Importation of goods in Zimbabwe can be restricted, prohibited or done freely without any restrictions. The Ministry of Industry and Commerce restricts importation of certain goods in terms of the Control of Goods (Import and Export) (Commerce) Regulations of 1974. These were published through government notice 766 of 1974. Generally, through the years, there has been several amendments to restrictions on importation as governed by the Ministry of Industry and Commerce.

The first schedule (which lists the goods requiring a licence on import) of the Control of Goods (Import and Export) (Commerce) Regulations of 1974 has been amended through Statutory Instrument 89 of 2021 by the insertion of the following goods.

  1. Second Hand Motor Vehicles which are ten years or older from the date of manufacture

Second hand motor vehicles which are 10 years or older from the date of manufacture at the time of importation shall require an Import Licence from the Ministry of Industry and Commerce

The Motor Vehicles include the following irrespective of whether it is propelled by an electric motor, compression or spark ignition internal combustion piston engine:

  • Motor Cars and Motor Vehicles for the transport of ten or more persons including the driver (e.g. motor buses, coaches, trolleybuses and gyro buses) having any type of motor classified under Heading 8702 of the Customs Tariff.
  • Motor Cars and other Motor Vehicles classified under Heading 8703 of the Customs Tariff principally designed for the transport of persons such as Station wagons,
  • Racing cars,
  • Vehicles specially designed for traveling on snow, golf cars and similar cars
  • Motor cars (such as limousines, taxis, sports cars and racing cars),
  • Specialised transport vehicles (such as ambulances, prison vans and hearses),
  • Motor homes (i.e. vehicles equipped for habitation),
  • Four wheeled motor vehicles having a motor car type steering system
  • Motor Vehicles for the Transport of Goods with a Gross Vehicle Mass not exceeding 5 Tonnes (excluding specialised vehicles used in mining) classified under Headings 8704.2120, 8704.2130, 8704.2140, 8704.2190, 8704.3120, 8704.3130, 8704.3140 and 8704.3190 of the Customs Tariff commonly referred to as Double Cabs or Twin Cabs.

The import licence will not apply to Commercial vehicles for example tractors, haulage trucks, earth moving equipment and other specialised vehicles used in mining and construction sectors 


  1. Sugar

An Import licence from the Ministry of Industry and Commerce is now required for the importation of sugar into Zimbabwe.

The controlled sugar includes:

  • Cane or Beet Sugar, chemically pure sucrose in solid form, classified in Heading 1701 of the Customs Tariff.
  • Other sugars, including chemically pure lactose, maltose, glucose and fructose, in solid form; sugar syrups not containing added flavouring or colouring matter; artificial honey, whether or not mixed with natural honey; caramel classified in Heading 1702 of the Customs Tariff.
  • Molasses resulting from the extraction or refining of sugar classified under heading 1703 of the Customs Tariff.
  • Sugar confectionery (including white chocolate), not containing cocoa. Sweets are however exempt from the requirement of an import licence
  1. Cement

Requirements for an import licence shall apply to Portland Cement as described below:

  1. White cement whether or not artificially coloured classified under Tariff Heading 2523.2100 of the Customs Tariff.
  2. Any other Portland Cement classified under Tariff Heading 2523.2900 of the Customs Tariff.

This notice came into effect on the 2nd of April 2021.Accordingly, all the above goods imported (after the specified date), without an Import Licence from the Ministry of Industry and Commerce shall be detained pending production of the importing licence. Goods for which a permit is not granted by Ministry of Industry and Commerce shall not be released to the owner.

Please note that it is an offence in terms of Section 48 of the Customs and Excise Act to import controlled goods without the required permit or licence. Importers are therefore encouraged to obtain the licence before importation of these goods to avoid unnecessary delays at the entry points.


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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. 

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