Over 14 million people live in Zimbabwe, and around 93,000 of them are South African. If you need to send a parcel to someone in Zimbabwe, you can find everything you need to know below. Here is a handy list of all the things you can and can’t send to Zimbabwe with DHL.

Essential Information

Sending items to Zimbabwe – General advice

Please consider the following important customs regulations set by the Revenue Authority when sending shipments to Zimbabwe.

All shipments must be accompanied by original customs invoice. Any shipments where the contents are not declared or where the real value is higher than the stated customs invoice value may be seized by customs. Import duties and taxes must be paid prior to delivery. The sender can pay duties until a value of $5000. Where duties payable are more than $5000, the receiver/importer only can pay for the duties. If shipments are not cleared, after 10 days they will be moved to the Zimbabwe Revenue Authorities warehouse.

All shipments sent to Zimbabwe must be accompanied by a Commercial Invoice otherwise customs may reject the clearance.

Customs may request to physically inspect shipments to confirm the nature, quantity and value of goods.

Shipments with a value of less than $10 can enter the country duty free.


Animal products a Phytosanitory certificate is required. The importer must obtain a agricultural permit from the plant inspector.

Blankets, rugs, bed linen, table linen, kitchen & bathroom linen etc (includes: table clothes, towels, chair covers, bedspreads etc) can attract a rate of duty of 50%.

Clothing, fabrics & fabric samples, both new and second hand items attract high rates of customs duty and tax which is based on both the value and weight of shipment.

Cookers/ovens eg: cookers, cooking plates, boiling rings, grils, roasters attract high rates of duty.

Footwear male/female/children/babies (includes sports shoes, leather shoes, plastic etc) duties range between 50-60%. Duty is based on value and number of pairs.

Medication imported into Zimbabwe must be approved by the Medical Control Authority of Zimbabwe. The MCAZ have the right to deny entry of medication into the country that does not comply with the required health standards. When importing prescription medication, a prescription is required from a local doctor. A foreign prescription is only acceptable if the person is travelling in the country and the medicine was issued in that foreign country.

For non-prescription medication an application form is to be completed stating the clinical condition of the patient. This must be done by a medical practitioner, which must also justify why the patient can not use the local alternative.The form must correspond with the prescription quantities, strength, duration etc. These applications are valid for 6 months only. Should the patient require additional medication, a new 6 month prescription from the same doctor must be issued with the same authorisation number that was issued the first time by the Medicines Authority.

For both prescription and non-prescription drugs, doctors and Pharmacists are to submit progress reports very 12 months to the Medicines authority.

Monitors & projectors, Colour, black, white and monochrome which do not incorporate TV reception apparatus attract duty rates of 60% and above.

X-ray equipment Importers will need specific licences or permits when importing.


Pre-Shipment Inspection

With the aim to ensure the transportation of hazardous and substandard products is reduced and increase consistency in terms of customs duty collection, the following products now require Pre-Shipment Inspection (PSI) before being sent to Zimbabwe: foods and agriculture, building products, timber & timber products, petroleum & oils , packaging materials, electrical products, body care and health products, automotive & transportation, clothing & textiles, engineering equipment & toys where the value of the consignment is above $1000.

Pre-shipment inspection can only be done by Bureau Veritas, which has been appointed by the Government of Zimbabwe to provide Verification Of Conformity services.

Their contact details: www.verigates.com or www.bureauveritas.com.

Further background on Pre-shipment Inspection (PSI) can be found here.

Size and weight restrictions

Please take not of the following size and weight restrictions when sending with DHL Express into Zimbabwe.

  • Maximum dimensions: length 120.0 cm (47.0 inches), height 80.0 cm (31.0 inches), width 80.0 cm (31.0 inches)
  • Maximum weight per shipment: 300.0 kg (660.0 lb), maximum weight per piece: 30.0 kg (66.0 lb)


Commodities considered as Documents

Documents can typically be imported with reduced or lower rates of duties. When shipping to Zimbabwe, the following items can be sent as documents with specifics around quantities also highlighted. Above stated quantities, item must be send as Non Document.

  • Advertising brochures/pamphlets 1
  • Airline tickets, issued/validated
  • Airline Tickets (NI)
  • Annual reports
  • Business cards
  • Cash letters, Cheques, Credit card blanks (NI)
  • Charts/graphs 1
  • Diplomatic mail
  • Deeds
  • General business documents
  • Invoices (not blank)
  • Labels
  • Music, printed or manuscript
  • Newspapers
  • Passports
  • Photos, as part of business reports
  • Plans/drawings/architectural
  • Price lists
  • Shipping schedules
  • Visa Applications
  1. Max quantity: 5kg

NI = A negotiable instrument is a document guaranteeing the payment of a specific amount of money, either on demand, or at a set time, with the payer named on the document.

Prohibited items

The following items are specifically not allowed to be sent with DHL to Zimbabwe. This is in addition to DHL’s Globally standard list of prohibited items which can be found here.

  • Antiques
  • Asbestos
  • Dangerous goods, hazardous, or combustible materials
  • Firearms and parts
  • Furs
  • Gambling devices
  • Jewellery
  • Playing cards
  • Precious metals and stones

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