Section 34D as read with 4th Schedule of the Revenue Authority Act empowers the Commissioner General to issue Advance rulings. Section 87 of the Customs and Excise Act Chapter 23:02 provides for classification of goods for customs purposes.

What is an advance ruling?

  •  The advance rulings are official written decisions on classification of goods.

Categories of advance tariff rulings

There are two types of advance tariff rulings:

A.   Binding general ruling is an advance tariff ruling issued in respect of a product specified by an applicant.

  •  National Tariff Committee convenes and deliberates on the issue.
  •  A binding ruling is issued at National level in writing.

B.   Non-binding  private opinion

  • means a written statement issued by the Commissioner-General in response to an inquiry by a person.

When do you apply for an advance tariff ruling?

  •  When applicable tariff code is difficult to determine.
  • When the product and product specifications are known
  • Before importation of goods.

How to apply for an advance tariff ruling

Applicants are required  to provide the following:

  •  An application for an advance tariff ruling on the prescribed form, Request for Classification Decision (RCD) stating proposed tariff code and justifications.
  •  Detailed description of the product/ technical literature from manufacturer
  • Catalogues
  • Samples
  • Photographs of the product
  • Process of manufacture
  • Any other relevant  information

The ruling is applied only with respect to goods described, and the ruling will not be honored if the good differs from that described in the ruling; if applicable laws and regulations are amended after the issuance of the ruling; or if there is an error in application of laws and regulations. The ruling may be cancelled if it was given on the basis of incorrect or incomplete details provided by the applicant.

Benefits of Advance Rulings

  •  Helps in harmonisation of processes, efficient revenue collection through uniform application of the Harmonised System
  • Useful for risk management purposes.
  • Expedition the clearance process.
  • promote consistency, certainty, predictability and enables the business to make informed decisions

The issuance of an advance ruling may be declined or postponed where:

·       The applicant fails to provide additional information required;

·       A good is the subject of a classification process, or any instance of review of appeal.

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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.