VAT is normally payable on importation of goods or removal of goods from Bond. VAT may be deferred in certain instances as follows:

What is deferment of VAT?

  • Deferment of VAT is an officially sanctioned temporary postponement of paying VAT on importation of specified goods of a capital nature imported by companies in the manufacturing, agriculture, mining, aviation transport and health sectors. The goods should have been imported for own use by the importer.

Deferment period for different investment thresholds.

Value of Equipment (US$)

Deferment Period

100 000 -1 000 000

90 days

1 000 001-10 000 000

120 days

Above 10 000 000

180 days

  • It is granted on application to the Commissioner.

Who qualifies for deferment?

  • Any person who produces proof to the satisfaction of the Commissioner that he or she has imported goods of a capital nature or approved medical equipment for his or her own use
  • This includes companies and partnerships as well
  • The importer`s tax record should be up to date. Non-filers will not be entertained.

How does one apply?

  • The application should be in writing quoting your business partner number (BP) and should be submitted to your nearest ZIMRA office
  • Specify the goods on which deferment is being applied for and the industry which you operate under.
  • For medical equipment Ministry`s approval should be attached.
  • Copy of the invoice as proof of goods imported and value of such good should be attached.
  • Specify the period for deferment you require which should not be more than three months
  • Declare that the goods are for own use and will not be disposed of even after deferment period without notifying the Commissioner

Which goods are of a capital nature?

Goods of a capital nature in this context refer to :

i)        specific prescribed plant, machinery or equipment used exclusively for:

  • Mining purposes on a registered mining location as defined in the Mines and Minerals Act[Chapter 21:05]; or
  • Manufacturing or industrial purposes in, on or in connection with a factory (including spare parts required for the purpose of maintaining or refurbishing such plant, equipment or machinery);
  • Agricultural purposes (including spare parts required for the purpose of maintaining of refurbishing such plant, equipment or machinery);
  • The aviation industry (including spare parts required for the purpose of maintaining or refurbishing aircraft and such plant, equipment or machinery);
  • Equipment and / machinery for use in medical sector.
  • Note that goods of a capital nature do not cover motor vehicles intended or adapted for use on roads or capable of being so used.
  • The goods are prescribed by the Minister of Finance in consultation with the Minister responsible for the particular industry.

ii)      Medical equipment prescribed by the Minister of Finance in consultation with the Minister responsible Health.

What happens if one fails to settle the deferred VAT debt?

  • Deferred debts which are not settled on due date may result in the VAT deferment facility being stopped or withdrawn.
  • Penalty equivalent to the deferred  VAT debt  may be levied  together with  interest

What happens if one sells the goods during or after deferment period?

  • Where goods that enjoyed deferment of tax are sold, re- exported or disposed of before or after expiry of  the deferment period instead of being used for the declared use, the importer will pay in addition to any tax for which he or she is liable on such disposal the outstanding deferred amount, 100% penalty and interest at prevailing rates.