Part I - General notice
Warning to importers
1. Discretion as to issue of import licences
Import licences may be refused by the responsible authority without any reason or prior notice being given. Importers are warned that in such circumstances, any importer who places a firm order for goods and allows goods to be shipped, without first obtaining an import licence where such is required in respect of the particular goods, faces the possibility of financial loss through having to return the goods to the supplier.
2. Period of validity of import licences
Import licences are issued in most cases for a period of validity extending six months from the date of issue. In cases where it is not possible to obtain delivery of the goods within the period of six months, consideration may be given for the extension of licences on application, provided an adequate and acceptable explanation is given.
At the time of making application for extension of licence, a letter from the supplier explaining the reason for the delay should be produced.
3. Withdrawal of licences
Importers should note that failure on their part to comply with any provision laid down in various Government Notices (as amended) listed on page 3, or with any condition endorsed on a licence at the time of issue, may constitute grounds for an authority to revoke a licence. Licences may be revoked or amended by the Minister on grounds of national interest.
4. Goods imported under open general licence
To avoid subsequent embarrassment importers are urged to approach the Ministry and clear the importation of all goods about whose qualification for entry under Open General Licence they have any doubts whatsoever.
Furthermore, unnecessary delays in the processing of applications for import permits would be reduced if all applications were accompanied by a full and accurate description of the type of goods to be imported and all supporting documents attached to the application forms such as indent or order and copy of trading licence(s) in cases whereby the imported goods would be sold.
5. Country of origin
In all cases the determining factor in assessing the need for an import licence is the country of origin and not the country of supply. Importers are, therefore, advised to ascertain from their suppliers the country of origin of the goods so that if an import licence will be required this could be obtained before a firm order is placed to avoid the possibility of financial loss (see 1 above).
6. Application for licences and enquiries for general Information on trade
Application for import and export licences and enquiries about import and export controls should be submitted to:-
The Secretary for Trade, Industry and Tourism,
P. O. Box 30366,
Telephone: 732 711 Telex: 44873
General information on exports from Malawi may be obtained from:-
The General Manager,
Malawi Export Promotion Council,
P. O. Box 1299
Telephone: 620 499 Telex: 44589
General information regarding imports into Malawi may be obtained from:-
The General Manager,
The Associated Chamber of Commerce &
Industry of Malawi,
P. O. Box 258,
Telephone: 671 988 Telex: 43992
7. Statutory Instruments
This memorandum is published for information only and shall not be taken in any way to vary the provisions of the under-mentioned Government Notices, which may be amended from time to time.
Control of Goods (Import & Export) GN. 307 of 1987 (as amended)
Control of Goods (Import & Export) GN. 82 of 1988 (Agriculture) Regulations.
Control of Goods (Import & Export) GN. 83 of 1988 (Agricultural) Order.
Control of Goods (Import & Export) GN. 84 of 1988 (Commerce) Order.
Control of Goods (Import & Export) GN. 85 of 1988 (Commerce) Regulations
Control of Goods (Import & Export) GN. 85 of 1988 (Commerce) Order.
8. Importation by Private Individuals Private individuals may apply for the private importation of individual articles, where goods are allowed to be imported under licence,
Part II - Goods from any source not requiring import licences
The following goods, unless otherwise restricted, originating in any country, may be imported without the authority of an Import Licence:-
1. Antifriction and lubricating greases
2. Motor spirit, including aviation fuels
3. Lubrication oils
4. Oils and fuels, illuminating, transformer and insulating types, power and illuminating paraffin
5. Exposed cinematograph films
6. Goods in transit through Malawi
7. Used personal and household effects, imported by a person arriving in Malawi to take up residence or employment therein
8. Goods temporarily imported into Malawi by a bona fide tourist for his own use
9. Goods not exceeding a total value of Malawi K50 accompanying a person entering Malawi and intended for private use of such person or his family
10. Any bona fide unsolicited gift not exceeding Malawi K50 in value
11. Samples and advertising materials intended solely for use in the taking of orders, and not for sale
12. Any goods exported from Malawi for repair and return, and in respect of which a certificate to that effect has been issued by an officer of the Department of Customs and Excise.
Part III - Goods requiring import licences from all sources
1. Clothing and uniforms designed for military, naval, airforce or police use.
2. Used clothing, other than the personal effects of an individual.
3. Gold, including:-
a) unmanufactured gold in any form whatsoever; or
b) any article or substance containing such unmanufactured gold, or
c) any article consisting of, or containing gold which although manufactured is, as such, not gold coin, an article of commerce, a work of art, or of archaeological interest; or
d) gold derived from the smelting or treatment or any manufactured article containing gold.
5. Any knife having a blade which either:
a) opens automatically by hand pressure applied to a button, spring or any other device in or attached to the handle of the knife sometimes known as a "flick-knife" or "flick-gun"; or
b) is released from the handle or sheath thereof by the force of gravity or the application of centrifugal force and which if released, is locked in place by means of a button, spring, lever or other device, sometimes known as "gravity-knife".
6. Radioactive substances.
7. Game traps.
8. Mist nets for the capture of wild birds.
9. Wild animals, wild animal trophies and wild animal products (including birds and reptiles) and any egg produced by such birds or reptiles.
10. Live fish, including the eggs and spawn thereof.
11. Bees, honey, unmanufactured beeswax, foundation combs.
12. Beans, but excluding the following:-
a) Seed beans in quantities of less than 90 kgs.
b) Beans which are tinned, bottled or otherwise preserved.
