Customs duties can be determined in either ad valorem or specific terms or as a combination of the two. In case of a specific duty, a fixed amount is charged based on a quantitative description of the good. For purposes of levying ad valorem duties, the computation of customs value is required.
The provisions of the Fifth Schedule of the Customs & Excise Act govern the valuation of goods. The customs value of imported goods is their transaction value, that is, the price actually paid or payable when sold for export to Zambia, adjusted in accordance with clause 3. This is in line with Article VII of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) 1994, which involves six valuation methods.
The Agreement prescribes six methods of valuation, which must be applied in their sequential order. Therefore, if Article 1 of the Agreement cannot be used to determine the value, Article 2 must be tried, and so on. The methods, in order of sequence, are:
- The transaction value of goods (the price actually paid or payable)
- The transaction value of identical goods
- The transaction value of similar goods
- The “deductive” value of identical or similar goods method (where the customs value is derived from the selling price of the imported goods in Zambia)
- The “computed” value of identical or similar goods method (where the value is derived from the built-up cost of the imported goods);
- The “fall back” method, being any of the earlier five methods applied more flexibly
Notwithstanding, most of the goods are valued using method one, which is the price actually paid or payable by the importer in Zambia. The “Cost, Insurance and Freight (CIF)” price up to the point of entry into Zambia forms the basis for the value, but allows for certain additions and deductions (post-importation costs).
Customs will pay particular attention to:
- Payments outside of the normal transactions
- The relationship between the buyer and seller
- Restrictions that have been placed on the buyer
These factors can result in the price being increased for determining customs value thereby directly affecting the duty payable.
Electronic Monitoring of Customs Value
Zambia Revenue Authority has since 2018 been electronically controlling the valuation of selected products for the purposes of levying duties and taxes at importation. Each controlled product is assigned a Tariff Specification Code (TSC).The list below contains the selected products that already have TSCs.
Before any of the products on the list can be declared, importers through their appointed clearing agents are urged to do the following:
- Check if such a product has a Tariff Specification Code (TSC) prior to the importation of the goods to avoid any delays at the border; and
- Request for a TSC(s), in the event that the product has no TSC and the request should be submitted through the respective ports of entry with the following data elements:
- Country of origin
- Country of export
- Brand name
- Commercial description
- Packaging specifications
|2||Wines (5 Litre)||2204.22.00|
|5||Whole round Tilapia (Fresh or Chilled)||0302.71.00|
|6||Whole round Tilapia (Frozen)||0302.71.00|
|12||Liqueurs and Cordial||2208.70.00|
|19||Washing preparations (powder and liquid)||3402.20.20|
|20||Medicated Bath Soap||3101.11.20|
|21||Other Bath Soap||3401.11.90|
|22||Laundry and Bar soap||3401.19.90|
|29||Cleaning and Degreasing products||3402.90.90|
|30||Scouring pastes and powders||3405.40.00|
|31||Auxiliary Washing Preparations||3402.20.30|
|32||Other Fermented Beverages||2206.0090|