Guide to importing cars to Zimbabwe from the UK

At Kandeal, we will assist you through the whole process of acquiring a car to clearing the vehicle. It’s important to understand the requirement for the Importation of Motor Vehicles by Private Individuals.

From the Zimra blog page :

The importation of motor vehicles by private individuals is treated more or less like the importation of other goods. The following legal requirements apply when one imports a motor vehicle for private use;

Particulars of Vehicle on Entry – Declaration

It is a legal requirement that a person importing a vehicle into Zimbabwe makes a declaration of the particulars relating to the vehicle. A declaration on Form 47 (ZIMRA Customs Declaration Form) should be completed giving all the necessary information as required. The information required pertains to the details of the importer and those pertaining to the vehicle. Of paramount importance is the declaration of value which should tally with the selling price on the invoice or agreement of sale in the case of purchased vehicles. It should be noted that it is an offence to make a false declaration.

Documentation Required

The following documents are required to be produced on importation:-

Invoice/agreement of sale
Police clearance – SARPCO Certificate (when imported from a country in Southern Africa
Export bill of entry and supporting documents
Registration book (in the case of used motor vehicles)
Freight statement
Insurance statement
Valuation of Motor Vehicles

The valuation of motor vehicle as with the other goods is in accordance to Part X of the Customs and Excise Act [Chapter 23.02]. ZIMRA reserves the right to accept declared values or in some cases, reject them when the declared values do not reflect a bona-fide open market value. This is usually the case with used motor vehicles where ZIMRA may re-assess the values. This assessment of values is in accordance with Section 112 of the Customs and Excise Act [Chapter 23:02].

(NB: The valuation of goods including motor vehicles is in accordance with the World Trade Organization (WTO) Valuation Agreement).

In valuing used motor vehicles, ZIMRA considers, but is not limited to the following;

The open market value of similar or identical vehicles sold on the same market at the same commercial level to unrelated parties
The values already accepted for similar/identical vehicles
The current condition of the vehicle being imported.
In determining the value of the imported vehicles, ZIMRA will use any and all information at its disposal.

Vehicles that are acquired by other means other than purchase (such as gifts) are also subject to valuation in order to determine their values.

The valuation process undertaken by ZIMRA is intended to ensure that there is no under- or over-valuation of goods. If a client is not satisfied with the value established through this valuation process, he/she may appeal and seek for a value ruling through the office of the Station Manager or the respective Regional Manager.

Duty Free Concessions – Travellers Rebate

Individuals who personally import their vehicles are entitled to the travellers rebate if they qualify for such. The effect of this is that the determined value is reduced by USD200.00 to give the effective value for duty purposes. It should be noted that there is no aggregation of the traveller’s duty free allowance. In cases where several members of the same family are travelling together in the vehicle being imported, only one member can claim the duty free allowance on the vehicle. The other family members can claim their duty free allowances on other goods they may be importing.

More so, one should understand how ZIMRA calculates duty on these vehicles.

Calculation of Duty on importation of private motor vehicles and suspension of duty on Motor Vehicle imports by the physically handicapped persons.

The duty to be paid on importation of motor vehicles into Zimbabwe is based on the Cost, Insurance and Freight (CIF) value plus other incidental charges and expenses incurred in the purchase of the vehicle and its subsequent transportation up to the first point of entry into Zimbabwe. This CIF value and the other charges constitute what is known as the Value for Duty Purposes (VDP). Such other charges include, inter alia, and where applicable:

  •        Port handling charges, e.g. at Durban Port, Walvis Bay, Beira, Dar es Salaam;
  •        Storage charges; and
  •        Any other special handling fees, if not already included in the CIF Value.

The charges that are levied are Customs duty, Surtax and Value Added Tax (VAT). Surtax is only charged on passenger type motor vehicles that are more than five (5) years old at the time of importation. Please note that both Customs duty and Surtax (where applicable) are calculated on the Value for Duty Purposes (VDP). VAT is calculated on the total of VDP plus the calculated Customs duty payable. This value is known as the Value for Tax Purposes (VTP). Passenger motor vehicles more than five years old are charged surtax at a rate of 35%.

Below is a table showing examples of how to calculate duty payable on the most commonly imported private motor vehicle types using arbitrary CIF values.

