Country Guide: Zambia

Due to the current coronavirus/COVID-19 situation and restrictions in various countries, the below information may not be accurate. This pandemic is a fluid situation. Check with authorities for local laws and restrictions concerning movements.

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Updated: August 05, 2016

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Used Household Goods and Personal Effects

Documents Required

  • Copy of passport certified by Zambia Revenue Authority
  • Packing list
  • Original bill of lading (OBL) - express release accepted / air waybill (AWB)
  • Copy of resident / work permit certified by Zambia Revenue Authority
  • Original letter of employment
  • Detailed inventory of new items in English, dated, valued, and signed by the owner of the goods (bought less than 6 months prior to shipment arrival) attached to the original invoices
  • Tax Identification Number 


Specific Information

  • Owner of the goods should be in the country prior to shipment arrival.
  • Relevant documents must be received by the agent prior to the arrival of the shipment to minimize any port charges.
  • Shipper must be present for Customs clearance if requested by Customs for an interview.

Motor Vehicles

Documents Required

  • Original passport of owner of the goods
  • Original registration card
  • OBL / AWB
  • Non-sale certificate
  • Car invoice (must show purchase price and date of purchase)
  • Letter of transfer (from the shipper`s employer)
  • Work permit/ resident/ diplomatic ID
  • JEVIC certificate (if vehicle is coming from Japan, Singapore, South Africa or UK)


Specific Information

  • OBL must include chassis number, engine number, color, model, make and weight of the vehicle.
  • The duty rate on new cars is 25% of the invoice value + 16% value added tax.
  • The excise duty is 30%
  • Carbon tax is $30.00
  • In order to avoid any unnecessary delays and charges for demurrage and storage due to lengthy Customs procedures, the agent must receive a copy of the required documentation prior to arrival of the shipment; check with agent for specific timeframes.


Documents Required

  • Veterinary health certificate
  • Vaccination record


Specific Information

  • Permission to import animals is required from the Government Veterinary.
    • Note: The Government Veterinary is the section under the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock in Zambia that examines animals and issues permits to the exporters and importers. 

Restricted/Dutiable Items

  • Electrical items, 25% of the invoice value and 16% VAT
  • Computers, 15% of the invoice value and 16% VAT
  • Firearms and ammunition (authorization from the territorial administration is required)
  • Alcohol and spirits should be sent separately from a personal effects shipment and are subject to 100% tax.
  • Endangered species and any products or parts thereof as outlined by the Washington Convention or CITES (authorization from CITES is required).
  • Medication
  • Hunting weapons (authorization from the Ministry of Interior is required)
    • Cigarettes (200), cigars (50), cigarillos (100), tobacco (500 g), alcohol (2.5 L), spirits (2.5 L)

Prohibited Items

  • Unlawful drugs
  • Narcotics
  • Pornography
  • Counterfeit items
  • Cultural artifacts and other objects of cultural importance
  • Henna
  • Palm trees and any byproducts
  • Explosive materials

Consignment Instructions

Recommended:  Contact the destination agent to ensure all requirements have been met prior to import, especially for differences regarding air / sea shipments.



Cultural and Other Information

CIA World Factbook

Wikipedia Entry for Zambia

IAM Note: Customs regulations can change at any time with or without notice. This document is provided as a guide and for information only. While IAM has exercised reasonable care in publishing this document, IAM makes no representation, either expressed or implied, as to its accuracy or applicability.