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A complete guide to registering as a tobacco in Zimbabwe


This comprehensive guide is designed to assist aspiring entrepreneurs in launching their own tobacco transportation business, focusing on the movement of Small tobacco bales from farms to purchasing stations. It does without saying registering to ferry tobacco is best done before the floors are opened. However, there is still an opportunity, as we are yet to reach the peak period.

TIMB Regulations for 2024

The Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB) now mandates that all transporters obtain Goods in Transit (GIT) insurance. To apply for the TIMB transporter’s permit, you must submit the following:

• Application Fee: $150 for new applicants; $100 for renewals.

• Required Documentation:

• GIT insurance proof.

• Vehicle registration book copies (include sale agreement or affidavit if the vehicle is not in your name).

• For individuals: A copy of your ID.

• For companies: Standard company documentation.

Registration with Tobacco Merchants

Once you have your permit, you can register with various tobacco merchants. While requirements may differ, the following are generally needed:

• Bank Account Details: Both nostro and ZWL accounts.

• For Companies: Company documents and a valid ITF certificate.

• For Individuals: A copy of your ID and, ideally, a valid ITF certificate.

Rates and Payment Terms

Payment structures vary by company. It’s advisable to verify rates and terms before committing. Common payment methods include:

• Per kilogram delivered.

• Per bale delivered

• Per kilometer travelled

• Arbitration between farmer and transporter.

Vehicle Requirements

Research indicates that small trucks (3-5 ton capacity) are more advantageous than larger ones ferrying bales from farm to the floor

Ensure your trucks are:

• In good condition with quality tyres.

• Equipped with tarpaulin covers, nets, and tying equipment to secure bales.

• No taint in the vehicle - taint includes oil, chemicals, soaps, livestock waste, paint. Taint results in tobacco rejections.

Security Measures

Due to increasing theft incidents, GIT insurance has become crucial for protecting both farmers and transporters. The Zimbabwe Republic Police in Mashonaland West advise against overnight travel to minimize theft risks. It’s better to incur a $20 road fine than to compensate for a lost bale.

Competitive Edge

The transportation market is competitive. Building relationships with field technicians and farmers is vital. Additionally, consider:

1. Establishing Connections: Network with field technicians and farmers.

2. Curing Equipment: Equipping trucks with baling boxes to expedite deliveries.

3. Professionalism: Handle lost or wet bales fairly; your reputation with companies and farmers depends on it.

Road Conditions

Be aware that deteriorating road conditions in farming areas can significantly affect vehicle maintenance costs.

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