Why ZIMRA may hold goods on importation
THERE are two main ways in which goods are detained by ZIMRA namely receipt for items held (RIH) or notice of seizure: Receipt for items held Under what circumstances is a receipt for items held issued?
This receipt is issued when one imports goods and is not able to pay the duties due or the goods require permits or licences from the various controlling authorities. For how long are the goods held? ZIMRA keeps such goods for a maximum of 60 days before they are sold at a rummage sale.
Besides the duty payable, are there any other charges that one must pay?
Storage charges in the form of State Warehouse rent are also payable and will start to accrue from the date the goods have been held. The State Warehouse rent rates are as follows:
(a) goods having a gross weight of not more than 500kg, $2 per consignment per day
(b) goods having a gross weight of more than 500kg, but not more than one tonne, $4 per consignment per day
(c) goods having a gross weight of more than one tonne, $6 per tonne or part thereof per day (d) motor vehicles, $10 per day However, for goods held at a container depot or transit shed or any other designated Customs area, the storage rate shall be that charged by the operator and is to be paid to that operator.
What happens after 60 days and one has not paid the duty or met the import conditions?
The goods will be sold at a public auction
Before the sale date the owner may still come and pay duty plus the accrued rent for the goods and they may be released to him/her What happens if the goods are perishables?
If the goods are of such a nature that they cannot be held for longer periods, for example vegetables and fresh fish, they will be disposed of immediately. 1. Notice of Seizure Under what circumstances is a Notice of Seizure issued?
Goods are seized when an offence has been committed, that is, when one is in contravention of the provisions of the Customs and Excise Act [Chapter 23:02] and any other laws relating to customs and excise.
For how long are the goods detained?
The goods are detained until such time, which shall be within three months, when the person from whom the goods were seized has made written representations to have the goods released. The Commissioner General may release the goods without any formality or upon payment of the duty due plus a fine and storage charges. However, if the owner does not institute proceedings within 90 days for release of the goods, the Commissioner may declare the goods forfeited to the State and they may be eventually disposed at a public auction. In some circumstances, no option of release may be given due to the gravity of the offence. How are the goods disposed of? The goods may be sold at a public auction. If release terms were set and it is before the sale date, the owner may still come and fulfill the set conditions and the goods will be released to him/her. What happens if the goods are perishables? If the goods are of such a nature that they cannot be held for longer periods, they will be disposed of immediately.
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. Please tune in to Zi-FM Stereo every Wednesday from 1930hrs-2030hrs for discussions on Customs and Tax matters.