Year of Manufacture/Type of vehicle Engine Capacity/Payload CIF Value


Other Charges












Total amount payable



Sedan/ Station Wagon

1495cc 6 000 _ 6 000 @40% = 2 400 _ 8 400 @ 14.5%

=1 218

3 618.00

Sedan/Station Wagon

1495cc 4 000 1 200 5 200 @ 40% = 2 080 @ 35% = 1 820 7 280 @ 14.5%

= 1 055.60


Sedan/Station Wagon

1800cc 5 000 900 5 900 @ 40% = 2 360 @ 35% = 2065 8 260 @ 14.5%

= 1 197.70

5 622.70

Sedan/ Station Wagon

3000cc 10 000 600 10 600 @ 40%

= 4 240

_ 14 840 @ 14.5%

= 2 151.80

6 391.80

Pick -up truck

Payload of up to 800kg 3 000 1 000 4 000 @25%

=1 000

5 000 @ 14.5%

= 725

1 725.00

Pick -up truck

Payload more than 800kg but not exceeding 1400kg 4 000 1 200 5 200 @40%

= 2 080

7 280 @ 14.5%

= 1 055.60

3 135.60

Pick- up truck

Payload more than 1400 kg but with a gross vehicle mass of less than 5 tonnes 7 000 1 500 8 500 @40%

= 3 400

11 900 @14.5%

= 1 725.50

5 125.50

Double Cab

2500cc 7 000 1 500 8 500 @60%

= 5 100

13 600 @14.5%

= 1 972

7 072

**NB: Please note that ZIMRA at entry points may re-assess values of the motor vehicles if the declared values do not reflect a true market price in the country from where they were bought.

Suspension of duty on Motor Vehicle Imports by the physically handicapped persons

What does suspension of duty mean?

 Suspension of duty is the waiver of Customs Duty and Surtax. Value Added Tax (VAT) is payable at a rate of 15% based on the value of the motor vehicle plus freight, insurance and any other charges incurred before delivery of vehicle to Zimbabwe.

What is required from you?

  • Current letter from a specialist doctor stating the following:

The nature and degree of disability

 Giving indications of the type of vehicle you could drive under the circumstances

 The extent of disability (whether it is temporary or permanent)

An invoice/proforma invoice /document for the recommended motor vehicle which should include the following information:

  • Engine number
  • Chassis number
  • Type of transmission
  • Year of manufacture
  • Application letter
  • Proof of source of funds
  • Copy of identification particulars
  • Proof of current residence

Which persons qualify for the privilege?

 A physically handicapped person:

  • who is blind – if the Commissioner is satisfied that the vehicle is to be used for the benefit of that person; or
  • with a physically disability that is not temporary – if the vehicle has automatic transmission and additionally, or alternatively, special controls that render it suitable for use by that person, and the Commissioner is satisfied that the vehicle is to be used by that person; or
  • with any physical disability that impedes his personal mobility and is not temporary, whether or not the vehicle is of a description referred to above as long as the Commissioner is satisfied that the vehicle is to be used by that person.

What type of vehicle qualifies?

  • The make and model should be a sedan or a station wagon classified under tariff heading 8703 and carrying not more than 10 persons.
  • The applicable light commercial motor vehicles are those classified under any of the following tariff codes: 8704.2130, 8704.2140, 8704.3130 or 8704.3140 in Statutory Instrument 111 of 2012.

What is the age restriction for the vehicle?

The year of manufacture should not be more than 10 years.

How many motor vehicles can one import under this privilege?

In terms of the suspension regulations, a physically handicapped person can import one passenger or one light commercial motor vehicle without payment of the applicable Customs Duties.

What is the procedure for claiming this privilege?

  • One should apply in writing to the ZIMRA Commissioner for a possible grant of a suspension of duty for the physically handicapped, stating the disability and also justifying the need for that particular vehicle.
  • Pro-forma invoices for the vehicle intended for importation should be attached and such invoice should clearly state year of manufacture, engine and chassis numbers and the cost of the vehicle.
  • The doctor`s letter stating the nature and degree of disability should be attached.
  • Application can be posted or submitted to any nearest ZIMRA office.
  • Applicant will then be invited to an interview at ZIMRA to ascertain the correctness of the application and other submitted documents.
  • If the application is approved, the applicant will be issued with a letter granting the suspension of Customs Duty and Surtax only and such letter should be attached when the vehicle is finally imported.
  • If suspension of duty is not granted, the applicant will have to pay duty and Value Added Tax (VAT) when the vehicle is finally imported.

 What are the disposal conditions for the vehicle?

 A motor vehicle on which duty has been suspended shall not be disposed of by the importer within five years of its importation unless:

  • the Commissioner has given written permission for its disposal, and the suspended duty has been paid.