Zimbabwe suspends fertilizer duty to ensure adequate supply for farming season
In an effort to fortify its agricultural sector, Zimbabwe’s Minister of Finance, Economic Development, and Investment Promotion, Professor Mthuli Ncube, has announced a suspension of duty on fertilizers for recognized importers. The announcement came through a special Government Gazette released recently.
Under the revised regulations, importers endorsed by the Ministry of Agriculture will be permitted to import fertilizers without incurring duty, thus ensuring a steady influx of this vital agricultural commodity. Based on Section 235 and Section 120 of the Customs and Excise Act, this duty exemption is scheduled to last for one year.
A pivotal feature of these modified rules is the stipulation that sanctioned importers not only procure the essential permits from the Agriculture Ministry but also comply with government-sanctioned pricing models. This is designed to guarantee that farmers receive fertilizers at fair prices, warding off unwarranted profit margins.
Professor Mthuli Ncube further delineated, “In these rules, an ‘approved fertilizer importer’ signifies any importer green-lighted and licensed by the Ministry overseeing Agriculture, in tandem with the Ministry supervising Industry and Commerce as well as the fertilizer production sector, to bring in fertilizers up to the tonnage designated in the schedule.”
The Ministry handling Agriculture will be in charge of assessing and licensing credible fertilizer importers in accordance with these directives. Once approved, importers can liaise with the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) to expedite their duty-free imports.
Additionally, Professor Ncube underscored that sanctioned fertilizer importers caught retailing products at rates surpassing those settled upon during their licensing will incur penalties, inclusive of paying the full duty.
This move to waive fertilizer duty is viewed as instrumental in buttressing Zimbabwe’s agricultural framework, a sector integral to the country’s food sufficiency and fiscal equilibrium. The initiative is anticipated to stimulate a regular and cost-effective fertilizer supply to agriculturists, thereby elevating the nation’s agricultural output and food security.