Details of the Zambian Government’s 2017 budget have recently emerged with the Minister of Finance stating that “turning the economy around requires that we make hard choices and implement difficult reforms”. Amongst the proposals is the introduction of a 7.5% import duty on copper concentrates. In this insight, we question the logic for its imposition as we believe that its actual impact is far more severe than this headline rate suggests and will heavily penalise an already fragile smelting sector. Aside from the direct financial consequences of the tax, this insight also considers other less obvious ramifications for the Zambian copper industry. We explain why we believe that this import duty is poorly conceived and that smelters outside Zambia could be the real beneficiaries of its introduction.