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Zimbabwe Immigrant Rebate

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Many people complain about Zimra and how dealing with them is a headache. Always do your homework before. This saves you a lot of headaches. Give to Ceasar what belongs to Ceasar, don’t try to con Zimra because you could end up losing all your goods. Be prepared. I thought getting a returning resident status and rebate was automatic, it is not and it is subject to certain criteria. The fact that you have been outside for a while, doesn’t mean you are eligible to the rebate. Rightly so, I am sure you can imagine how many people have tried to beat the system and return home every year. If they suspect foul play, they will investigate you and if you are found on the wrong side of the law, you will be held accountable and will be liable and can risk losing your goods and various other penalties as deemed by the law.

The immigration rebate is a duty and Value Added Tax (VAT) concession granted to individuals on their personal andhousehold effects- including one motor vehicle- imported into Zimbabwe, subject to satisfying certain conditions laid down in the Customs and Excise regulations. It is not automatic that if you have lived outside of Zimbabwe for more than two years you are entitled to the rebate. Conditions specified must be met else the individual is not awarded a rebate. This means that individuals who qualify can bring in their goods for free without paying any duty on them.

Who qualifies?

The rebate is granted to people who come to Zimbabwe:

  • To take up employment or permanent residence or
  • As a visitor but remains to take up employment or permanent residence, or
  • As a diplomat, but remains to take up employment or permanent residence or to attend any educational institution, or
  • For the purposes of attending any educational institution.
  • Having previously resided in Zimbabwe and has been outside for a period of two or more years or more.

In circumstances mentioned above, spouses of such persons are included.

Documentation required

Employment record or residence permit.

Proof that one has completed such studies- for a person who has been pursuing studies

Proof that one has terminated such contract of employment

Proof of such absence from Zimbabawe – for a person who has been on an extended absence from Zimbabawe

A certificate stating that such effects and other goods were owned by him/her at the time of his/her arrival and at their time of importation

In the case of motor vehicle, a certificate stating that a rebate has not been granted to him/her in respect of a motor vehicle during the previous four year:

A certificate that such effects and other goods are intended for his/her own use in Zimbabwe and will not be used for trade or commercial purposes.

A written undertaking that such effects and other goods will not be sold or disposed of in any manner and that he/she shall not leave Zimbabawe for a period if more than six months within 24 months of arrival as stated below (conditions after importing)

Conditions after importing

A written undertaking to pay such duty as may become due if he/she decided to sell or dispose of any manner or if he/she decides to leave Zimbabawe for a period of more than six months within 24 months of arrival as stated below

Satisfactory evidence relating to the acquisition, ownership or purchase of the goods as may be required by the Commissioner-General of Zimra.

What kind of goods can be imported under the immigrant’s rebate?

An immigrant can import the following goods duty free:

  • Personal and household effects such as clothing, linen and furniture.
  • Motor vehicles limited to one vehicle per individual

However, no person under the age of 16 is allowed to import a vehicle under this rebate. Motor vehicles designed to transport 15 or more people including the drive and vehicles whose gross vehicle weight exceeds five tonnes are excluded from this rebate.

Conditions to be met at the times of importation

The goods should have been owned by the immigrant.

The goods must also be in physical existence and fully paid for by the immigrant before the time of his/her arrival.

Time of arrival

  • For an immigrant coming to Zimbabwe the first time, the time of arrival is the first occasion on which he/she enters Zimbabawe after the grant of his/her employment or resident permit.
  • If the immigrant does not depart from Zimbabwe after the grant of his/her permit, the time of arrival is the first occasion he/she imports personal goods or a personal vehicle within three months from the date of grant of the permit.
  • For an immigrant who has previously resided or has been employed in Zimbabwe and who:

Has been on a course of study, the time of arrival is the first occasion on which he/she returns to Zimbabawe after successfully completing such course or study: or

Has been on contract of employment, the first occasion on which he/she returns to Zimbabwe after the expiry of the contract; or

Has been on an extended absence for any other reason, the occasion on which he/she returns to Zimbabwe;

Time of arrival for a former resident who enters Zimbabwe as a visitor and does not depart from Zimbabawe shall be deemed to be the first occasion on which he/she imports any personal and household effects and other goods within three months from the grant of his/her permanent returning resident status.

For a former diplomat who remains in Zimbabawe to take up employment or permanent residence, his/her time of arrival is the first occasion he/she imports any personal and household effects and other goods within three months from the date of grant of his new employment permit or residence permit.

Conditions after importing

The immigrant shall not sell or dispose of in any manner or display for sale goods in respect to which such rebate was granted within 24months after the date of being granted such rebate unless:

  • Written permission is granted by the Commissioner and
  • The duty to which would have been payable at the time of granting the rebate is paid.
  • An immigrant who has been granted a rebate of duty who emigrates or departs from Zimbabwe within 24 months from the date the rebate was granted shall remove the goods from Zimbabawe on his departure unless:
    • Prior written consent is granted by the Commissioner to leave the effects or such goods in Zimbabwe
    • The duty which would have been payable at the time of granting the rebate is paid.

 

VIOLATION OF THE CONDITIONS ABOVE MAKES THE GOODS LIABLE TO SEIZURE.

 

 

Copyright of the Herald, submitted by Zimra legal department

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  1. February 2, 2012 at 4:44 am

    The goods should have been owned by the immigrant at the time of his/her arrival and at the time of their importation.

  2. February 5, 2012 at 3:49 pm

    you learn something new everyday!

  3. February 22, 2012 at 11:56 pm

    Hey There. I found your blog using msn. This is a very well written article. I will be sure to bookmark it and come back to read more of your useful information. Thanks for the post. I will definitely comeback.|

  4. tan-lyn
    February 28, 2014 at 9:36 am

    Do I qualify as a returning resident if iv been back for 2 years but have not claimed rebate?

  1. May 14, 2014 at 9:58 am

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