Malawi flag Malawi: Buying and Selling

International convention and customs procedures of Malawi

International Conventions
Member of World Trade Organisation
International Economic Cooperation
Malawi trade memberships:

WTO since 1995
• Cotonou Agreement
• Southern African Development Community (SADC)
Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA).
• African Growth and Opportunity Act beneficiary country
• Malawi signed a bilateral trade agreement with South Africa, under which a number of export products may enter the South African market at reduced rates of import duty
• Malawi signed a preferential trade agreement with Mozambique with the intention that Malawi export products to the neighbouring country are duty-free.

Non Tariff Barriers
Malawi operates an import and export-licensing system with restrictions largely based on health, safety, and national security reasons.
Customs Duties and Taxes on Imports
Customs duty is applicable on goods imported into Malawi. The basis for calculating duty combines cost, insurance, and freight (CIF). There are three types of import duties: customs duty, import excise, and import VAT. The rate of custom duty varies from one product to another.
According to data from the World Bank, the average rate of import taxes was 9.2% in 2016
Customs Classification
Malawi is a member of the World Customs Organisation and does comply with the harmonised customs system.
Import Procedures
According to customs regulations, the following documents can be demanded by customs officials:

 Advice note
 Bill of lading
 Certificate of origin
 Commercial invoice
 Malawi Revenue Authority Form 12
 Customs declaration for Mozambique (transit document)
 Delivery order
 Malawi Revenue Authority Form 19
 Inspection report from scanner (transit document)
 Packing list
 Release order
 Report order

Additionally, requirements vary slightly depending on the mode of transport into Malawi:

Transport by road vehicle:

 A complete list of the goods carried
 Copies of all waybills
 Copies of consignment notes

Transport by aircraft:

 Manifests of the cargo signed by an authorized person at the point of departure
 Lists of the passengers and crew
 Lists of any goods on board which are accompanying passengers (i.e., baggage)
 The clearance, if any, from the last foreign port
 The aircraft's journey log book

Transport by train:

 Copies of invoices
 Waybills
 Delivery and advice notes
 Other documents for goods which will enter at that port
 Lists of all goods carried on the train other than the cargo
 A "Clean Report of Findings" from the Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) affiliate in the exporting country is also required.
Importing Samples
There is no specific procedures for samples shipments. Sample shipments require the same set of documents as a normal shipment. The value of goods should still appear on the commercial invoice indicating "for customs clearance purpose only'' on the invoice. Zero value invoices are not acceptable.
 

To go further, check out our service Import controls and Export controls.

 
For Further Information
Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA)
Business Portal for Africa

Find out more about Sales and Distribution Service Providers in Malawi on GlobalTrade.net, the Directory for International Trade Service Providers.

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Latest Update: April 2022

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