Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) has approved a customs clearance system for South Africa-based residents who hold Zimbabwe Exemption Permits (ZEP) to bring their goods to Zimbabwe on duty-free when their permits expire.
Prior to that, Zimbabweans from South Africa have been paying duty at the border post to transport their goods to the other side of the border. Zimra has approved the Flexible Customs Administration Mechanism for the clearance procedure for returning residents.
“The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) wishes to advise its valued clients and importers of the clearance procedures to be adopted in the clearance of returning residents from South Africa who are holders of Zimbabwe Exemption Permits (ZEP),” reads part of the statement.
“In order to ensure smooth clearance of returning ZEP holders, the Treasury has approved the implementation of the Flexible Customs Administration Mechanism that will be in use when clearing this class of returning residents.
There are more than 170 000 Zimbabweans living and working in SA under the ZEP permits.
In 2021, South Africa’s Cabinet resolved not to extend the permits further. It announced that the permit holders should migrate to mainstream permits and that those who will fail to make it should depart by June 30 this year.
However, the Home Affairs Ministry has since extended the grace period to December 31 this year.
Zimra said the removal of the restrictions came after the South African Government announced the expiry of ZEP by the end of this year.
“Zimbabwean nationals who hold ZEPs must secure a different visa by 31 December 2023 in order to stay in South Africa legally unless extended,” said the revenue authority.
According to the statement, the implemented arrangement will allow personal goods including clothes, furniture, and vehicles for Zimbabwean residents returning to their country to be approved and imported under duty-free but, however, under certain measures.
“Personal goods are goods that the returning resident has been using, for example, clothes, furniture, kitchen utensils and other general household goods.
“Vehicles are to be cleared under the suspension of duty as provided for in Statutory Instrument 10 of 2022, which has the following conditions: only VAT is payable, the vehicle should have been owned by the returning resident six months prior to returning to Zimbabwe and value of the vehicle must be less than US$40 000,” reads part of the statement.
Zimra said agricultural products such as grain, cattle and goats will require permits from the Ministry of Agriculture.
They said that for the importation of the goods, there are conditions that must be met at the time of importation including the ownership and good use of the goods to be imported.
“The goods must have been owned by the returning resident at the time of his arrival and at the time of their importation, goods must be for use in
Zimbabwe by the returning resident and the goods must be imported at the time of arrival of the returning resident or at such time as the Commissioner may, in his discretion approve” said Zimra.
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