Licensing of Clearing Agents

A clearing agent is defined as any person who for gain, acts for or holds himself out as carrying on the business of acting for an importer, exporter, manufacturer or the holder of a licence in performing any function under, or complying with any requirements of the Customs and Excise Act [Chapter 23:02].

Licensing Procedures

Any person (being a company or partnership only) who wishes to be licensed as a clearing agent shall:

  • Submit to any port of entry, an application in Form No. 64 available on our website: www.zimra.co.zw;
  • Furnish the following particulars or documents-
  • Trading name i.e. the name under which the clearing agent will operate and the address of its principal office in Zimbabwe including submitting a copy of lease agreement or proof of ownership of premises;
  • Where the applicant is a company, certified copies of the Certificate of Incorporation, Memorandum and Articles of Association, plus names of all shareholders and directors of the company;
  • Where the applicant is a partnership, a certified copy of the partnership agreement, together with names of all the partners;
  • Copy of statement of financial position (balance sheet) and detailed asset register for previous financial year and any other evidence that the clearing agent has the necessary resources to conduct customs business;
  • Bank confirmation and current bank statement for the previous three months prior to application for registration;
  • Details of the agent’s countrywide office network and/or agent-to-agent agreements for the ports you do not have offices;
  • The names and addresses of employees of the clearing agent  who will be authorised to act on behalf of the clearing agent together with details of their qualifications and experience in the field of Customs Law and procedure and their specimen signatures. This should be contained in detailed curriculum vitae. {NB: Employees should have received formal customs clearance training and have a minimum of one (1) year experience};
  • Fingerprints and valid police clearance for employees and directors {to be submitted once every three years};
  • Proof in the form of a confirmation letter on a letterhead that the agent is a member of a recognised professional shipping association. This however, does not apply to companies with in-house clearing services;
  • Proof of registration with ZIMRA in the form of a Business Partner Number; and
  • Evidence of non-indebtedness from the Domestic Taxes division, no arrears of duty as well as proof that all outstanding removals in bond or transit are accounted for or acquitted;
  • Current Tax Clearance Certificate

If the application is approved, the applicant shall be called upon to enter into a bond with sufficient surety (bond value has been revised to US$15,000.00) in Form No. 129. Where the clearing agent intends to engage in removal in bond or transit, a Removal and Transit Bond Form No.121 shall be submitted in addition and the minimum bond limit is US$250, 000.00. A cover note from the surety or guarantor, who is either a registered insurance company or a registered commercial bank, should be submitted.

The licence shall be issued after payment of a US$100 licence fee.

A clearing agent’s licence shall expire on the 31st of December of the year in which it was issued and may be renewed when necessary. Application for renewal shall be made not later than the 31st of October, in respect of the following year.

Obligations of clearing agents

A clearing agent shall—

  • Not permit its licence, the name under which it is licensed or its customs assigned number to be used by any person other than a director, manager, partner or authorised employee of the clearing agent;
  • Not permit its security bonds to be used as security for the fulfillment of any obligation of any other clearing agent under the Customs and Excise Act;
  • Keep proper records such as books of accounts, bills of entry, bills of lading, consignment notes and invoices;

Undertake to institute administrative measures to ensure that—

  • All bills of entry are submitted together with correct payment;
  • Members of its staff conduct their business in accordance with customs laws and procedures;
  • A relationship of good faith is maintained by his staff at all times in dealing with ZIMRA; and particulars on all bills of entry are correct in every respect.

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 take note of the above obligations to avoid unnecessary penalties.

 
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