ZIMBABWE FILM VISAS AND FILM PERMITS
Zimbabwe film visas and film permits take time to be approved and processed. Some of the challenges facing the country impact on logistics affecting crews wanting to shoot in the country. Bureaucratic hurdles, and dealing with multiple ministries and stakeholders can be wearying. These should never let you change your mind, however.
Zimbabweans are friendly, professional people who are only too willing to help. So whilst it may sound quite daunting, it is well-worth the effort to get the paperwork.
As a location, Zimbabwe is a beautiful country, with amazing opportunities and possibilities, and the end-results are reflective of this!
Contact FilmFixers for help with getting your Zimbabwe film visas and film permits.
Zimbabwe Film Visa
The preferred process involves a partnership with the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) who are extremely pro-active in assisting crews secure Zimbabwe film permits and visas – particularly if there is benefit for the country in terms of exposure. The first step is to secure the necessary film permit from the Ministry of Information, which then unlocks the process going forward. This involves submitting a motivation to the Ministry of information for approval through the issuance of a Clearance Certificate.
Film Fixers has established an excellent relationship – and are registered with – the Ministry of Information, and deal with them on a weekly basis.
Zimbabwe Media Commission
Once the Clearance Certificate has been issued, applications need to be made to the ZMC for Accreditation for each member of the crew. This involves the payment of an upfront fee (negotiable, based on merit) and a small accreditation fee per crew member. The process seems simple, but is not – the resultant media accreditation badges need to be collected in person from their offices in Harare. We have established a relationship whereby we have alternative ways of getting the badges either to ourselves or to another location. The ZMC are very pro-active and willing to assist, but systems are not optimal – Film Fixers will take all the hiccups out of the process – we are accredited with the Commission, and have a really good relationship with them.
Zimbabwe Customs and Equipment
Zimbabwe Revenue Authority : Zimbabwe are not a member of the Southern African Customs Union, so Carnet’s are not valid. There are two process for getting equipment into (and out of) Zimbabwe.
Securing Deposit – a holding deposit equal to 5% of the value of the equipment is paid at point of entry – to be refunded on exit, based on a list of equipment (with serial numbers and value). The only snag is that their revenue model does not allow for money to be held – and any money collected has to be banked. With the forex challenges that Zimbabwe face, the chances of getting your money back any time soon is not good.
Bonded Agent – A comprehensive list of equipment and value needs to be submitted to ZIMRA – through a bonded clearing agent – for the issuance of a Temporary Import Permit (TIP). A fee – equivalent to a percentage of the value of the equipment – is payable. This fee is negotiable providing you know who to deal with – but is non-refundable.
Film Fixers has managed to build relationships that have more than halved the costs associated with bringing equipment into Zimbabwe – establishing partnerships at most points of entry that manage the situation where both parties benefit.
Broadcast Equipment Clearance
Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe : once accreditation has been finalised, the list of equipment also needs to be forwarded to the BAZ for approval and authorisation. This is differnet to the ZIMRA process, and is fairly straightforward – assuming drones are not involved!
Zimbabwe Drone Permit
Whilst the Zimbabwe regulations regarding drones are a lot more relaxed than many of the neighboring countries, it is a very time-consuming process to secure the neccessary permissions. In a nutshell, in order to fly a drone in Zimbabwe – or even to bring a drone into the country, you need a Letter of Approval (RLA) from the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe (CAAZ).
There is a formal application process – which deals with a number of issues primarily centered around the craft itself, the area/location, as well as the intent (so not focused on any pilot license itself). Once satisfied, the Authority will issue an RLA if the applicant complies with the requirements prescribed in the IS for Continuing Airworthiness, Operations and Maintenance of the drone.
The RLA is valid for a period of 12 months upon first application, then a period of 3 years thereafter. Allow for at least 1-2 months for this process.