13. Compound products containing flour, meal residues and other preparations of a kind suitable only for use as animal foodstuffs but excluding the following:-
a) Chemical additions to animal foodstuffs;
b) Antibiotic growth stimulants;
c) Inert fillers;
d) Trace elements;
e) Synthetic animal foodstuffs;
f) Bird seed;
g) Cat and dog foods; and
h) Salt-lick for cattle.
14. Eggs of poultry, whether in shell, pulp or dried forms; eggs of wild birds.
15. Gram and dhall
17. Maize including:-
a) maize grits;
b) maize cones;
c) hominy chop;
d) maize offals; and
e) processed maize meals with or without additives.
18. Oil seeds, oil meal, oil cake, offals and residue from oil seeds.
20. Live poultry, including day-old chicks.
22. Rupoko, rupoko meal (finger millets).
The importation of all meats, including dressed poultry, is prohibited without prior permission in writing from the Minister of Trade, Industry and Tourism. The Minister has, however, exempted the following from import licensing control:-
· All tinned meat
· All potted meat
· Meat soaps
· Meat pasties
· Edible meat fats
· All cooked or cured meats other than cooked pork, ham and bacon.
The importation of all animals and other animal products require to be certified as free from disease before importation.
25. Exercise books.
29. Kitchen and table salt.
Part IV - Countries from which goods must be licensed in every case
Subject to Part II, goods originating in the countries listed below require import licences in every case.
Application for licences will be considered on their merits before orders are placed.
Muscat and Osman
Muscat and Osman
Part V - Import of military type clothing and materials and machinery for industrial use
i) Military type clothing
Import licences for new military type clothing of any kind will be issued only if the importer produces evidence that he has obtained an order from the Army or Police authorities.
ii) Raw materials and machinery for industrial use
The Secretary for Trade, Industry and Tourism is prepared to consider the issue of licences authorising the import into Malawi of any raw material or machinery from any country if the material or machinery is for use in an industry within Malawi. Such applications will be considered on their merits and licences must be applied for before firm orders are placed.
Part VI - Other legislation affecting importation of certain goods requiring import licences
i) Firearms and ammunition ordinance
All applications for permits for the importation of firearms and ammunition and explosives should be made to the Inspector General of Police, Private Bag 305, Capital City, Lilongwe 3.
ii) Dangerous drugs ordinance
The importation of certain drugs and poisons is controlled by the Ministry of Health. Applications should be made to the Secretary for Health, P. 0. Box 30377, Capital City, Lilongwe 3.
The importation of soap is subject to special regulations set out in the Control of Goods (Importation of Soap) Order, 1967, (GN. 64 of 1967).
iv) Merchandise marks
The attention of the importer is drawn to the provisions of the Merchandise Marks Act, which prohibits the importation of goods bearing forged trade marks or false trade descriptions, or marked with offending marks in terms of the Ordinance Act 17 of 1957 and Act 17 of 1959.
v) Weights and measures
The attention of importers is drawn to the provisions of the Weights and Measures Act and to the Weights and Measures (Sale of Articles) Regulations (F. GN. 273 of 1959), as amended, controlling the sale of certain articles in specified weights.
vi) Protected flags, emblems and names act, 1967 (Act 10 of 1967)
This Act provides, that without the written permission of the Minister, no person shall import or possess for the purpose of sale any article bearing any protected colours or cork symbol or any article on which or in respect of which any title of any patent or any trade mark or design is used in connection with any or the foregoing, or which resembles or is capable of representing any of them.
The Act provides for the safeguard of the dignity of the Head of State, the National Flags, the Armorial Ensigns, the Public Seal, and prohibits the use of any likeness of the President, the word "President", the names, styles and titles of the President, the words "Malawi", "Unity and Freedom", "National", "Republic" and "University".
(Books, newspapers and periodicals do not fall within the scope of the Act).
Part VII - Goods requiring export licences
The following goods may not be exported without a licence:-
1. Implements of war (other than arms and ammunition), atomic energy materials strategic value, and items of primary strategic significance used in the production of arms and ammunition and other implements of war:-
· Niobium (columbium)
· Nickel and nickel alloys and any materials containing such metals.
2. Petroleum products.
3. Wild animals, wild animal trophies and wild animal products including birds and reptiles and any eggs produced by such birds or reptiles.
4. Bean meal
5. Sorghums, sorghum meal, sorghum salt
7. Beans and peas
8. Maize, including:-
a) dried maize, on or off the cob; and
b) crushed maize; but excluding green maize on the cob.
9. Maize meal including:-
a) Maize grits;
b) Maize cones;
c) Maize offals; and
d) Hominy chop.
10. Munga, munga meal (millets).
11. Oil seeds, oil meals, oil cake.
13. Rupoko, rapoko meal (finger millets, gram or dhall).
14. Seeds for planting, in quantities of more than 90 kgs.
15. Unmanufactured tobacco.
16. Live fish, including the eggs and spawn thereof.
17. Crocodile skins.
18. Gemstones unmanufactured.
19. Tea (including tea seeds).
Part VIII - Preferential trade area (PTA)
Malawi is a member of the Preferential Trade Area (PTA) currently grouping 15 countries of Eastern and Southern Africa. Under the provisions of the Treaty establishing the PTA, goods included in the Common List of Commodities may be traded among member States under preferential treatment as long as they satisfy the requisite Rules of Origin.
Interested parties requiring more information on this subject may contact:-
The Secretary General
Preferential Trade Area for Eastern
and Southern African States,
Haile Selassie Avenue,
P. O. Box 30051,
Telex: PTAZA 40127 Cable: PTA LUSAKA
Copies of the PTA certificate of origin may be obtained from Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Malawi, P. O. Box 258, Blantyre, Malawi.