Guide to Sending Parcels to Zambia

Zambia occupies a high plateau in south-central Africa across which the mighty Zambezi River flows and tumbles at the renowned Victoria Falls. At 1500 metres across and 100 metres wide, Victoria Falls is double the length and height of Canada's Niagara Falls, and creates an effect called the 'Smoke That Thunders' in the Sotho language.

While e-commerce remains a young industry in Zambia, 80%-plus of Zambians use a mobile phone and have become comfortable with digital technology. They are also quite active on social media and familiar with eBay. This bodes well for Canadian shippers who hope to access an English speaking country with 73% of its population under 30!

Information for this page was taken from Zambia's Customs and Excise Act and the Zambia Revenue Authority.

Shipping Rates

Easily compare the best and cheapest shipping options to Zambia through a variety of carriers using Secureship

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Secureship provides safe and affordable shipping from Canada to Zambia. In case you are an everyday shopper or a business, you can easily save up to 50% on your international shipping costs by way of accessing our group buying power.
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Easy Tracking Information

Shipments through Secureship come with full, easy to read tracking information to Zambia

Full tracking information for parcels to Zambia is available with Secureship
Tracking #:780123123123
Tel: 1-800-463-3339
Signed By: Pikwalia @ Residence
Oct 8, 2022
8:49 am
Chingola , CH, ZM
Delivered
Oct 7, 2022
7:18 am
Ndola , ND, ZM
In transit
Oct 6, 2022
9:03 pm
Kitwe ,KI, ZM
International Clearance
Oct 6, 2022
8:14 am
Lusaka , LU, ZM
In transit
Oct 6, 2022
12:17 am
Toronto, ON, CA
In transit
Oct 5, 2022
4:30 pm
Ottawa, ON, CA
Pickup Scan

Disclaimer!

While we have made every effort to ensure that the information on this page is accurate, Customs laws and procedures change regularly so it is important to consult a licensed broker in Zambia before shipping any goods.

Types of Shipments

Not all types of shipments are created equal. Shipping a television will require different paperwork, duties, and taxes than shipping an accounting statement, for example.
Shipping Documents Only Image to Zambia

Documents Only

Zambian customs authorities allow the following items entry into the country as document shipments:

  • Annual reports
  • Bids and proposals
  • Books
  • Computer print-outs
  • Diplomas
  • Drawings
  • Driver's licence
  • Examination papers
  • Intercompany mail
  • Negotiable bonds, drafts, and cash letters
  • Pamphlets
  • Specifications sheets
  • Traveller's cheques
  • Visa applications

If the following items abide by the restriction shown, they will be allowed to enter Zambia as a document shipment:

Item Restriction
Cheques Provided they are company-to-company, payroll, or personal purposes
Newsletters Only if they are for use within the company
Newspapers, periodicals, and other publications The recipient must be a subscriber

Sources:
https://www.ups.com/ga/CountryRegs?loc=en_US

Shipping Gifts to Zambia

Shipping Gifts

A gift shipment from a private individual in Canada will be allowed entry into Zambia exempt from duties* if:

  • It has been sent to a private person in Zambia
  • The contents are for the use of the recipient and/or his or her family
  • The items are not sold or put to use in a commercial or industrial manner
  • The value of the shipment is no more than $1,000 USD (about $1,250 CAD)

*Does not apply to tobacco products and alcoholic beverages - they are taxable and dutiable.

Shipments from Individual-to-Individual

An individual in Canada may ship a gift to an individual in Zambia without incurring duty fees provided:

  • The shipment's value is $1,000 or less (about $1,250 CAD)
  • The gift is for the use of the recipient only, or his or her family
  • The gift is not for sale and will not be used for industrial or commercial purposes
  • The parcel does NOT contain tobacco products or alcoholic beverages (they will incur duties and taxes)

Shipments from Business-to-Business

A gift shipment from a business in Canada to a business in Zambia will incur duties and VAT regardless of the value of the parcel.

Shipments from Business-to-Individual

If a business in Canada sends a gift shipment to an individual in Zambia, it will be liable to duty and VAT charges even if it has little value.


