How to calculate duty on imported cars in Zambia

When you’re looking for Toyota Hiace vans for sale or any vehicle online, there are many challenges you must face. Just finding the right car that will suit your budget and needs can be overwhelming. Thankfully, you can always turn to car exporters like The site has a user-friendly interface that lets you find the right vehicle that meets your preferences. Aside from that, you can always talk to the friendly sales representatives and ask for assistance in choosing the ideal car, van, SUV, or truck.

It is undeniable that importing used cars from Japan has become increasingly popular around the world. It is also worth noting that Africa is among the top global importers of pre-owned Japanese vehicles. However, there are different import costs and regulations for each African country, making it challenging to keep abreast the fees you have to pay.

For example, in Zambia, the overall cost of the vehicle is influenced by a number of factors, including its age, as well as the appropriate delivery and clearance fees. This is also the reason why we’ve put together this article. Before you decide to purchase any vehicle from Japan, it is crucial for you to learn how to calculate the upfront cost and the additional charges and fees. In this way, you wouldn’t be surprised by the overall price you must pay.

Defining Terms

To make the process easier for you, we will begin by identifying the terms you will encounter when calculating the fees.

FOB: This is the abbreviated term for ‘Free on Board’ which is the amount that represents the upfront cost of the vehicle. It is not inclusive of costs for shipping, inspection, insurance, and taxes, among others.
CIF: This is a shortened term for ‘Cost, Insurance, and Freight’. This is the amount you get when you add the FOB to the shipment, inspection, insurance, and other shipping-related fees.

Disclaimer: The prices illustrated in this article do not necessarily represent the actual cost of any vehicular model and make in our online catalog. Please visit our site to know the accurate rates of the particular car you’re looking for.

How to Compute the Car Import Taxes, Duties, and Fees for Zambia

It can be overwhelming to attempt to calculate the overall cost of the vehicle you wish to import to Zambia, especially when you do not have all the essential information. To keep you guided, we’ve listed the steps you must follow below:

First Step: Gather the Information on the Vehicle

First of all, you must choose a car model and make from our online catalog. Once you’ve selected a vehicle, you must write down the necessary details, including the following:

  • Car make
  • Car model
  • Engine size
  • Year of manufacture
  • Model code
  • Fuel type
  • FOB

Let’s say you’re eyeing Toyota HiAce vans for sale. When you click a 2000 AT Toyota Hiace Van RZH112V on our listing, you will be able to see its specifications. Let’s write down the details:

  • Car make: Toyota
  • Car model: HiAce Van
  • Engine size: 2,000 cc
  • Year of manufacture: 2000/-
  • Model code: RZH112V
  • Fuel type: Gasoline/petrol
  • FOB: 2,999 USD

Second Step: Take Note of the CIF

Once you’ve collected the important data on the vehicle, it is now time to record its CIF. You can do this by choosing the country of destination and port of delivery. Zambia does not have direct access, but the nearest one is Dar es Salaam in Tanzania. When you go our site, you will see a CIF calculator. So, let’s say you choose that port, and you include the inspection and insurance fee. The CIF of your selected vehicle will be 5,319 USD.

Third Step: Convert the Amount

When you visit the websites of car exporters in Japan, you will see that most of the prices are listed in US dollars (USD). Keep in mind that the exchange rate is dynamic. So, it is best to use Google’s calculator to get the current exchange rate. You simply have to type ‘US dollars (USD) to Zambian Kwacha (ZMW) in the search bar.

Since you are going to make transactions and payments through your local bank, it is also advisable to learn about their current exchange rate. Remember that the rates vary from one bank to another. So, instead of relying on ballpark figures, it is better to consult your bank representative to get a more accurate amount.

Now, let’s go back to our example. Let us assume that 1 USD = 10 ZMW. So, the CIF worth 5,319 USD will be 53,190 ZMW.

Fourth Step: Calculating the Taxes, Duties, and Fees

After you’ve determined the amount you need to pay for shipping, insurance, and inspection, the next thing you need to calculate is the import duties. Moreover, you need to pay a Carbon Emission Surtax on an annual basis. Typically, the surtax ranges from 50,000 ZMW to 200,000 ZMW per year, depending on the size of the engine.

Here is a breakdown of the duties and taxes you need to pay:

Customs Duty:

  • Passenger Vehicles: 25% of CIF
  • Vehicles for Transportation of Goods: 15% of CIF

Excise Duty:

  • Passenger vehicles with engine size not exceeding 1500cc: 20% of CIF
  • Passenger vehicles with engine size exceeding 1500cc: 30% of CIF
  • Vehicles for Transportation of Goods: 10% of CIF


  • 16% of CIF + Excise Duty + Customs Duty

Carbon Emission Surtax

  • 1,500 CC and under: 50,000 ZMW
  • 1,501 – 2,000 CC: 100,000 ZMW
  • 2,001 – 3,000 CC: 150,000 ZMW
  • 3,001 CC and above: 200,000 ZMW

Let’s go back to our example and compute the fees based on this data. Since a Toyota HiAce van can be considered as a vehicle for transporting goods, here are the computations:

Customs Duty:
15/100 x 53,190 ZMW = 7978.50 ZMW
Excise Duty:
10/100 x 53,190 ZMW = 5,319 ZMW
16/100 X 53,190 ZMW + 5,319 ZMW + 7978.50 ZMW = 21,807.90 ZMW

Now, let’s calculate the total taxes and duties you have to pay:

Customs Duty + Excise Duty + VAT + Carbon Emission Surtax
7978.50 ZMW + 5,319 ZMW + 21,807.90 ZMW + 100,000 ZMW = 135,105.40 ZMW

Fifth Step: Calculate the Overall Expenditure

After computing the total taxes and duties, the final step is to compute your overall expenditure. So, you just have to add the sum of the duties and taxes to the CIF:
135,105.40 ZMW + 53,190 ZMW = 188,295.40 ZMW

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