Zimbabwe government has taken the measure of suspending custom duties on imported fertilizers for a period of 12 months to address the anticipated scarcity of some essential agricultural input.
This duty waiver is exclusively available to importers who have received official approval, as specified in Statutory Instrument 166 of 2023, which was issued by Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube on the preceding day.
A section of the statutory instrument clarifies: “In these regulations: ‘approved fertiliser importer’ refers to importers who have been sanctioned and licensed by the Ministry responsible for Agriculture, following consultations with the Ministry responsible for Industry and Commerce and the fertiliser manufacturing industry, to import fertilizers in quantities not exceeding the tonnage outlined in the schedule.”
Under the provisions of this legislation, the list of reputable fertiliser importers eligible for these regulations will be approved by Agriculture Minister Anxious Masuka.
“It is important to note that any approved fertiliser importer who sells fertilizers at prices equal to or higher than those normally subject to duty will be held accountable for the suspended duty and associated penalties”. Said Minister Anxious Masuka.
This action has been taken as the new agricultural season for 2023/24 commences, and there is a looming threat of an El Niño-induced drought across the southern African region. Farmers are grappling with escalated input costs primarily due to the rapid depreciation of the Zimbabwean dollar, which has depreciated by more than 700% against the US dollar.