top of page


Guidelines on Imports And Exports

This  column focuses on clearance procedures for commercial importations and exportations with a bias on documents required and how clearance is done.


Commercial Importations


These are goods imported for commercial purposes by any individual or an organisation. Clearance of such importations is done by a Bill of Entry which is processed in the ASYCUDA system; hence an importer should have a Business Partner Number which is activated for Customs purposes. The documentation is complex as mainly coded language is used hence the need to engage the services of a licensed clearing agent.


Documents required when clearing commercial importations include:


  • Bill of Entry (Form 21)

  • Suppliers’ invoices

  • Export or Transit Bill of Entry from the country of export (where applicable)

  • Bill of Lading (where applicable)

  • Value Declaration Forms

  • Rail Advice Notes

  • Freight statements

  • Insurance statement

  • Invoices for port charges (where applicable)

  • Original permits, licences, duty free certificates, rebate letters, value rulings (where applicable)

  • Agent/importer’s worksheet


*N.B: Copy of ITF 263 should be attached.


Calculation Of Customs Excise Duty

Duty is calculated on the basis of Cost, Insurance and Freight (CIF) value of the imported goods.


The CIF value of the imported goods is an aggregate of the cost of goods, insurance, freight and any other charges incurred outside Zimbabwe.


Completion, Submission and Clearance of Goods


  • A Bill of Entry (Form 21) is registered with Burco (or on Direct Trader Input for those agents with the facility).

  • Two sets of documents must be submitted and clearly marked "ZIMRA Copy" and "Importer’s Copy" or "Exporter’s Copy".

  • All supporting documents must be attached.

  • If importer has no tax clearance certificate (ITF 263) Informal Cross Border Trader`s Tax of 10% of the value for duty purposes will  be due and payable together with any duties and other charges which may be due before goods can be released by ZIMRA.

  • A clearance fee (prescribed amount) is paid to Zimra (the current minimum is US$$10.00 for a single line entry and inclussively charge on each additional line included).

  • The documents should then be submitted through the Cash Office and the agent should ensure that his account with ZIMRA has sufficient funds to cater for all submitted entries and duties due.

  • Payment of duty is done by way of bank deposits into the ZIMRA account. The deposited amount will be credited to the agent`s or importer`s account with ZIMRA.

  • Documents are processed, assessed and - if correct - a Release Order is issued authorising the collection of goods from the carrier or detention. If there is need to inspect the goods, an Examination Order is issued and an inspection carried out to verify the quantities, classification, origin, values or any aspect that needs clarification.

bottom of page