Prohibitions & Restrictions

The role of Customs and Excise is to control the importation and exportation of goods entering and leaving the Country.

The importation and exportation of certain goods are prohibited or restricted. The aim of prohibitions and restrictions is the protection of society and the perpetuation of a safe environment.

More specifically, such prohibitions and restrictions are essential for the safeguard of social ethics, order and security, protection of public health or the health of animals or plant-life and others. 

Legal Authority

Prohibited and Restricted imports and exports goods

Apart from the requirements of the Import and Export Regulations and Section 123(1) of the Customs & Excise Act, a wide variety of goods are either totally prohibited or are subject to inspection by other authorities and/or production of special permits/licenses issued by these authorities.

To assist officers, two reference lists have been compiled, using the tariff headings of the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System being merely as a guide. The Customs and Excise Tariff is in no way affected by the classifications appearing in the lists.

The Lists –

Officers should note that the following lists should be consulted for detailed information on prohibitions and restrictions of imports and exports: 

Scope of the prohibition and restriction

Section 123 and 40(3) read with Section 9(1) (90)(a) prohibit the importation into or the exportation from Namibia of any goods that importation into or the exportation of which, in terms of the Customs and Excise Act, require to be authorized by permit or certificate unless the goods concerned are imported or exported against such permit or certificate, at the time of importation or before exportation of the goods concerned, as the case may be.

Section 98 and 99 provides authority for the seizure of any goods which are imported or exported in contravention of sections 123 or 40(3) read with 43(1) (a) of the Act.

Directorate’s responsibilities

Officers are required to exercise vigilance to ensure that no prohibited or restricted goods are imported or exported in accordance with the provision of the Customs law or any other law of Namibia.

Where declarations, certificates or special permits are required

  1. Permits/licenses/certificates must be submitted during the time of importation, however, in exceptional situations, the importer may in writing apply to the Regional Head for the release of goods and subsequent submission of the required permit/license on agreed date, which may not exceed14 days from date of release.
  2. Where the required permit/certificate accompanies the relevant clearing documents the checking officer must ensure that:
    1. The permit is valid
    2. The relevant entry is endorsed with the name of the issuing authority and the number and date of the permit/certificate.
    3. The SAD500 particulars, where the quantity and value are of considerations, are endorsed on the relevant permit/certificate.
    4. The conditions under which a permit/certificate was issued are acted upon e.g. in the case of clearance under certain tariff headings under item 311.19 specific instructions are given on the permit, amongst others, that the goods must be stopped for examination and in the case of habit forming drugs and firearms the goods must be detained for comparison with details on permits and import documents
    5. The endorsement of clearance particulars on the permit/certificate, and balances (if any) must be signed and date stamped by the checking officer concerned.
    6. The responsibility for compliance with the above instructions rests squarely on the shoulders of checking officers, and supervising officers concerned must ensure that these requirements are complied with at all times.

Perishable products

Since Customs and Excise is unable to accommodate perishable goods e.g. ex-ships’ cold chambers in its State warehouses and other agencies are also not in a position to accommodate such goods at the entry points, no objection would be raised by the Directorate to the landing of perishable goods which are not finally released by Customs for storage in a cold storage at the risk and expense of the consignee provided the responsible agent notifies the Controller of Customs & Excise with all relevant details

Foodstuff packed in hermetically sealed containers is not regarded as perishable.

Actions by customs officers

Customs Officers at points of entry/exit are must be vigilant to ensure that no prohibited/ restricted are either imported or exported without the prior production of permit by the owner.

In instances where a consignment of prohibited/restricted goods landed at points of entry/exit, the officer is to – 

When the total quantity of goods covered by a permit is imported or exported, a permit is to be retained by the officer and attached to the relevant Customs import/export document. The Customs document should in all cases be endorsed with import/export permit number and date.

Failure to produce permit at time of  importation/ exportation

In the case where a permit is required but is not produced at the time of importation or exportation, provided that the goods are correctly declared Importers/Exporters may be allowed to, either, return them to the place from where they were consigned, or to leave the goods in detention at the Customs office pending the production of the requisite permit within 14 days of the date of detention.

The owner should be advised that failure to produce the permit within the stipulated time will render the goods liable to forfeiture.

Related Tax Types

Employee Tax

An employer is any person who pays an amount by way of remuneration to an employee. Each person who becomes an employer is required to apply to Inland Revenue Department for registration as an employer within 14 days of becoming an employer. An empl

Value Added Tax (VAT)

VAT is levied at the standard rate of 15% on the supply of most goods and services and on the importation of goods. It is mandatory for a person who carries on a business with an annual taxable turnover above N$500,000 to apply for VAT registration.

Withholding Tax

The Withholding of Tax is a tax charged on interest paid by any person to or for the benefit of a foreign person (which includes individuals, companies, etc) from a source within Namibia. The foreign person is responsible for the tax, but it must be

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Cargo Manifest?

What is Value-Added Tax?

What is ASYCUDA?

What is the Export Processing Zone (EPZ)?

Who is classified as a taxpayer representative?

What is the Inspection Act?

What does re-importation in the same state mean?

What is the ATA Carnet?

What does NAMSAD mean?

What are Export Processing Zone Enterprises and Certificates?

What is a surety bond?

What is the Carnets De Passage En Douane (CDP Carnet)?

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