Returning resident to Zimbabwe.

Returning resident to Zimbabwe

Are you a Zimbabwean who is abroad at the moment? Do you want to know what is  your position concerning returning to Zimbabwe and the customs requirements ? Zimbabwe Revenue Authority, ZIMRA can support you to process your cargo for return to Zimbabwe.

Conditions for you to benefit from Returning Resident Status

Immigration rebate:

Section 120 (1) (b) of the Customs and Excise Act [Chapter 23:02] as read with Section 105 of the General Regulations (Statutory Instrument 154 of 2001) and Section 12 (3) of the Value Added Tax Act [Chapter 23:12] provides for a rebate of duty and Value Added Tax (VAT) on household and personal effects and other goods for personal use that are imported by qualifying individuals and not companies. Goods imported for commercial or trade purposes do not qualify for a rebate under these provisions.

Who qualifies for the immigrant’s rebate?

  1. The rebate is granted to individuals (including their spouses and children) who come to Zimbabwe:-

a)      To take up employment or permanent residence; or

b)      As visitors but remain to take up employment or permanent residence; or

c)      As diplomats but remain to take up employment or permanent residence or to attend any educational institution; or

d)     For the purpose of attending any educational institution.

What documents does one need to submit to be considered for the immigrant`s rebate?

  1. Proof of employment or residence permit
  2. Proof that one has completed studies for a person who has been pursuing studies
  3. Proof that one has terminated contract of employment for a person who has been on a contract of employment
  4. Proof of absence from Zimbabwe for a person who has been on an extended absence from Zimbabwe
  5. A declaration on prescribed form stating that the effects and other goods were owned by the immigrant at the time of arrival and at their time of importation
  6. In the case of a motor vehicle, a declaration stating that a rebate has not been granted to him/her in respect of a motor vehicle during the previous four years
  7. A declaration that the effects and other goods are intended for the immigrant’s own use in Zimbabwe and will not be used for trade or commercial purposes
  8. A written undertaking that the effects and other goods will not be sold or disposed of in any manner and that the immigrant shall not leave Zimbabwe for a period of more than six months within 24 months of arrival
  9. A written undertaking to pay such duty as may become due if one decides to sell or dispose of in any manner or if  he/she decides to leave Zimbabwe for a period of more than six months within 24 months of clearance
  10. A written undertaking to notify the Commissioner General of ZIMRA of any change in residential address within 14 days of the change of address
  11. Satisfactory evidence relating to the acquisition, ownership or purchase of the goods

What kind of goods can be imported under the Immigrant’s rebate?

An immigrant can import duty free;

  1. Personal and household effects such as clothing, linen and furniture.
  2. Motor vehicles limited to one vehicle per immigrant. Shipping cars to Zimbabwe as a returning resident is an easy process if you choose a reliable shipping company.

Please Note: No person under the age of 16 is allowed to import a vehicle under this rebate.

Motor vehicles of a commercial nature excluded from this rebate.

What conditions should be met at the time of importation

  1. The goods should have been owned by the immigrant at the time of his/her arrival
  2. The goods must also be in physical existence and fully paid for by the immigrant before the time of arrival.

What is time of arrival?

  1. for an immigrant coming to Zimbabwe for the first time, it is the first occasion on which the immigrant enters Zimbabwe after the grant of the employment permit or resident permit.
  2. for an immigrant who comes in as a visitor and does not depart from Zimbabwe after the grant of residence or employment permit, it is the first occasion the immigrant imports personal effects/goods within three months from the date of grant of the permit.
  3. for an immigrant who has previously resided or has been employed in Zimbabwe and who:-

(i) has been on a course of study, is the first occasion on which the immigrant returns to Zimbabwe after successfully completing such course of study; or

(ii) has been on contract of employment, is the first occasion on which the immigrant returns to Zimbabwe after the expiry of such contract; or

(iii) has been on an extended absence for any other reason, is the first occasion on which the immigrant returns to Zimbabwe:

  1. for a former resident who enters Zimbabwe as a visitor and does not depart from Zimbabwe shall be deemed to be the first occasion on which the immigrant imports any personal and household effects and other goods within three months from the grant of the permanent returning resident status.
  2. for a former diplomat who remains in Zimbabwe to take up employment or permanent residence, is the first occasion the former diplomat/immigrant imports any personal and household effects and other goods within three months from the date of grant of his new employment permit or residence permit.

Are there any restrictions on goods cleared under Immigrants’ Rebate?

  1. The immigrant shall not sell or dispose of in any manner or display for sale goods in respect of which such rebate was granted within 24 months after the date of being granted such rebate unless:-

a)      written permission is granted by the Commissioner General of ZIMRA and

b)      the duty which would have been payable at the time of granting the rebate is paid

  1. An immigrant who has been granted a rebate of duty who emigrates or departs from Zimbabwe for a period of more than six (6) months within 24 months from the date the rebate was granted shall remove  the goods from Zimbabwe on his departure, unless:-

a)      prior written permission is granted by the Commissioner General of ZIMRA to leave the effects in Zimbabwe

b)      the duty which would have been payable at the time of granting the rebate is paid

NB: Any violation of the conditions in (1) and (2) above makes the goods liable to seizure. Misuse or attempts to misuse the provision on rebates is an offence in terms of section 174 and 184(g) of the Customs and Excise Act [Chapter 23:02] and can result in prosecution or penalties or seizure of the goods.

  • You must be physically present during Customs clearance process to participate in an interview with  Zimbabwe Revenue Authority’s Customs Officer.
  • All shipments undergo a physical inspection.People who do not meet this requirement will be assessed for  duty and you will have to pay import duty according to the going government rates at the time of your importation of vehicles and other goods into Zimbabwe.
  •  Used household goods and personal effects are duty free provided goods have been owned and used by the client for a minimum of six months.
  • Items cannot be sold, lent or otherwise disposed of during stay in Zimbabwe.

All documents for non-diplomats will be lodged with the Department of Customs & Excise by the individuals personally. All charges related to the physical inspection will be charged to all non-diplomats.

Returning Citizens: who have lived abroad less than 2 years must submit an application for “No Currency involved” import license for goods acquired after emigrating. Returning Zimbabwe nationals must have lived outside of Zimbabwe for a minimum of two years to be eligible for duty-free status. The Passport must show exit date and “Acceptance as Returning Resident” (accepted RR) to be exempt from paying duty. Must be present during clearance process and goods must arrive within three months of arrival of returning citizen. By law returning residents to Zimbabwe  must complete the clearance process on their own. An agent is not allowed to represent him/her if the person is able to represent themselves.

Required Documents:

  • Passport – copy
  • Residence Visa/Work Permit or Letter from Employer attesting to client’s employment contract
  • Bill of Lading/Air Waybill – original, Express Release not allowed
  • Comprehensive Valued Inventory – in English, dated & signed by owner
  • Power of Attorney – giving authority for Destination Agent to arrange customs clearance
  • Declaration of Undertaking (Form C 38)

Diplomat Status:

Foreign diplomats, members of government or international organizations are granted tax and duty free entry of their personal effects and household items either new or used. All documents must be signed by the diplomat and submitted to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Required Documents:

  • Diplomatic Exemption Letter – obtained from Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • Passport – original
  • Comprehensive Inventory – all computers, electronics & appliances must state serial numbers
  • Power of Attorney – giving authority for Destination Agent to arrange customs clearance

Disclaimer: Cargo World Link  does not assume any legal liability or responsibility for the incompleteness of the information or any loss, damage or legal consequences that may arise due to information contained on this website. You are strongly advised to seek audience with the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority before you commit yourself to sending any cargo to Zimbabwe.