THE Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) has come up with measures to protect local industry by increasing duty on imports and revoking a number of rebates. A rebate is a waiver of both Value Added Tax and customs duty. In a recent presentation to members of the Matabeleland Chamber of Industries (MCI), a chapter of Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries, Zimra deputy commissioner general in charge of taxes, Happias Kuzvinzwa, said this was done in implementation of government policy including protection of local industry and legislated incentives to manufacturers.
He said this in response to a question posed by the industry body which asked how Zimra was paying back to industry instead of demanding taxes and duties only. “We’re working on implementing an electronic cargo tracking system that uses electronic seals and transmitters to monitor transit cargo,” said Kuzvinzwa.
“We’re also looking at implementing use of non-intrusive inspection systems like sniffer dogs, joint border patrols with other security agencies, cargo escorts and commercial clearance of private imports transported by hired carriers.
“We’ve introduced customs duty on selected imported agricultural implements in order to enhance the competitiveness of local producers, for example a specific duty of $5 per kilogramme on plough beam and to revive the local soap manufacturing industry.”
He said the government introduced a specific duty of $0.50 per kg for washing soap, while there was an increase of duty on imported canopies and drop side panels from 10 percent to 40 percent, which took effect on January 1, 2016.
Kuzvinzwa said all vehicles pulling a trailer would be charged as commercial entities, no matter the size of the car or number of people in the car, while selected motor vehicles and buses have been removed from the government duty free facility.
“We’ve also removed certain goods from the traveller’s rebate such as blankets, stoves, fridges, laundry soap, cooking oil, cheese, eggs and corn puffs, while taxes for manufacturing companies have been reviewed downwards,” he said.
“Taxable income from a manufacturing company which exports more than 30 percent but less than 41 percent of its output is taxed at the rate of 20 percent; taxable income from a manufacturing company, which exports more than 41 percent but less than 51 percent of its output is taxed at the rate of 17,5 percent.
“Taxable income from a manufacturing company, which exports more than 51 percent of its output is taxed at the rate of 15 percent.” Kuzvinzwa also said manufacturers can enjoy rebate of duty on capital equipment import for the manufacturing, mining, agricultural and energy industry, while the tourism industry enjoys suspension of duty on capital equipment.