Zimbabwe is among the Southern African countries that were affected by Cyclone Idai which caused a trail of destruction that has affected human and animal life and infrastructure.
The President made an appeal to individuals, corporates, civic society and international community to provide assistance to the affected communities mainly in Chimanimani, Chipinge and Bikita. The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) administers regulations which give relief on duties on imported goods donated by international organisations, and to associations and organisations in Zimbabwe involved in charity or welfare, in terms of Sections 103 and 124 of the Customs and Excise (General) Regulations published in Statutory Instrument 154 of 2001, respectively.
The qualifying goods should be for free distribution to people in need. Interested organisations are encouraged to take advantage of these rebates provided for in the cited sections of Regulations in order to reduce any burden of duty payments at this time of need.
- Section 124 of the Customs and Excise (General) Regulations covers goods that are donated to and imported by associations and organisations in Zimbabwe which are involved in charitable or welfare work.
These goods may be imported duty free and VAT free:
1.1 Organisations eligible to enjoy the rebate
(a) Organisations and associations involved in charitable or welfare work and registered with the responsible authority being the Department of Social Services falling under the Ministry of Labour and Social Services.
(b) These organisations should be registered under the Private Voluntary Organisations (PVO) Act Chapter 17:05 and be in possession of a PVO Number.
1.2 Goods that qualify
(a) All goods provided they are fully donated.
(b) Vehicles such as passenger type, commonly known as sedans and station wagons, passenger carrying vehicles such as buses, minibuses and the like; and other goods carrying vehicles.
The rebate of duty does not apply in the following circumstances:
(a) Goods purchased from funds obtained from local banking institutions or from local branches of banking institutions registered and operating in Zimbabwe whether or not the funds were donated unless there is proof that the funds were deposited into local banking institutions from a foreign source in order to purchase goods for the use of the charitable organisation.
(b) Second-hand or used motor vehicles.
(c) Road tractors (“horses” for pulling trailers), agricultural tractors, special purpose motor vehicles such as works trucks, concrete mixers and the like, and motor cycles.
(d) New clothing, new shoes and new bed linen.
(e) All foodstuffs except where the Minister has directed the Commissioner General to grant the rebate. Foodstuffs can only enjoy the rebate after the Minister of Finance and Economic Development has granted such consent.
1.4 Application procedure
Prior to importation of the donated goods, the organisation or association should submit an application, at the nearest ZIMRA office with written particulars of:
(a) The objects of the association or organisation.
(b) The goods in respect of which a rebate is sought, which is the full description of the goods; and
(c) The use to which the goods are to be put; and
(d) Evidence of the donation, this could be in the form of a certificate of donation; and
(e) Evidence of purchase of goods by a foreign organisation which is donating the goods. This shall not apply to goods that were not purchased; and
(f) A declaration to the effect that the goods are being imported solely for the purpose of furthering the objectives of the association or organisation; and
(g) An undertaking that the goods will not be sold or be disposed of in Zimbabwe without the prior written permission of the Commissioner and the payment of such duty as maybe due; and
(h) Any other details required by the Commissioner.
(i) The above should be accompanied by the certificate of registration with Social Services Department.
The document containing the objectives of the association or organisation, maybe in the form of a trust deed or constitution or any other document that creates the particular organisation or association. Upon fulfilling the above conditions, a rebate letter will be issued by the Commissioner.
1.5 Clearance of goods
The goods should be cleared at the Customs office through which the goods are imported. However, clearance should be done through a ZIMRA registered clearing agent and all the documents required should be attached.
Goods entered under this rebate should not be disposed of within ten years from the date of their entry under such rebate except with the written permission of the Commissioner and payment of the duty due.
Any contravention of the requirements may result in the seizure of the goods and the organisation or association may be disqualified from enjoying the rebate of duty on future importations for a period of five years.
2 Section 103 of the Customs and Excise (General) Regulations covers the importation of goods that are imported by Relief, Welfare and Church Organisations and bodies for free distribution among persons in need may come into the country duty free and VAT free.
2.1 Organisations eligible to enjoy the rebate
Any international or regional organisation, body or agency which has been designated by the minister as a relief organisation, body or agency.
2.2 Goods that qualify
A rebate of duty shall be granted on such goods imported for free distribution among persons in need as approved by the Commissioner.
The rebate of duty does not apply to new clothing, footwear and bed linen
2.4 Application procedure
Prior to importation of the donated goods, the organisation should submit an application, at the nearest ZIMRA office with written particulars of:
(a) A certificate to the effect that the goods in respect of which the rebate is claimed are being imported solely for free distribution among persons in need; and
(b) An undertaking that, if the goods are not so distributed they will not be sold or otherwise disposed of without the prior permission of the Commissioner and the payment of such duty as may be due.
Please Note: In terms of Statutory Instrument 122 of 2017, an import licence should be produced if second-hand clothing, second-hand shoes, blankets and other related products are to be imported.
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: www.facebook.com/ZIMRA.11. Send us an e-mail: [email protected]/[email protected] Call us (Head Office): 04–758891/5; 790813; 790814; 781345; 751624; 752731 e-TIP: http://ecustoms.zimra.co.zw/etip/