ESSE Clearing Ltd

ESSE - NEWSLETTER - October 2023 Highlights

Non-compliant - No Tax Clearance Certificate


According to the Zambia Revenue Authority, non-compliant taxpayers will not be issued a Tax Clearance Certificate (TCC) beginning January 1, 2024.


As the deadline approaches, taxpayers take action to secure a valid Tax Clearance Certificate.

ZRA advises settling unpaid taxes or unfiled tax returns prior to applying for a TCC.

Government Launches Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) Programme

The Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) launched the Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) program on October 25, 2023. The AEO focuses on trade facilitation, security, and national compliance. The program's goal is to make global trade safe and easy.

The Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry expressed satisfaction with the Zambia Revenue Authority's (ZRA) readiness to implement the AEO.


ZRA Commissioner General Dingani Banda stated that the main goal of the AEO is to encourage cooperation and partnerships through three pillars: Customs to Customs administrations, Customs to Traders or Businesses, and Customs to other Government Agencies. He urged the private sector to consistently comply with trade regulations to continue benefiting from the programme.

2024 Budget Highlights: Overview of Tax Changes


NB: This ONLY comes into effect (1) 1st January 2023 and (2) if ratified by Parliament.

  • Customs duty on motorcycles and tricycles imported in complete knockdown condition is waived for businesses who assemble and source at least 5% of their supplies locally.


  • Remove the 5% Selected Goods Surtax that applies to the following non-locally produced products.

(1) High Carbon Ferro Chrome(2) Mild Steel (MS) Lancing Pipe

(3) Carbon Paste (4) Whey Powder(5) Float Glass (6) Flanges of stainless steel

(7) Wire of iron or non-alloy steel - plated or coated with zinc

(8) Bars and rods, hot-rolled, in irregularly wound coils, of iron or steel of circular cross-section measuring<14mm in diameter

(9) Flat-rolled products of other alloy steel of a width of grain-oriented siliconelectrical steel

(10) (IV bags) Other articles for the packing of goods, of plastics

  • Excise duty on alcohol of HS code 2207.20.90 (Ethyl alcohol and other spirits, denatured, with an alcoholic strength of less than 80%) is reduced from 125% to 60%.

Currently, ethyl alcohol and other denatured spirits with an alcoholic strength of less than 80% of HS Code 2207.20.90 attract 125% Excise Duty, while all other types of alcohol specified in the Excise Schedule attract 60%.


  • Remove the 10% customs duty that applies to the importation of rolling stock, including locomotives and wagons.


  • Remove Customs Duty on the following:

a) electric cars intended for passenger transportation; b) electric buses and trucks (HS codes 8702.40.90 and 8704.60.90); andc) accessories for electric vehicles or cycles, such as charging systems.


  • Reduce Excise Duty to 25% from 30% on hybrid cars with HS Codes 8703.40.90, 8703.50.90, 8703.60.90, and 8703.70.90 designed for passenger transportation.


  • To support development in the media and film industries, suspend customs duty on specified media, film, and music equipment for three years.

ZRA seize Over 38,000 Boxes

The Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) seized two trucks for transit fraud. Following a tip, ZRA officials followed the two trucks from Kalomo area after they entered the country at Kazungula One Stop Border Post. The products were declared as transit goods bound for the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) but were off loaded into one of the warehouses in Makeni, Lusaka.

Situmbeko Musokotwane, MP, Finance and National Planning Minister, declared in his 2024 national budget presentation that whistleblowers will begin to be compensated for information handed on to the Zambia Revenue Authority.

ESSE Clearing promotes increased regulatory compliance.

Heads Discuss Customs System Digitization and Unification

At the meeting, Customs Experts presented a report on the execution of many initiatives sponsored by the 11th European Development Fund (EDF 11) Trade Facilitation Programme, including digital trade facilitation. Other items discussed include trade information portals, a trade and transport corridor monitoring dashboard, the COMESA electronic certificate of origin system, a regional electronic single window, a COMESA Regional Customs Automation Support Centre, and an interconnectivity platform.


COMESA-EAC-SADC is Updating Rules of Origin to Align

A workshop to update the Tripartite Free Trade Area's Rules of Origin and make them match the most recent version of the Harmonized System (HS) 2022 was held in October 2023, at the COMESA Secretariat in Lusaka, Zambia.

The workshop consisted of COMESA, the East African Community (EAC), and the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

The alignment will help keep the Rules of Origin from being misapplied and make it easier to figure out where something came from, which will ensure that taxes are collected quickly and correctly.

TIPS For ESSIER Clearing


This month’s focus – Streamline the clearance of airfreight consignments. To promote pre-clearance and avoid storage charges, prior to dispatch please ensure you:

a) Make us the notified party

b) Send us the tracking number and

c) Send us the Commercial invoice

ESSE October 2023 Clearance Statistics

65% of ESSE Clearing entries were finalized in less than 24hrs in the month of October. Kazungula and Chirundu remain the busiest borders.

Remember Pre-clearance is key!!!


Your preferred Clearing agent throughout Zambia

Our offices remain open over weekends and public holidays with Skeleton staff.