Zimbabwe Suspends Fertiliser Duty to Secure Adequate Supplies for Upcoming Farming Season
In a move aimed at bolstering the agricultural sector and ensuring a sufficient supply of fertilisers for the upcoming summer cropping season, Zimbabwe’s Minister of Finance, Economic Development, and Investment Promotion, Professor Mthuli Ncube, has suspended the duty on fertilisers for approved importers. This significant decision was announced through an extraordinary Government Gazette published yesterday.
Under the new regulations, importers authorized by the Ministry of Agriculture can now bring in fertilisers duty-free, thereby facilitating a smoother flow of this essential agricultural input into the country. The duty suspension, as per Section 235 and Section 120 of the Customs and Excise Act, is set to remain in effect for 12 months.
One crucial aspect of these updated regulations is that approved importers must not only obtain the necessary licenses from the Ministry responsible for Agriculture but also adhere to pricing formulas approved by the government. The aim is to ensure that fertilisers are made available to farmers at reasonable prices and to prevent profiteering.
“In these regulations, ‘approved fertiliser importer’ means any importer approved and licensed by the Ministry responsible for Agriculture, in consultation with the Ministry responsible for Industry and Commerce and the fertiliser manufacturing industry to import fertilisers in quantities not exceeding the tonnage specified in the schedule,” clarified Professor Mthuli Ncube.
The Ministry responsible for Agriculture will be responsible for vetting and licensing reputable fertiliser importers in line with these regulations, after which importers can engage with the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) to facilitate their duty-free imports.
Professor Mthuli Ncube also emphasized that any approved fertiliser importer found selling fertilisers at prices higher than those agreed upon when they were licensed will be subject to penalties and required to pay the full duty amount. These strict measures are put in place to ensure the responsible pricing of fertilisers and to prevent unjustified price hikes.
The suspension of fertiliser duty is seen as a crucial step in supporting Zimbabwe’s agricultural sector, which plays a pivotal role in the nation’s food security and economic stability. These measures are expected to encourage a consistent and affordable supply of fertilisers to farmers, ultimately benefiting the country’s agricultural production and food security.- state media