Gift Checklist
  • A commercial invoice must be included with your shipment
  • The words 'Gift Shipment' or 'Unsolicited Gift' are included on the commercial invoice, even if the shipment is sent at Christmas time (see sample)
  • List the items in the parcel and write the value of each
  • Sending more than one gift in the parcel? Wrap and tag each one individually.

Sample Commercial Invoice for Gifts

Ship To Invoice
Henry Tayali
Lion Lane Street
Lusaka 10100
Zambia

Phone: +260 95 525 4440
Carrier tracking number: 736534736
General Description:
Personal Shipment / Gift Shipment

Invoice number: 123456MGEP4916926
Customs Broker: UPS
Date: 5 Oct 2022
QTY Description of Goods C/O SubTotal
1 Each Gift Shipment: LEGO Star Wars Rebel UWing Fighter, 659 piece set

CA $79.99
Terms of Sale: None
Total number of packages: 1
Reason for export: Gifts
Contact Name: James Smith
Total Invoice Amount: $79.99
Total Weight: 10.0 lbs
Declaration Statement: I hereby certify that information provided is true and complete to the best of my knowledge


Multiple Gifts in One Shipment

If your parcel contains multiple gifts, be sure to wrap and tag each one separately.

Sample Commercial Invoice for Gifts

Ship To Invoice
Henry Tayali
Lion Lane Street
Lusaka 10100
Zambia

Phone: +260 95 525 4440
Carrier tracking number: 736534736
General Description:
Unsolicited Gift: Consolidated Gift Package

Invoice number: 123456MGEP4916926
Customs Broker: UPS
Date: 5 Oct 2022
QTY Description of Goods C/O SubTotal
1 Each Gift - Roger: LEGO Star Wars Rebel UWing Fighter, 659 piece set

CA $39.99
1 Each Gift - Erica: Handwoven French Canadian Catalogne Blanket

CA $49.99
Terms of Sale: None
Total number of packages: 1
Reason for export: Gifts
Contact Name: James Smith
Total Invoice Amount: $89.98
Total Weight: 10.0 lbs
Declaration Statement: I hereby certify that information provided is true and complete to the best of my knowledge

Sources:
https://cupdf.com/document/statutory-instrument-no-dar-cap-322-customs-and-excise-subsidiary-customs.html?page=36
https://www.zra.org.zm/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/VAT-Liability-Guide-2020-1.pdf

Shipping personal effects/belongings to Zambia

Shipping Personal Effects

Personal effects and household goods may be shipped to Zambia from Canada exempt from duty fees provided:

  • The claimant owned the goods before leaving Canada for Zambia
  • The claimant has lived outside of Zambia for a minimum of 5 years
  • The shipment arrives in Zambia at the same time as the claimant (unless there were circumstances beyond the claimant's control that caused its delay)

Moving Temporarily

Students

No information is available at this time concerning students moving temporarily to Zambia with their personal effects.

Non-students

There is no information available regarding non-students moving temporarily to Zambia and shipping their personal effects.

Moving Permanently

Persons moving to Zambia permanently - either returning Zambian citizens or Canadians coming to work - will be allowed a duty-free entry of their household goods and personal effects.

Duty-free entry of belongings is conditional upon:

  • The shipment arriving in Zambia with the claimant (unless it can be shown that the goods were delayed due to extenuating circumstances)
  • The goods were owned by the claimant in Canada before he or she entered Zambia
  • The owner of the goods has NOT lived in Zambia for at least 5 years before returning or entering the country

Personal Effects Checklist
  • A commercial invoice must be included with your shipment
  • Commercial invoice must clearly indicate 'Personal Effects' (see sample)
  • A detailed description of each item is provided
  • A certificate confirming a minimum of a 5-year residence outside of Zambia
  • Written confirmation that the goods were owned by the shipper before entering Zambia

Sources:
https://www.parliament.gov.zm/sites/default/files/documents/acts/Customs%20and%20Excise%20Act.pdf

Sample Commercial Invoice for Personal Effects

Ship To Invoice
Henry Tayali
Lion Lane Street
Lusaka 10100
Zambia

Phone: +260 95 525 4440
Carrier tracking number: 736534736
General Description:
Personal effects being delivered to my new address.

