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Customs and excise incentives for tourism

Customs and excise incentives for tourism

Last Updated: 14 August, 2023 - Print


Investors in the tourism sector access the following;


A.     Free import duty, free import excise and VAT free on importation

B.     VAT Exemption on goods purchased locally on the following items;

1.     Glass, china porcelain, earthenware and stone articles of tableware; enamelware and hollowware for table use Electro Plated Nickel – Silver (E.P.N.S) and plated ware; knives, forks, spoons and similar articles for cutlery.

 2.     Industrial catering equipment, motor boats, scuba diving, jet skis, kayaks, wind surfers, pedallos and marked linen, air conditioners, generators, gym equipment, massage equipment, industrial washing machines, bar fridges, sauna, hot steam baths

 3.     Furniture curtains, carpets and rugs

4.     Equipment for a Conference room such as public address system, video Conferencing Equipment, television set, amplifiers, LCD equipment, industrial catering bar equipments (applicable for Conference rooms of a seating capacity of at least 50 for Malawian investors and at least 200 people for foreign investors)

5.     Building materials for hotels, lodges and inns with a capacity of at least 20 en suite rooms for Malawian investor and at least 50 en suite rooms for foreign investors.

 6.     Building materials for the construction of an extension of at least 20 new en suite rooms on the same site for Malawian investors and at least 30 new en suite rooms on the same site for foreign investors excluding refurbishment and rehabilitation

 7.     Building materials for the construction of a conference centre of a seating capacity of at least 500 people.

 8.     Two passenger carrying motor vehicles of (Motor vehicles for the transport of ten or more persons, including the driver) not exceeding five years from the date of manufacture, in every five years.

 9.     Two passenger carrying motor vehicles of (Motor vehicles for the transport of ten or more persons, including the driver) not exceeding five years from the date of manufacture, in every five years for conference centres with a seating capacity of at least 500 people

10.  Off-road game/scenery viewing motor vehicles specially designed for safari purposes

Note that in order to benefit from the exemption, the items should be marked, etched stamped or in any manner marked with the name of the hotel and the hotel.

The hotel, lodge or inn should have at least 20 en suite rooms for Malawian investors and at least 50 en suite rooms for Foreign investors

 How to apply for the VAT Exemption for goods purchases locally

·        Entity must be licenced under the Tourism and Hotels Act

·        Seek approval for VAT Waiver from Ministry of Finance on list of items to be purchased

·        Seek VAT waiver approval from the Commissioner General with an attachment from Ministry of Finance  

(Note that attachments for building materials should include Bills of Quantities, Material schedule and structure drawings certified by a quantity surveyor)

·        Submit approval to MRA station for issuance of st14 to facilitate vat free procurement from suppliers

Note: Materials can only be purchased directly from VAT registered suppliers

How to apply for Import Duty, Import Excise and Import VAT for Importation of Goods

·        Entity must be licenced under the Tourism and Hotels Act

·        Seek approval for the tax exemptions from the Commissioner General

(Note that for procurement of building materials, attachments should include Bill of Quantities, material schedule and structure drawings certified by a quantity surveyor)

·        Attach duty free approval letter to the bill of entry (Form 12) for clearance of goods






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