This document outlines and explains the treatment of discounts in determining the value for duty under the transaction value method, in accordance with section 106 of the Customs and Excise Act.


General Information

For the purposes of this document, the term “discount” refers to an arrangement whereby the seller, in return for the buyer’s undertaking of certain obligations or accepting or meeting certain conditions, reduces the amount of the price paid or payable for the imported goods. For example, the seller may grant a discount for prompt payment (cash discount), or because the buyer operates at a certain level of trade (trade level discount), or because the buyer has agreed to purchase a specified quantity of the goods in the sale giving rise to their importation (quantity discount).

For customs valuation purposes the discount must relate to the imported goods and there must be a valid contractual entitlement at the material time.

In general, the price reductions that the seller agrees with the buyer are accepted as elements to be deducted from the price to be considered for the determination of the Customs value, provided that:

  • they are related to the imported goods; and
  • the amount is known at the time of Customs clearance.



  1. Specified Discounts


Specified discounts e.g. loyalty, trade, quantity, cash and settlement discounts shall be deducted from the selling price of the goods in the calculation of the Customs Value.

Where more than one type of discount is reflected on the supplier’s invoice, such discounts shall be allowed following the order they appear on the supplier’s invoice on a reducing balance effect i.e. the next discount to be allowed on the discounted amount.

When allowing discounts in the order they appear on the supplier’s invoice, cash discounts and settlement discounts shall be allowed last as these discounts are given on condition that the importer pays the determined amount as per the agreed terms.

  1. Special and Unspecified Discounts

Special and unspecified discounts shall not be deducted from the selling price in the calculation of a customs value. However, such discounts together with all specified discounts shall be allowed in determining the free on board (F.O.B.) value of the goods.

  1. High Discounts

High discounts shall be verified before they can be allowed as deductions to the price actually paid or payable.

D.    Deferred Discounts

A deferred discount is a retroactive discount given by the seller when the buyer satisfies certain obligations. Such a discount negotiated or offered before importation is considered to be in effect at the time of importation if it results from an agreement in writing that existed at the time the goods were imported.

E.    Credits in Respect of Earlier Transactions

After the price paid or payable for the imported goods has been identified, a seller may agree to provide a purchaser with a credit or other compensation in certain circumstances. The credit represents an amount already paid to the seller in an earlier transaction, and is not a factor in the calculation of the transaction value of the goods being imported. The credit is an indirect payment which does not reduce the price paid or payable of the goods.

For example, a buyer buys a refrigerator at a price of $600 in a sale for export to Zimbabwe. The seller applies a credit of $200 to the sale price for a previous sale of a defective radio. The buyer pays the $400 balance to the seller. Although the $300 credit reduces the amount of money paid to the seller for the refrigerator, the price paid or payable on which the transaction value is based is still $600 because the seller credit in respect of the earlier transaction does not reduce the price paid of the goods to which it is applied.

Please click on the hyperlink below for detailed information regarding Zimbabwe Customs valuation system:

Valuation manual:

Customs and Excise Act [Chapter 23:02] :


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, (ZIMRA).