The Customs and Excise Act stipulates requirements on clearance of goods on import, export and on excisable goods. This is in line with its mandate to collect revenue, facilitate trade and travel, advise government on fiscal and economic matters and protection to civil society.

Part XIII of the Customs and Excise Act CAP 23.02 deals with Offences and their penal provisions so it is important for Clearing Agents, Importers and Exporters to familiarise themselves with this Part of the Act. It is however important to know that other offences are also covered in other parts of the Customs and Excise Act and in the Customs and Excise General Regulations. Knowing what constitutes an offence in the Customs and Excise Act helps businesses avoid unnecessary fines, which are an irrecoverable cost to them.

Statutory Instrument 25 of 2021 reviewed the fines as follows with effect from 25 January 2021;










20 000


30 000


60 000


120 000


200 000


240 000


280 000


400 000


800 000


1 200 000


1 600 000


Example 1

Failure to comply with import controls as stipulated in Section 48 of the Customs and Excise Act CAP 23.02 attracts a level 12 fine of ZWL800 000. *N.B. controls are not on quantity but on the nature of the product.




Example 2

Failure to preclear commercial goods as prescribed in Section 18(12) of the Customs and Excise General Regulations SI 154 of 2001 (as amended) attracts a level 7 fine of ZWL120 000.

Other examples of common offences that may attract heavy fines as stipulated in the above SI which many importers, exporters, travelers and clearing Agents ignore include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Making false statements or false declarations to Customs
  • Producing false invoices or documents with the intention to deceive Customs Officials or evading payment of full duty.
  • Importation or possession of blank invoices
  • Smuggling
  • Availing one’s vehicles for use in smuggling activities.
  • Removing labels, marks or seals to deceive Customs
  • Importing controlled goods without the required permit.

Importers are therefore urged to comply with the provisions of the Customs and Excise Act in order to facilitate trade and in the process avoid incurring extra costs in fines and inconveniences due to delays at the time of importation.


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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.