The Malawi Government provides tax incentives on raw materials, machinery and equipment to different sectors of the economy. The incentives are provided for either in the main Customs Tariff or in specific Customs Procedures Codes (CPC) of the Customs and Exercise (Tariffs) Order. The incentives are implemented under the Customs and Exercise Act (Chapter 42:01).
Tourism is Malawi’s third foreign exchange earner after tobacco and tea and investors intending to invest in the tourism sector in Malawi can enjoy a number of incentives and they include free import duty, free import excise and zero-rated VAT. Under CPC 442 (a), investors in the tourism industry will not pay import duty, import excise and VAT will be zero-rated if they import goods for hotels, lodges and inns with 50 rooms and above. Such goods include; Glass, china porcelain, earthenware and stone articles of table ware, enamelware and hollowware for table use electro plated nickel – silver and pated ware, knives, forks spoons and similar articles for cutlery and marked linen etched, stamped or in any manner marked with the name of the hotel.
They can also import industry catering equipment, motor boat, scuba diving, jet skis, kayaks, wind surfers, pedalos, marked linen, air conditioners, generators, gym equipment, message equipment, industrial washing machines, bar fridges, sauna, hot steam baths. Furniture and curtains, carpets and rags must be permanently or indelibly marked. In addition, two shuttle buses every five years and off-road game/scenery viewing motor vehicles (Safaris) are duty free under CPC 450 and CPC 451, respectively.
Under CPC 442 (b), investors in the tourism sector will not pay import duty, import excise and VAT will be zero-rated if they import materials and equipment for the establishment of a conference centre with a 200 seating capacity. Such materials and equipment include public address system, video conferencing equipment, television screens, amplifiers, LCD equipment and industrial catering and bar equipment and indelibly engraved, itched, stamped or in any other manner marked with the name of the hotel, lodge or inn.
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