Dear Editor,
DID you know that not all products attract customs duty and Value Added Tax (VAT) at importation? The government through the Zambia Revenue Authority allows you to import various goods duty free while others you only pay VAT at 16 percent.
The government deliberately puts in place these incentives to grow various sectors of the economy by deliberately introducing zero or lower tax rates on these sectors. Among the sectors with huge list of items that are duty free are the agricultural sector and manufacturing sector.
The list is so long but we shall try and list a few items to just have an idea of what is provided for in the various laws in terms of tax rebates and incentives.
Let us start with items that are both duty free and zero rated meaning no taxes are paid at importation.
These include agricultural fertilisers, herbicides, pesticides, bovine semen and animal embryos, live roses but they require a permit from the Ministry of Agriculture before importation.
Other goods are raw materials for manufacturing of various feeds, machinery for milling, machinery for making cereals etc
Another set of goods will be duty free but will attract VAT only at 16 percent. These goods will include among them, crude palm and Soya -bean oil for final processing in Zambia which also requires a permit from Ministry of Agriculture, solar panels and solar equipment, generator sets, agricultural tractors, ploughs, pumps for liquids and cultivation machinery.
Interestingly truck horses, special purpose motor vehicles (for example breakdown lorries, crane lorries, fire fighting vehicles, concrete-mixer lorries, spraying lorries etc) bakery equipment, refrigerating or freezing equipment for cold rooms, poultry incubators, dairy machinery, industrial machinery for manufacturing of drinks, cutting machinery, dry cleaning machinery, printing machinery (letter press), machinery for making foot ware, telephone sets and cell phones, video recording equipment, aero planes, water floating tankers and refrigerated vessels are also duty free and they only pay VAT.
These are all great opportunities that give entrepreneurs a boost to start or improve their businesses.
Remember that the list becomes longer with goods imported from within the regional economic communities to which Zambia is party such as SADC and COMESA are exempt from paying customs duty if such goods meet the origin criteria for the regional economic communities.
This simply means that goods manufactured and originating from countries that a member states of SADC or COMESA are likely to enjoy the duty-free status provide they produce an authentic certificate of origin and meet the requirements as provided by the law.

Corporate Communications Manager – ZRA.

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