The Green and Red Route system is designed to simplify and speed up the handling of travellers at entry points such as border posts and airports. Under this system the vast majority of those travellers who are not carrying dutiable or restricted goods are able to pass unhindered through Customs controls. Please take note that it is not all ports of entry that have this system in place. Currently the ones appointed by the Commissioner General of the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) are Harare Airport, Bulawayo Airport, Victoria Falls Airport, Plumtree Border Post and Beitbridge Border Post.

Where the green/red route system is not in operation, travellers are urged to report directly to a ZIMRA Officer and declare all the goods in their possession. However, plans are under way to have this system operational at all ports of entry.

GREEN ROUTE

The Green Route is a route used by travellers who are not carrying any dutiable or restricted goods. Dutiable goods refer to goods which are not covered by the rebates or duty free concessions allowed to travellers or to tourists in terms of sections 104 and 114 of the Customs and Excise (General) Regulations, 2001 published in Statutory Instrument 154 of 2001.

The selection of a Green Route by a traveller is deemed to be a declaration to the effect that one is not carrying any dutiable or restricted goods. One is normally not required to complete any declaration form when using this route.

RED ROUTE

If goods in the possession of a traveller/tourist do not qualify under the rebates stated above, then the traveller elects the Red Route. This route is used by travellers who are carrying dutiable or restricted goods. In this route, the traveller completes the declaration form (Form Number 47) and duty payable will be assessed by a ZIMRA Officer. A traveller who is not sure or who is in doubt of which route to follow, should also use the Red Route and ask the ZIMRA Officer for assistance.

PHYSICAL INSPECTIONS

Please note that physical examination of the goods may be carried out by the ZIMRA Officers to confirm the declaration. However, such spot checks will vary according to circumstances.

SUMMARY

The summary below serves as a quick checklist to assist travellers further:

Select green route if:

  • You have nothing to declare
  • You qualify for, and the goods in your possession are within the duty free allowance currently pegged at USD200 per person and the goods are not specifically excluded from the duty free allowance
  • You are not in possession of any prohibited goods such as military weapons, explosives and the like, and any restricted goods such as minerals, animals and their products, plants and their products, and certain types of medicine
  • You are not in possession of any commercial goods, that is goods imported for trade purposes
  • You are not in possession of gifts carried on behalf of others that is, sent by a person overseas to another person in Zimbabwe. Such goods are subject to payment of duty as they are not for your personal use.
  • You are returning with goods that you would have taken out when you left the country such as cameras, laptops and the like and where you have evidence that you took them out with you.

Select red route if:

  • You are in contrary to the above and also if you are in doubt of which route to use.

You can avoid problems by making sure that you declare all the goods in your possession and that you produce all receipts for goods purchased abroad including goods bought duty free on board an aircraft or ship or in duty-free shops.

Please note that failure to declare goods, the under declaration of values and production of false receipts or invoices constitutes an offence which can lead to the seizure and/or forfeiture of your goods and can result in criminal prosecution or the imposition of severe penalties. It is also an offence to use the Green Route when you are supposed to use the Red Route as this amounts to making a false declaration.