistics.

James Hanna
JeksCars, Japan


  1. Ban second hand cars ..? what a sick joke.The majority of people who use cars use them to go to work or Business.And someone wants to ban them using a misleading reason of the cars.Cars from abroad all have certificate of fitness.A ploy to make money

  2. It is going to be for rich people only and if they want to ban let them set up a vehicle assembly plant within basi!

  3. ..perhaps the best way would to set the standard of quality that any imported vehicle should that during pre-shipping inspection, such factors are taken into account and any vehicle that falls short of this criteria should not be exported to Zambia. We are not like SA where they have vehicle assembly plants and where you buy a car through your bank..unless really we want only the few super rich to drive..

  4. May be just checking them for road worthiness at the point of entry, banning them, how many can afford a brand-new vehicle in this our country even with the loan facilities ?

  5. it cannnt happen even rsta workers ve these vehicles including traffic officers and this means going back to the oldern days were gud things belong to the rich

  6. Issue of second hand cars has to be tackled at source! Acquiring a vehicle straight from dealerships is not customer friendly in Zambia! Government has simply failed to intervene with vendors to aid its citizens who instead have found relief importing used vehicles. The national organ charged with inspections must proactively establish standards and engage the source in protection of citizens! Owning a vehicle in the modern world is no longer luxury

  7. These Japanese and cars from Singapore aren’t a problem for Zambia only.Even us who are in Botswana are in a similar predicament.We are overwhelmed by the presence of such cars.Please note that these are cars that have been rejected in their countries of origin.Not only are they a major problem on our roads but are a hazard to the environment as well through their CO2 emissions.I reckon it would be a wise move for the Zambian Government to do that.

  8. Please help us. Worse still we are paying for jevic for vehicles that are not even getting tested or inspected.Please do it soon.