Invoice number: 123456MGEP4916926
Customs Broker: UPS
Date: 5 Oct 2022
QTY Description of Goods C/O SubTotal
5 Pairs Personal Effects: 5 pairs of various types of shoes

IN $40.00
1 Each Personal Effects: Arc'terix Winter Jacket

CA $478.00
Terms of Sale: None
Total number of packages: 1
Reason for export: Personal Effects
Contact Name: James Smith
Total Invoice Amount: $678.00
Total Weight: 10.0 lbs
Declaration Statement: I hereby certify that information provided is true and complete to the best of my knowledge
Shipping Food, Chocolate, Candies to Zambia

Food, Chocolate, Candies

Foodstuffs entering Zambia will incur duties and taxes, which the recipient will be liable for; the shipper cannot pay those fees.

You May Ship

  • Chocolate
  • Candy

Do Not Ship

  • Perishables - produce and meat products

Food, Chocolate, Candies Checklist
  • Clearly indicate 'Food' on the commercial invoice in the General Description or Remarks section (see sample)
  • Ensure that your food, chocolate, or candies may be imported into the country
  • You are not shipping commercial quantities (for any duty & tax exemption)
  • Check with your carrier that they will accept food shipments

Sources:
https://www.fedex.com/en-us/ancillary-clearance-service.html

Sample Commercial Invoice for Food, Chocolate, Candies

Ship To Invoice
Henry Tayali
Lion Lane Street
Lusaka 10100
Zambia

Phone: +260 95 525 4440
Carrier tracking number: 736534736
General Description:
Food Shipment - Assorted chocolate bars in their original manufacturer's packaging

Invoice number: 123456MGEP4916926
Customs Broker: UPS
Date: 5 Oct 2022
QTY Description of Goods C/O SubTotal
1 Box Nestle Chocolate Bars in original packaging expiring May 2021 (shelf life of 6 months or longer)

CA $20.00
Terms of Sale: None
Total number of packages: 1
Reason for export: Permanent / Sold
Contact Name: James Smith
Total Invoice Amount: $20.00
Total Weight: 10.0 lbs
Declaration Statement: I hereby certify that information provided is true and complete to the best of my knowledge
Shipping Promotional Material to Zambia

Samples

Commercial samples shipped to Zambia may enter the country duty-free provided:

  • They have no monetary value
  • Stay in Zambia a maximum of 12 months

Samples are sent to a country to solicit sales and promote products; they are not meant to be sold or be given away to local citizens.


Commercial Sample Checklist
  • A Commercial Invoice must be included with your shipment
  • Clearly indicate 'Commercial Samples' on the commercial invoice in the General Description & Detailed Description of Goods (see sample)
  • The item shipped has tearing, perforation, slashing, defacing, or has permanent marking clearing indicating the item as commercial sample

https://www.zra.org.zm/importation-of-goods/
https://cupdf.com/document/statutory-instrument-no-dar-cap-322-customs-and-excise-subsidiary-customs.html?page=40

Sample Commercial Invoice for Commercial Sample

Ship To Invoice
Henry Tayali
Lion Lane Street
Lusaka 10100
Zambia

Phone: +260 95 525 4440
Carrier tracking number: 736534736
General Description:
Commercial Sample - Not for Resale

Invoice number: 123456MGEP4916926
Customs Broker: UPS
Date: 5 Oct 2022
QTY Description of Goods C/O SubTotal
1 Box Commercial Sample - Advanced reading copy of Dan Brown's novel.

CA $20.00
Terms of Sale: None
Total number of packages: 1
Reason for export: Commercial Sample
Contact Name: James Smith
Total Invoice Amount: $20.00
Total Weight: 10.0 lbs
Declaration Statement: I hereby certify that information provided is true and complete to the best of my knowledge
Sending Promotional material to Zambia

Advertising Material

Goods and materials shipped to Zambia to advertise or for display at exhibitions may enter the country exempt from duty and VAT.


