The importation and exportation of certain goods and substances is restricted. However importations and exportation of such goods is possible only under certain conditions such as production of a relevant permit or licence. For some products, the importation or exportation is absolutely prohibited.

ZIMRA has been charged with the control of these import and export restrictions and prohibitions.

Why restrict or prohibit importation or exportation of certain goods or substances?

Controls are done in the interest of the public and are meant to protect the consumer against:

  • Dangerous and harmful drugs
  • Hazardous substances
  • Expired drugs
  • Pornographic, objectionable or undesirable materials
  • Harmful substances which include skin lightening creams, soaps and lotions

Some of the controls are meant to protect the environment against:

  • Destruction of fauna and flora
  • Extinction of endangered species

Others are meant to protect:

  • Revenue
  • Conserve foreign currency
  • Maintain export standards
  • Intellectual property against infringement of rights such as:
    • Trademarks
    • Copyrights
    • Designs
    • Patents

Restricted Goods

Usually restricted goods in this context are those which are subject to import or export control - that is, goods which may not be imported or exported except under licence or permit. Examples include the following:

  • Wildlife and wildlife products
  • Agricultural produce
  • Plants and plant products, soil medium, invertebrates
  • Firearms and ammunition
  • Relics and national monuments
  • Local currency
  • Foreign currency
  • Stills and all apparatus or parts of apparatus capable of being used for the production or refining of alcohol.

Importation or Exportation of Restricted Goods

The importation or exportation can only be done under a relevant permit or licence. Below is a list of some of the most common restricted goods and the respective authorities that authorizes their importation or exportation.

Restricted Goods

Authority That Issues Permit

Agricultural and horticultural produce

Ministry of Agriculture

Plants and plant products

Ministry of Agriculture

Domestic animals

Department of Veterinary Service

Wild animals and trophies

National Parks & Wild Life Management

Relics and national monuments

National Museums and Monuments

Hazardous substances

Environmental Management Agency


Registrar of Firearms


Medicines Control Authority of Zimbabwe

Prohibited Goods

These are goods whose importation or exportation is absolutely prohibited and include the following:

  • Pornographic materials
  • Flick knives/lockable blades
  • Skin lightening creams containing hydroquinone and mercury
  • Base, counterfeit or forged coins or currency
  • Prison-made and penitentiary-made goods
  • Spirituous beverages which contain preparations, extracts, essences or chemical products which are noxious or injurious
  • Any goods which are indecent, obscene or objectionable
  • Any goods which might tend to deprave the morals of the inhabitants, or any class of the inhabitants, of Zimbabwe
  • Any goods the importation of which is prohibited by or under the authority of any enactment



Goods the import of which requires a Licence from the Ministry of Industry and Commerce


Product Description

HS Heading/ Code

Product Description

HS Heading/ Code

Radioactive and associated materials

headings 28:44 and 28:45

Nuclear reactors and parts thereof, including fuel, elements (cartridges) non- radiated for nuclear reactors.


Diesel fuel, petrol, jet, paraffin and aviation gasoline




SI 126 of 2014

SI 6 of 2014




1701,1702,1703 and 1704

Milk (liquid and powder for retail)


04.01 and 04.02




01.05, 02.07

Potatoes, Tomatoes and Onions

0710,0702 and 0703


Meat of swine





SI 19 of 2016



Second hand clothing and shoes


Portland Cement

25232100 and 2523.2900

Blankets and related products

6001.1000,6001.2100,6001.2900, 6301.2000,6301.3000, 6301.4000, 6301.9000



SI 20 of 2016

Soap and soap preparations (for retail)

3401.2000 and 3402.2000



Plastic bags of polymers

3920,3921, and 3923



Tubes, pipes, conveyor belts and rubber hoses

4009,4010.1100,4010.1200 and 4010.1900

Floor polish




Tobacco Twine