I have noticed that several people in Zimbabwe are becoming more interested in tapping into the export market. I have had quite a number of people asking me about how to get an export license. That is why I am doing this article to share how you can apply for an import or export license in Zimbabwe. Bear in mind that such licenses are issued by the Ministry of Industry and Commerce.

What The Process Requires

Several things required to make an application. They would need to know about the nature of your business so they require your company profile. (This is a perfect time for me to emphasise the importance of having a company profile). Then, the description of the product, tariff code, quantities, unit purchase and selling prices, and country of origin will be needed amongst other details. You will be expected to make a compelling justification of why you are importing or exporting.

Company or business documents will be required too. I am referring to things like the certificate of incorporation, CR14 form, tax clearance certificate, copy of SDF levy receipt, proforma invoice for imports, and a copy of the last used license where applicable. The SDF levy is paid by businesses or companies to the Standards Development Fund. To apply for these licenses, you must prove that you are paying that levy. To know more about this levy you contact SDF Zimbabwe. They are located at No. 1 Adylin Road Marlborough, Harare. Typically SDF payments are made quarterly. The payment due is roughly 0.5 per cent of a business or company’s quarterly gross wage bill.

The Application Process

You can visit the Ministry of Industry and Commerce offices physically if you want. They are located on the 14th floor of the Mukwati Building. You can call in on +263 (0242) 703 010, +263 (0242) 702 731 – 7, or +263 (0242) 707 540. Alternatively, you can apply online by clicking here. (They are a number of Zimbabwean e-services on that website actually). Anyways, you can register as an individual or as a company or business. The former requires you to register first to sign in.

As for the latter, there is no need for any registration. This is because your company is supposed to be registered, as should be. Thus it will already be in the Companies Registries. You will just have to type in your certificate of incorporation number. The online application process should take about 3 days for you to receive a response on way forward.

This will be done through email. If your application has been approved you will be required to pay an application fee of ZWL$150. You can pay using electronic means or you can pay in person at the Ministry of Industry and Commerce offices.

Important Considerations

You should also know that there are import and export regulations by customs. Basically, some goods are free to import or export, then there are prohibited, and restricted goods. You would need to check with the Ministry of Industry and Commerce and or with respective embassies. This will help you know what you can import or export and what you cannot. Plus, you will know of any special laws or regulations involved given what you intend to export or import.

The export and import industry in Zimbabwe is quite interesting. Some of the top exports from Zimbabwe are gold, tobacco, ferroalloys, nickel ore, and diamonds, amongst others. In 2021 is it projected that minerals will most likely top export earnings. When it comes to some of the top imports into Zimbabwe we have refined petroleum, delivery trucks, packaged medicaments, nitrogenous fertilizers, and tractors, amongst others. Earlier this year as of March, year-on-year exports leapt to roughly US$462 million (up from US$272 million last year). As for imports, they slightly increased to US$527 million (a 17 per cent increase from the same time last year). Still, we are having more imports than exports but the gap is not that big though. Overall, we still have a lot of work to do in beefing up our export volumes.