This article focuses in giving an understanding on goods that are detained by the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) through issuance of a receipt for items Held (RIH) and Notice of Seizure.
- Receipt for items held
- Under what circumstances is a receipt for items held issued
This is a receipt issued when goods are detained pending fulfilment of certain conditions by the owner of the goods. Some instances when goods are detained on Receipt for Items Held are as follows:
(a) When an importer properly declares dutiable goods but is unable to pay the duties due instantaneously.
(b) When an importer or exporter properly declares controlled goods but does not have the required permit or licence for the goods.
(c) When an importer or exporter properly declares goods but does not have adequate documentation to enable the clearance.
(d) When goods are abandoned or when the importer or exporter is unknown.
- Period of detention for goods on Receipt for Items Held
The owner of the detained goods is able to claim the goods upon fulfilment of the detention conditions within a maximum of sixty (60) days from the date of detention. Thereafter, ZIMRA can dispose of the goods through rummage sale or appropriated to the state without payment of compensation.
- Notice of seizure
- Under what circumstances is a Notice of Seizure issued
Goods are seized when they are the subject matter of an offence on importation or when an importer contravenes the provisions of the Customs and Excise Act (Chapter 23:02) and any other laws relating to Customs and Excise.
Some of the most common offences are:
(ii) False Declaration.
(iii) Forgery of documents for Customs and Excise purposes.
(v) Use of vehicle for smuggling purposes.
- Period of detention for seized goods
The goods are detained until such time when:
(i) The person from whom the goods were seized has made written representations to for possible release of goods.
(ii) The owner of the goods has met the conditions set out by the Commissioner.
Such time should not exceed ninety  days from the date the goods were seized. Thereafter, ZIMRA can dispose of the goods through various disposal methods, which are available.
- Release of detained goods
Storage charges in the form of state warehouse rent for goods detained in a ZIMRA state warehouse are also payable and accrue from the date of detention to the release date. The state warehouse rent rates is levied in terms of the Customs and Excise Act (Chapter 23:02) Section 232 as read with Customs and Excise (General) Regulations, 2001 Section 172 as follows:
(a) Goods having a gross weight of not more than 500kg:
$16,00 per consignment per day.
(b) Goods having a gross weight of more than 500 kg but not more than one tonne:
$32,00 per consignment per day.
(c) Goods having gross weight of more than one tonne:
$48,00 per tonne or part thereof per day.
(d) Motor vehicles:
$80,00 per day.
- How are goods disposed
of by ZIMRA?
Goods that are detained on RIH or Notice of Seizure and are not cleared within the stipulated periods may be disposed of as follows:
(i) Sale of goods through a public auction.
(ii) Sale of goods through an informal tender.
(iii) Destruction of perishable and dangerous goods.
(iv) Appropriation to the state.
- Detained Perishables
Please note that perishable goods may be sold out of hand before the expiry of the sixty or ninety day period.
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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.
To contact ZIMRA: WhatsApp line: +263 782 729 862 Visit our website: www. zimra.co.zw. Follow us on Twitter: @Zimra_11. Like us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/ZIMRA.11. Send us an e-mail: [email protected]/[email protected] Call us (Head Office): 0242-758891/5; 790813; 790814; 781345; 751624; 752731 e-TIP: http://ecustoms.zimra.co.zw/etip/