International Monetary Fund (IMF) is providing ZIMRA with technical assistance in Excise Management from 5-21 September 2022, virtually. IMF is one of the Authority’s development partners offering technical assistance programmes in various tax and customs fields ranging from Coordinated Border Management, Debt Management, Tax and Revenue Management Systems, Tax Audits, Authorised Economic Operators and Mirror Data among others.

The Excise Management mission is expected to capacitate ZIMRA with modern tools in collecting revenue from excisable products.

“Our excise has been largely outward looking as we have been collecting more revenue from fuel but we would like to perform better in other areas. We want to look at other digital tools that can be utilised to enhance our collection systems”, said the Commissioner General, Ms Regina Chinamasa during the opening session of the mission.

The mission will be facilitated by IMF Customs and Excise Experts Mr Janos Nagy and Ms Fanny Euran.

Excise duty is imposed for financial, public safety and health, public morals and environmental protection. ZIMRA collects Excise Duty from fuel, airtime, wines, beers and spirits, opaque beer powder, tobacco products and on used motor vehicles.

In the second quarter 2022, ZIMRA collections of Excise Duty exceeded target by 130.14% and contributed 13.05% to overall collections.

The biggest challenges in collection of Excise Duty is smuggling of fuel where fuel is declared as transit yet offloaded and used in Zimbabwe. In 2021, ZIMRA intercepted three transit fuel trucks at Chirundu One Stop Border Post, that were allegedly smuggling fuel into the country under the pretence that it was Zambia-bound, yet the fuel had been offloaded and containers filled with water - in the process prejudicing the country of potential revenue through organized crime.

Measures put in place by ZIMRA to curtail such smuggling activities include electronic cargo tracking systems and fuel testing for all transit vehicles that declares to carry fuel. The fuel testing uses water finder which is capable to detect if the product is real fuel or water. Such measures are expected to disarm all fuel smuggling syndicates that have been importing fuel into the country without paying any duties due.

ZIMRA receives capacity development from various development partners including World Customs Organisation (WCO), African Tax Administration Forum (ATAF), OMESA, SADC, African Union, German Society for International Co-operation (GIZ) and UNDP, among others.