Advertising Material Checklist
  • Commercial invoice must clearly indicate 'Promotional Material - Not for Resale' (see sample)
  • A detailed description of each item is provided

Sources:
https://cupdf.com/document/statutory-instrument-no-dar-cap-322-customs-and-excise-subsidiary-customs.html?page=36
https://www.zra.org.zm/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/VAT-Liability-Guide-2020-1.pdf

Sample Commercial Invoice for Promotional Material

Ship To Invoice
Henry Tayali
Lion Lane Street
Lusaka 10100
Zambia

Phone: +260 95 525 4440
Carrier tracking number: 736534736
General Description:
Promotional Material - Not for Resale

Invoice number: 123456MGEP4916926
Customs Broker: UPS
Date: 5 Oct 2022
QTY Description of Goods C/O SubTotal
1 Each Promotional Material: Not for Resale. Product pamphlets to hand out at trade show.

CA $163.00
Terms of Sale: None
Total number of packages: 1
Reason for export: Promotional Material
Contact Name: James Smith
Total Invoice Amount: $163.00
Total Weight: 10.0 lbs
Declaration Statement: I hereby certify that information provided is true and complete to the best of my knowledge
Have your goods warranty repaired in Zambia

Repairs

Equipment and machinery repaired in Canada will incur duty fees when they are returned to Zambia.

Items Under Warranty

Items from Zambia that are repaired under warranty in Canada will be exempt from Canadian duties and GST; however, they will incur Zambian duties when they re-enter the country.

Items No Longer Under Warranty

Equipment and machinery from Zambia that are repaired in Canada will be liable to duty charges and GST on the cost of the repair and any parts used during the repair process. And they will be liable to duties when they return to Zambia.

Sending Product for Repair to Zambia

There is no information at this time concerning shipping equipment to Zambia for repairs.

Returning Repaired Product to Zambia

Products repaired in Canada will be liable to duty charges when they re-enter Zambia.


Repair Checklist
  • Commercial invoice must clearly indicate 'REPAIR & RETURN' under the General Description or Remarks, and include the estimated time of return (see sample)
  • Include repair contract with shipment
  • Serial or product number and the cost of repairs should be indicated under the Detailed Description of Goods section
  • Include the original shipping documents or tracking number from when the item was first exported to Zambia or exported to Canada (depending on which case applies)
  • A commercial invoice must be included with your shipment

Sources:
https://cupdf.com/document/statutory-instrument-no-dar-cap-322-customs-and-excise-subsidiary-customs.html?page=36
https://www.zra.org.zm/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/VAT-Liability-Guide-2020-1.pdf
https://www.parliament.gov.zm/sites/default/files/documents/acts/Customs%20and%20Excise%20Act.pdf

Sample Commercial Invoice for Warranty Repair

Ship To Invoice
Henry Tayali
Lion Lane Street
Lusaka 10100
Zambia

Phone: +260 95 525 4440
Carrier tracking number: 736534736
General Description:
Repair and Return - Watch being sent for repair

Invoice number: 123456MGEP4916926
Customs Broker: UPS
Date: 5 Oct 2022
QTY Description of Goods C/O SubTotal
1 Each Fossil Watch being sent for repair - Model E5, serial # 789456FG7E2 - Repair Cost $76.00

US $163.00
Terms of Sale: None
Total number of packages: 1
Reason for export: Warranty Repair
Contact Name: James Smith
Total Invoice Amount: $163.00
Total Weight: 10.0 lbs
Declaration Statement: I hereby certify that information provided is true and complete to the best of my knowledge
Temporary Imports / Exports for shipments to Zambia

Temporary Imports

Goods imported for a temporary period may enter Zambia duty and tax free provided they remain in the country no longer than 12 months.

Goods eligible for temporary importation include those destined for display at:

  • Meetings
  • Trade fairs
  • International exhibitions

ATA Carnets

Zambian customs authorities do not accept ATA Carnets for the temporary importation of goods.


