New exchange rate trebles customs duty


THERE has been an outcry at all ports of entry after the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) hiked duty of all imported goods following a hike in the exchange rate by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe on Tuesday when it pegged the United States dollar at 1:57 against the Zimdollar, abandoning the previous US$1:$25 rate.


Zimra also trebled the value of the US$ against the rand, from US$1:R1,4349 to US$1:R3,3146, directly affecting the duty on all imports.

The new rates will likely have ripple effects on the prices of all imported goods, whether basic or otherwise, officials in the shipping industry said.

Duty paid for goods that had been received as of yesterday for which Zimra expected upward adjustments had to be reviewed upwards by a method called voluntary disclosure.

Shipping agents countrywide blamed Zimra for uploading new rates late on Wednesday evening and demanding that goods cleared as of yesterday before the new duty regime was introduced be topped up.

“We had to go for an emergency meeting at Zimra. Goods for which duty had been paid will now require a top-up through voluntary disclosures. Zimra delayed to upload the new structures into the system,” a Beitbridge clearing agent said.

“It is a sad scenario having to go after a client to ask for more money for additional duty.”