Importation by Air

airfreightIn terms of Section 39 of the Customs and Excise Act [Chapter 23:02], all importations into Zimbabwe have to be entered for Customs purposes. The airport is regarded as one of the designated ports of entry where goods may be imported into the country.

How are goods imported by air cleared?

All goods imported by air shall be cleared at the port of entry and at the time of arrival.

This means that all goods must be declared and:

  • entered for consumption,
  • released on deposit or suitable guarantee if for temporary importation,
  • removed in bond,
  • held temporarily at a transit shed, or
  • held by the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) in a State Warehouse pending clearance.

Goods imported by private individuals as accompanying luggage

Individuals disembarking from aircrafts shall declare their baggage at the airport or aerodrome of first landing.

Green Route and the Red Route

These routes at an airport are used for declaration purposes. Use of the Green Route implies that the traveller is carrying non-dutiable goods, is within his/her duty-free allowance, and is not in possession of any prohibited and/or restricted goods. The Red Route is used by travellers who have goods which are in excess of their travellers’ allowance or commercial goods where duty must be paid, those who have controlled goods and those who are not very sure of which route to take must use..

Please note that travellers with firearms, including hunting rifles, must also use the Red Route.

Unaccompanied goods

Unaccompanied goods are placed in a transit shed pending clearance, which should be done within 10 days, failure of which the goods will be taken to a State Warehouse.

How are private unaccompanied goods cleared?

Private individuals, upon being notified of the arrival of their goods by the transit shed operator, shall proceed to the port of arrival and complete a Customs Declaration Form (Form 47), submitting all the supporting documents to the ZIMRA officer for proper clearance and calculation of duties where due.

How are commercial importations cleared?

Merchandise imported into the country by air shall be cleared at the port of entry. For merchandise less than US$1,000 in value, declaration on Form Number 47 shall be made to ZIMRA officials at the port of entry, together with submission of supporting documents showing the cost, nature, quantity, freight and insurance charges. Physical examination may be done on the goods and duties calculated with reference to the documents submitted.

For merchandise equal to or exceeding US$1,000 in value, importations shall be cleared on a Bill of Entry (Form 21). Companies, including individuals who will be importing commercial goods and are not registered with ZIMRA as declarants, will be required to engage the services of a ZIMRA registered clearing agent.

How are freight and insurance costs treated?

On commercial and unaccompanied private importations, freight and insurance provided on the invoice or airway bill shall be compared with 15 per cent of the free on board value and the lower shall be applied in computing the value for duty purposes (VDP). However, it should be noted that freight and insurance charges on accompanied personal baggage are not considered in the computation of VDP.

What rates of duty are used?

The rates of duty applicable are the ones prevailing on the date of importation. For private importations, flat rates of duty are applied unless a request is made to use proper Customs Tariff rates prior to the calculation of duty.

Proper Customs Tariff rates apply for all commercial importations.

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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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