Importing incandescent bulbs in Zimbabwe could land you a jail term

The Zimbabwe government  has banned the use, importation or manufacturing  of incandescent bulbs in an effort to save power shortages in the country.

According to the  Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (ZERA) ,  defaulters found guilty of contravening the new rules will be liable to a fine or imprisonment not exceeding six months or both.

The bulbs were being manufactured locally and some being imported from neighbouring South Africa and the Far East.

The ban is under Statutory Instrument 21 of 2017 on (Inefficient Lighting Ban and Labelling Regulations).

In a statement to all lighting products importers, wholesalers, retailers, consulting engineers, contractors and installers and the general public, ZERA said the ban will come into effect as from the 28th of April 2017.

“The importation, manufacturing, distribution and retailing of the following lighting products has been banned; incandescent light bulbs with the exception of special incandescent lighting products such as medical and laboratory equipment,” said the statement.

“T10 and T12 halo phosphate fluorescent lamps and magnetic ballasts and fluorescent lamps with a colour rendering index less than 80; this applies typically to T5 and T8 tubes.

“All lighting products to have labels which indicate voltage, wattage, lumens, life span and energy efficiency class and maximum acceptable mercury content in lighting products is specified for fluorescent lighting.”

ZERA said these regulations define the minimum energy performance standards for lighting products that can be imported, manufactured, distributed or offered for sale and these standards specify the following aspects;

“No person shall import, manufacture, distribute or sell lighting products which do not meet the minimum energy performance standards (MEPs) as defined in the Regulations.

“Lighting products which do not meet the MEPs will be seized pending an investigation and may be disposed of.

“All importers of lighting products for sale or distribution shall register with ZERA.”