Goods which are kept in a State Warehouse are ultimately disposed of if they are not collected by the owners within the statutory time frames.


How long are goods kept in a State Warehouse?

Goods which are under a Receipt for Items Held (RIH) are kept for a maximum period of two months (60 Days). Goods which are under Notice of Seizure are kept for a maximum period of three months (90 days). Perishable and inflammable goods are disposed of within the shortest possible time from the date and time of seizure/detention.

How are the goods disposed?

Detained goods are disposed through the following methods:

a)    Destruction for prohibited and expired goods.

b)    Appropriated to the State.

c)    Offhand sale for perishable, dangerous or inflammable goods.

d)    Rummage/Auction sales.

Who can participate in offhand and Rummage/Auction sales?

Any person including the owner of the goods can participate in these sales. Customs officials and their close family members however are prohibited from participating in these sales.

Are licences and permits a requirement when buying from an Offhand and Rummage sale?

If goods are controlled in terms of section 48 of the Customs and Excise Act (Chapter 23:02) the necessary permits and licences must be obtained if such goods are being disposed through rummage and offhand sale.

Can one get a refund if detained goods are disposed through rummage and offhand sale?

In terms of Section 39 (6) of the Customs and Excise Act (Chapter 23:02) if detained goods are sold, the Commissioner shall apply the proceeds to the payment of –

 (a) the duty due and any expenses incurred in connection with the sale;

 (b) any carriage charges due to any carrier;

 (c) any warehouse rent, storage charges, including storage charges due to any carrier, and

porterage charges in that order and shall pay the balance, if any, to the owner of the goods. If the goods cannot be sold for a sum sufficient to pay the duty, rent and charges as aforesaid, they may, by direction of the Commissioner, be destroyed or appropriated to the State without compensation. Compensation of any excess realized from sale of goods does not relate to goods that have been forfeited to the State.


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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. 

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