What happens when imported goods are held by ZIMRA

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Have you ever wondered what happens when your goods are held by the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA)? This article focusses on two main ways in which goods are held by the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA).

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Receipt of Items Held (RIH)

This receipt is issued when one imports goods and is not able to pay the duties due or when the goods require permits or licences from the various controlling authorities.  ZIMRA keeps such goods for a maximum of 60 days before they are sold at a rummage sale. Storage charges in the form of State Warehouse rent are also payable and will start to accrue from the date the goods have been held. The State Warehouse rent rates are as follows:

  • Goods having a gross weight of not more than 500kgs attract US$2 per consignment per day;
  • Goods having a gross weight of more than 500kgs but not more than one tonne attract US$4 per consignment per day;
  • Goods having gross weight of more than 1 tonne attract US$6 per tonne or part thereof per day;
  • Motor vehicles attract US$10 per day.

However, for goods held at a container depot or transit shed or any other designated customs area, the storage rate shall be charged by the operator and is to be paid to that operator.

What happens after 60 days and one has not paid the duty or met the import conditions?

  • The goods will be sold at a public auction
  • Before the sale date the owner may still come and pay duty plus the accrued rent for the goods and they may be released to him/her.

What happens if the goods are perishables?

  • If the goods are of such a nature that they cannot be held for longer periods, for example vegetables and fresh fish they will be disposed of off-hand.

Notice of Seizure

Under Notice of Seizure goods are seized when an offence has been committed, that is, when one is in contravention of the provisions of the Customs and Excise Act (Chapter 23:02) and any other law relating to Customs and Excise.

For how long are the goods detained?

The goods are detained until such time, which shall be within three months, when the person from whom the goods were seized has made written representations to have the goods released. The Commissioner General of ZIMRA may release the goods without formality or upon payment of the duty due plus a fine and storage charges. However, if the owner does not institute proceedings within 90 days for release of the goods, the Commissioner General may declare the goods forfeited to the State and they will be eventually disposed at a public auction. In some circumstances, no option of release may be given due to the gravity of the offence.

How are the goods disposed of?

  • The goods will be sold at a public auction
  • If release terms were set and it is before the sale date, the owner may still come and fulfill the set conditions and the goods will be released to him/her.

What happens if the goods are perishables?

If the goods are of such a nature that they cannot be held for longer periods, for example vegetables, fresh fish, among others, they will be disposed of off-hand.

 

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Disclaimer
This article was compiled by the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority for information purposes only. ZIMRA shall not accept responsibility for loss or damage arising from use of material in this article and no liability will attach to the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority.
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