The Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) has encouraged businesses to apply for duty waivers on items imported into Malawi for the treatment and prevention of COVID-19.
Head of Corporate Affairs Steven Kapoloma said the Authority had noticed that many importers, businesses and the public were not aware that the Malawi Government had waived duty on such imports in May 2020.
“We want to encourage importers, the business community and the public to apply for duty waivers on the importation of items used for the prevention and treatment of COVID-19. They can apply for the waivers even before the goods arrive at the border and the Commissioner General will approve within a day,” Kapoloma said.
The Malawi Government introduced the duty waiver last year as an additional measure in the fight against the further spread of COVID-19 and it applies to both direct imports and goods from bonded warehouses.
The introduction of the duty waiver followed the amendment of the Customs & Excise (Tariffs) Order, which now includes new Customs Procedure Codes (CPCs) and Special Transactions on COVID-19.
The CPCs are 4000.405 for direct imports and 4071.405 for goods from bonded warehouses and they provide for waiver of duty on the importation of essential goods for the prevention, treatment and management of COVID 19.
Such essential goods include ventilators, oxygen concentrators, Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs), hand sanitizers, soaps, water treatment chemicals and such other goods as the Commissioner General may approve.
Importers of these essential goods are required to apply for duty waiver to the Commissioner General and they should provide specifications of their imports including landed costs and quantities.
As of 21th January 2021, Malawi had registered over 16,000 COVID-19 cases including almost 400 fatalities.
“The Authority would like to remind taxpayers, the business community and the public to follow COVID-19 prevention measures which include wearing face masks, washing hands with soap and social distancing to curb the further spread of the pandemic,” Kapoloma said.
By Wadza Otomani