Voluntary disclosure in respect of Excise offences

What are the goods liable to Excise Duty?

Excise Duty is levied principally on locally manufactured goods that are classified as excisable. These include alcoholic beverages, unmanufactured tobacco, cigarettes, spirituous beverages, ethanol and beer. Zimbabwe has added other imported goods such as petroleum oils and oils obtained from bitumous minerals and electric filament or discharge lamps on the ordinary list of the Excise Tariff.

Record Keeping

Pursuant to its objective of facilitating trade, the Customs and Excise Act allows manufacturers of excisable goods to operate outside continuous supervision of Zimra. The legislation provides that excise manufacturers maintain records in English, of all their activities in the manufacturing process.

These records include a record of all raw materials used and a record of all finished products, partially manufactured goods and the bi-products and sales and disposals of the said products of any sort. Maintenance of the records is mandatory as the records form the basis for the duty due to Zimra. Therefore, while the offence of failing to maintain the records attracts a minimum fine, it is the motivation and effect of the non-compliance that may lead to heavy revenue under-collection.

Excise manufacturers who might be in breach of this requirement are encouraged to voluntarily disclose such non-compliance and the effect it has had on duty remittances, to avoid future possible detection and levying of penalties that can be up to three times the duty-paid value or seizure of similar goods in lieu of the goods that would not have been disclosed.

Periodic Returns and Remittance of Duty

Excise manufacturers are expected to submit to Zimra, on or before the 20th of each month, a correct and legible return, in duplicate, in the form approved by the Commissioner General, of the quantity of goods removed from his/her licenced premises or otherwise disposed of during the previous month and such details of the quantity of goods manufactured or partially manufactured during that month, and the quantity of such goods at hand at the end of that month as the Commissioner General may require.

Further to the rendering of the return, the Excise Manufacturers are expected to remit to Zimra, with the return referred to earlier, the amount of duty payable in respect of the goods which are specified in the return as having been removed from his licensed premises or otherwise disposed of during the period to which the return and particulars relate.

The manufacturers are given 20 days after the end of the month to pay the duty due. All non-complying manufacturers can take advantage of the Voluntary Disclosure Programme to update their accounts without incurring penalties.

Consuming goods liable to Excise without entry

Excise manufacturers who have falsified records and consumed goods without paying duty are encouraged to take advantage of the Voluntary Disclosure Programme to formalise their records and pay the duty due without incurring penalties.

For more information, please approach your nearest Zimra office.


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.

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