Temporary Imports Checklist
  • Commercial Invoice clearly stating 'Temporary Import'. This must be written in the General Description section and the Detailed Description of Goods. (see sample)
  • The goods arrive and leave in the same condition, i.e. they undergo no repairs nor are they used in manufacturing
  • Stay no longer than the period listed above
  • Include your ATA Carnet with your shipment (if applicable)
  • Include the expected return date or the date that it was originally received within the country (whichever applies)
  • Any above listed items not listed in this checklist

Sources:
https://www.atacarnet.com/carnet-countries
https://cupdf.com/document/statutory-instrument-no-dar-cap-322-customs-and-excise-subsidiary-customs.html?page=35
https://www.zra.org.zm/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/VAT-Liability-Guide-2020-1.pdf
https://www.zra.org.zm/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/Clearance-of-goods.pdf

 

Sample Commercial Invoice for Temporary Imports

Ship To Invoice
Henry Tayali
Lion Lane Street
Lusaka 10100
Zambia

Phone: +260 95 525 4440
Carrier tracking number: 736534736
General Description:
Temporary Imports - Trade show booth and display equipment returning Jan 2020

Invoice number: 123456MGEP4916926
Customs Broker: UPS
Date: 5 Oct 2022
QTY Description of Goods C/O SubTotal
1 box Temporary Imports - Trade show booth and display equipment

CA $1032.00
Terms of Sale: None
Total number of packages: 1
Reason for export: Temporary Imports
Contact Name: James Smith
Total Invoice Amount: $1032.00
Total Weight: 10.0 lbs
Declaration Statement: I hereby certify that information provided is true and complete to the best of my knowledge
Permanent Goods / Sold To an individual or business within Zambia

Permanent/Sold Goods

Sold goods with a small value ($50 USD or less - about $60 CAD) may enter Zambia exempt from duty and VAT.

Occasional Shipper

If you ship sold goods only occasionally to Zambia from Canada, for example through eBay, the shipment will incur duties and taxes unless its value is not more than $50 USD (about $60 CAD).

Regular shipper

Canadian businesses that regularly ship sold goods to Zambia are encouraged to use the services of a licenced Zambian customs broker.


Sources:
https://www.zra.org.zm/importation-of-goods/

Sample Commercial Invoice for Permanent/Sold Goods

Ship To Invoice
Henry Tayali
Lion Lane Street
Lusaka 10100
Zambia

Phone: +260 95 525 4440
Carrier tracking number: 736534736
General Description:
Permanent/Sold: Parts and accessories for Canon B78n camera

Invoice number: 123456MGEP4916926
Customs Broker: UPS
Date: 5 Oct 2022
QTY Description of Goods C/O SubTotal
15 Each Camera Lenses: Canon EF 50mm, Canon EF 85mm & wide-angle lenses.

CA $132.00
Terms of Sale: None
Total number of packages: 1
Reason for export: Permanent/Sold
Contact Name: James Smith
Total Invoice Amount: $1980.00
Total Weight: 10.0 lbs
Declaration Statement: I hereby certify that information provided is true and complete to the best of my knowledge

Required Documents


Shipping packages internationally requires a lot of documentation. This process alone can be confusing and time-consuming. So we’ve narrowed down what documents you might need and ranked them based on likeliness of being needed.

Document Type When? Details
Shipping Label / Bill of Lading Always required This is a label provided by the carrier (UPS, FedEx, DHL, etc.). Always required because the carrier needs to know the parcel's destination.
Commercial Invoice Required for all non-document shipments
For all non-document shipments, you will require 3 copies of the commercial invoice (to be included with your shipping labels). These are for customs purposes and need to be included inside a document pouch outside of the box.

When creating a shipment through the Secureship website, the system will help you create this document automatically.

B13a Required if value exceeds $2,000 per shipment or is a controlled good
A B13a is required if your shipment exceeds $2000 CAD or is a controlled good
and is destined to a country other than the US, Puerto Rico, or the US Virgin Islands

Learn more about the B13a form here.
Certificate of Origin (COO) Infrequently required

Allows a reduced or zero-rated import duty.
Canada has a preferential trade agreement with Zambia. A COO proves that an item has been produced, manufactured or processed in Canada.

When an item with a COO is imported into Zambia, it will incur a reduced or zero-rated import duty.
Certificate of Insurance (COI) Infrequently required

Shows that the shipment has been insured.
Banks may request a certificate of insurance when providing letters of credit for the goods. Otherwise, it is generally your choice whether to purchase insurance for the shipment.
ATA Carnet Infrequently required

Used to avoid duties and taxes on shipments of temporary nature.
If you ship goods of temporary nature to and from a country, you can obtain an ATA Carnet to expedite the customs clearance process and ensure that anything of temporary nature is not charged duties and taxes.

