Excise is a tax levied on specific goods and services that are considered to be either luxuries and are predominantly consumed by the high-income groups or are goods and services that are associated with externalities.  Externalities are consequence of individual consumption, industrial or commercial activity which affects other parties without this being reflected in market prices, such as the health problems caused on others by smokers, pollution of surrounding by industrial emisions, accidents caused by drunk drivers etc.

Apart from the objective of mobilizing revenue for government, Excise taxes on goods and services are imposed for two other reasons these are:

  1. For luxury goods and services that are predominantly consumed by the high income gorups, to add progressivity the tax system; and
  2. For goods that are associated with externalities, to internalize their cost third parties.

Depending on the objective of the policy, Excise may be charged at different levels of production, i.e. at intermediary or retail level.

There are two methods of charging Excise.

  1. Specific rates, based on quantity
  2. Ad valorem rates, based on value

Excise in Zambia is imposed on the supply of:

  1. Any portable liquid containing more than two per centum of alcohol by volume
  2. All types of spirits and wines
  3. Opaque beer in containers exceeding twenty-three decalitre
  4. Cigarettes, cigarette tobacco, pipe tobacco, cigar and sniff
  5. Electrical energy
  6. Cosmetics
  7. Plastic Carrier bags
  8. Hydrocarbon oils such petrol, diesel Fuel oils and gases

Manufacturers of or distributors of these products must apply for excise licenses and Excise registration to ZRA. Excise licenses are renewable every year. Tax payers must therefore apply for on or before 30th September.

The following are the excise taxes that are imposed on goods and services in Zambia. With applicable rates.

Product Current Rate
1. Clear Beer Malted Barley 40%
Sorghum 20%
Cassava 10%
2. Opaque beer K0.15 or 15 ngwee per liter
3. All type of wines 60%
4. Spirits, liqueurs’ and other spirituous beverages 60%
5. Cigars, cheroots, cigarillos and cigarettes of tobacco substitutes K240.00 per 1,000 sticks for importers and K60 per 1,000 sticks for local manufacturers
6. Other manufactured tobacco substitutes

“homogenized” or reconstituted tobacco extracts and essences.

K240.00 per 1,000 sticks for Importers or distributor

and K60 per 1,000 sticks for local manufacturers

7. Hydrocarbon Oils: Petroleum spirit (petrol) K11.43 Excise Duty per decalitre; K 8.27 Fuel Levy per


White spirit 15%
Other light oils  15%
Kerosene (Domestic) 0%
Kerosene (Industrial) 0%
Low Sulphur gas oil K6.20 Fuel Levy per decalitre
Automotive gas -oils


K6.20 Fuel Levy per decalitre
Fuel oils –Heavy Fuel

Oils (H.F.O)

K8.70 per 10 kg
Petroleum gases

and other gaseous


Electrical energy 3%
Airtime Voice Calls 17.5
SMS and MMS 17.5
Data 17.5
Beauty make-up kits, body and hair and perfumes 20%
Plastic bags 20%

The accounting period for Excise is a calendar month and the return and payment due date is the 15th and 20th day pf the month following the accounting period.