Advance rulings are a trade facilitation tool and Section 34D of the Revenue Authority Act [Chapter 23.11} provides for the issuance of advance tax rulings. Section 87 of the Customs and Excise Act provides for classification of goods for customs purposes.

Advance tariff classification rulings, can be requested by importers and other relevant parties regarding their advance importation. This request is done through an application in writing to the Commissioner Customs and Excise.


  1. Applicant to complete a Request for Classification Decision Form (RCD)
  • Applicant (Name & Address)
  • Description of goods (composition, intended use)
  • Classification envisaged by applicant
  • Basis for envisaged classification
  1. Samples, photographs, plans, catalogues or other documents, if necessary
  2. State whether the goods are the subject of verification process, or any appeal

The advance ruling is issued in writing and binding to ZIMRA. The ruling is applied only with respect to goods described, and the ruling will not be honored if the good differs from that described in the ruling; if applicable laws and regulations are amended after the issuance of the ruling; or if there is an error in application of laws and regulations. The ruling may be cancelled if it was given on the basis of incorrect or incomplete details provided by the applicant.


Benefits of Advance Rulings

  • efficient revenue collection through uniform application of the Harmonized System
  • Proven trade facilitation tool that harmonise and expedite clearance processes.
  • promote consistency, certainty, predictability as traders can plan adequately for their  importations thus enabling the business to make informed decisions


The issuance of an advance ruling may be declined or postponed where:

  • The applicant fails to provide additional information required;
  • A good is the subject of a classification process, or any instance of review of appeal

Importers and the like may also make an inquiry orally (by phone or at a customs office counter) or by emails. However, please be guided that any response to such oral/email inquiry is given only for the reference purpose for traders.

Download RCD Form tarriff classification