Immigrants Rebate

 

What is Immigrant’s 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.

  1. Any person who has previously resided or has been employed in Zimbabwe and is returning to Zimbabwe after having resided outside Zimbabwe for a period of not less than two years.

The person requesting for the rebate should approach the respective ZIMRA office for formalities.

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

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.

 
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