See Temporary import section
Packing list Infrequently required

No specific form required, but generally includes information regarding:

  • The exporter, importer and transport company
  • Date of issue
  • Number of freight invoice
  • Type and number of packages
  • Contents of each package
  • Marks and numbers
  • Net weight, gross weight and measurements of each package

Prohibited & Restricted Imports


Goods prohibited from entering Zambia will not be allowed entry whereas restricted goods may enter but will have quantity limits or require authorisation from a government agency.

Prohibited Items

  • Any materials or items considered obscene
    or indecent
  • Goods made in a prison
  • Coins that are counterfeit
  • Alcoholic beverages with
    extracts that are noxious
  • Equipment that can be used
    to distil alcohol
  • Qilika

Restricted Items

  • Unfortified sugar
  • Pharmaceutical products
  • Foodstuffs
  • Seeds

Sources:
https://docs.wto.org/dol2fe/Pages/SS/directdoc.aspx?filename=q:/WT/TPR/S340R1.pdf&Open=True
https://www.zra.org.zm/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/PASSENGER-CLEARANCE.pdf

Duty & Taxes

The amount of duty and tax that will be charged on imports entering Zambia is calculated using the CIF method. The CIF value of a shipment is the sum of the customs value plus insurance amount plus freight costs.

CIF Value = Customs Value + Insurance Amount + Freight Costs

If you calculate the CIF value of your shipment, it will give you an estimate of the duties and taxes owed by the recipient.


Thresholds

The threshold - also known as the de minimis value - for sold goods shipped to Zambia is $50 USD (about $60 CAD). This means that for shipments valued less than $50 USD, no duty or VAT will be incurred.


Currency Zambian Kwacha ZK
Duty Exemption (De minimis Value) $50 USD (about $60 CAD)
Duty Calculation Method CIF
TAX (VAT) 16%
Tax Exemption
(De minimis Value)
$50 USD (about $60 CAD)
Tax Calculation Method CIF

Duties on Imports


  • Candy25% or ZK 2/kg (whichever is the greater)
  • Chocolate25%
  • Spirits and winesVariable
  • TobaccoZK 302/thousand (about $20 CAD
  • Books0%
  • Documents0%
  • Video games & consoles25%
  • Computers & laptops0%
  • Tablets0%
  • Mobiles0%
  • Cameras25%
  • Accessories for Electronics0%
  • Coats25%
  • Beauty products & cosmetics25%
  • Jewellery25%
  • Shirts & pants25%
  • Home appliances25%
  • Toys25%
  • Sports equipment15%

Sources:
https://taxsummaries.pwc.com/Zambia/corporate/other-taxes
https://www.zra.org.zm/importation-of-goods/
https://www.zra.org.zm/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/VAT-Liability-Guide-2020-1.pdf

Zambia Shipping Insurance


You can purchase insurance through Secureship and it is provided by the carrier that will be transporting your shipment.

Each carrier will charge a different amount per $100 of declared insurance. If you indicate that you need insurance for your shipment our system will automatically include the insurance costs for your shipment.

Insurance is great to have in case your package is accidentally lost or damaged by the carrier. But be careful, not everything you ship is insurable. Worse - even if your package contains items that are insurable, if it doesn’t meet the ISTA 3A packaging standard, the insurance purchased through the carrier would not be available to you.

Here are some items that cannot be insured by the carrier:

  • Personal belongings
  • Antiques
  • Artwork
  • Liquids (including alcohol)
  • Televisions
  • Jewellery in excess of $500
  • Perishable goods
  • Glass or Ceramic
  • And many more items

For more information, please see the carrier's terms and conditions.

Questions about Shipping to Zambia



Can I ship to Zambia?

Shipping to Zambia from Canada can take between 3-5 business days through the fastest carriers available on the Secureship platform. More economical services, such as Canada Post, can take up to 1-2 months to complete the delivery.

Find out how fast the Secureship trusted carriers can get your shipment delivered to Zambia by getting a quote now.


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