Zambian Import Regulations

Posted by admincarg

Customs Regulations

  • Client must be in Zambia at the time shipment arrives but are not required to be present during clearance.
  • Used household goods and personal effects are tax and duty free provided goods have been owned and used by the customer for a minimum of six months and customer has lived abroad for at least two years.
  • All new items will be levied import duties and taxes + VAT. The goods must be imported within six months of arrival. Items can not be sold, lent or otherwise disposed of during stay.
  • Returning nationals must have qualified proof of living abroad for 2 years to be eligible for tax and duty free entry of belongings.
  • The goods must be imported within 6 months of return date. Failure to do so results in payment of duty and taxes.
  • Household goods and vehicles must be cleared separately and will incur as many Customs clearance fees as the number of Customs entries.
  • It takes between 20 – 40 days to obtain the free entry certificate. All original documents should reach the Destination Agent a minimum of 20 days before the shipment’s arrival to allow the client’s employer to obtain the certificate of free entry from the Customs Head Office and minimize the port charges.
  • NOTE: All document copies including passports must be certified by the Zambian High Commission in the country of origin, or by a Commissioner of Oath.

Required Documents:

  • Passport – certified copy, showing entry date into Zambia, original is sometimes required
  • Residence Permit or Work Permit – certified copy, (temporary Work Permits not accepted)
  • Bill of Lading/Air Waybill – original, Express Release not allowed
  • Comprehensive Valued Inventory –(not insured value) in English, dated & signed by owner: A detailed value per item is required for shipments that transit through South Africa
  • Pack list – in English, abbreviations not allowed i.e. “misc”, “PBO” etc
  • Power of Attorney – giving authority for Destination Agent to arrange customs clearance
  • Letter from Employer – attesting to client’s employment contract
  • Tax Identification Card – obtained from ZRA Advice Center; must provide work permit & passport and submitted 20 days prior to arrival of shipment
  • Police Report w/fingerprints – obtained from origin police department
  • Returning Nationals including Diplomats additional documents:
  • Letter of Return – attesting to client’s reason for leaving origin country & returning to Zambia
  • Letter of Appointment – from Employer/Mission, attesting to client’s contract
  • Passport – certified copy, showing stay of at least 2 years abroad

Diplomat Status:

  • Foreign diplomats, members of government or international organizations are granted tax and duty free entry of their personal effects and household goods.
  • Diplomats must personally register at the Department of Foreign Affairs prior to arrival of the shipment.
  • Diplomatic shipments are ONLY cleared in Lusaka, Zambia. Therefore shipments must be “Removed in Bond” (RIB) from the border to the Lusaka terminal.
  • A bond fee applies. The clearance process takes 3-5 days.
  • Additional charges may occur in the event of grounding and reloading to avoid “truck standing time.”
  • The Department of Foreign Affairs pays storage fees unless otherwise stated. Shipments of returning diplomats are inspected at random.

Required Documents:

  • Diplomatic Franchise/Protocol – obtained from Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • Diplomatic Passport – certified copy
  • Comprehensive Valued Inventory – for Customs purposes only, dated & signed by owner
  • Pack list- in English
  • Power of Attorney – giving authority for Destination Agent to arrange customs clearance
  • Letter of Introduction – provided by mission of organization

Restricted Dutiable Items

  • Appliances/Electronics – must have invoices/receipts
  • Prescription medications – require physicians prescriptions even for over the counter medications
  • Firearms & ammunition – requires a permit from local police
  • New items – (less than 6 months) must have invoices/receipts
  • Tobacco – 200 cigarettes or 250 grams of loose tobacco, in excess of these amounts incurs duty

Prohibited Items

  • Narcotics/illegal drugs of any kind
  • Pornography and subversive material
  • Explosives, ammunitions and all other weapons unless otherwise approved
  • Alcohol – must be sent separately, subject to 100% duty upon arrival
  • Animal skins, furs, ivory – The Zambian Wildlife Authority has screeners at international ports of entry/exit and WILL prosecute offenders to the fullest extent of the law with penalties ranging from large fines to 5-year prison sentences
  • Plants, food, Poultry & any poultry products

Importation of Pets

Required Documents:

  • Certificate of Vaccination – including rabies, less than 6 months prior to arrival
  • Health Certificate – by a Veterinarian at origin Import permit
  • Import Permit must be obtained in advance by writing to the Director, Veterinary and Tsetse Control Department, Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries, Mulungushi House, P.O. Box 50060, Lusaka, Zambia.

Importation of Vehicles

  • New vehicles are subject to duty of 25% of invoice value + 17.3% VAT.
  • The OBL must show Chassis Number, Engine number, Cubic Capacity, year of manufacture, brand and model. Copies of the below documents should be sent to the Destination Agent at least one month prior to arrival of vehicle to avoid charges for demurrage and storage.
  • Temporary Foreign Residents may import one used vehicle tax and duty free within the first 6 months of arrival (date of issue of work permit). Additional vehicles are subject to taxation of 25% duties + 25% excise tax + 17.50% VAT of accumulated total.
  • Foreign Diplomats may import up to two vehicles duty and tax free.
  • Clearance completed by the Diplomatic representative and countersigned by the Department of Foreign Affairs in Zambia.
  • Returning Diplomats incur duty and taxes on their imported vehicle.
  • However the Department of Foreign Affairs pays those charges in the form of a voucher.
  • The issuing of the voucher takes up to three months from date of arrival and vehicle cannot be cleared before the voucher is issued.
  • Vehicles must be removed in Bond (RIB) from the border to the Lusaka terminal. A bond fee of 100.00USD applies.

Required Documents:

  • Certificate of Title and Registration – must be original
  • Commercial/Purchase Invoice – showing date & purchase price
  • Drivers License & International Insurance Policy (green card)
  • OBL & Non Sale Certificate
  • Letter of Transfer from client’s employer
  • Valuation Certificate