Rebate of duty on goods imported for religious purposes

A rebate of duty is a duty-free concession provided for in the Customs regulations. One such rebate is granted to registered religious organisations upon the importation of the following items and subject to approval by the Commissioner General:

(a) Organs and the blowers thereof;

(b) Harmonious and band instruments;

(c) Church decorations, altars, fonts, lecterns, pulpits, vestments and other appointments not being furniture;

(d) Illuminated windows;

(e) Bibles, prayer books, hymn books pictures, pamphlets, posters, charts;

(f) Statues of a religious nature, crucifix;

(g) Church vessels

(h) Incense; and

(i) Building materials as may be approved by the Commissioner but provided that such materials are not produced locally.

Please note that:

1. building materials which are produced locally do not qualify for this rebate; and

2. this duty free concession does not extend to furniture like chairs and benches.

Should goods imported under rebate be sold or otherwise disposed of, the rebated duty becomes due and payable to ZIMRA.

Rebate of duty on goods imported for free distribution

Although this rebate is meant for charitable organisations, religious organisations designated by the Minister of Finance as relief organisations may also enjoy the rebate. This rebate of duty covers goods imported for free distribution to the needy. It excludes new clothing, footwear, bed linen and foodstuffs. The goods have to be approved by the Commissioner General and should not be sold or disposed of without his written consent.

Rebate of duty on goods donated to associations and organisations

Religious organisations can also benefit from the rebate of duty on goods donated to them for use in charitable or welfare work. The organisation and the goods must have been approved by the Commissioner General.

This rebate, however, is not granted in the following circumstances:

  • Where the goods have been paid for with funds from local banking institutions or local branches of banking institutions registered and operating in Zimbabwe whether or not the funds were donated and payment is for freight.
  • The importation of second-hand or used motor vehicles.
  • The importation of foodstuffs.

The importation of new clothing, shoes and bed linen.