Section 39 of the Customs & Excise Act empowers the Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) to sell by public auction within 30 days overstayed goods which have not been cleared. The Authority is mandated by law to dispose of un-cleared goods to recover Customs duties, storage fees and other expenses due.
The balance from the proceeds of a public auction, if any, shall be paid to the owner upon application within six months of the date of such sale. However, the balance shall not be paid if the Commissioner General is satisfied that such goods were imported in contravention of any written law.
If the balance of the proceeds after paying for Customs duties and storage fees is insufficient to make payments for other expenses, such balance shall be applied pro-rata in paying any other expenses.
Un-cleared goods may be appropriated to the Malawi Government, destroyed or disposed of in such manner as the Commissioner General may direct under the following circumstances; the goods cannot be sold; the sale is unlikely to be effected within a reasonable time; the goods cannot be sold for a sum sufficient to cover the full duty and expenses of removal or sale; or the sale of the goods would be detrimental to the Customs revenue or in contravention of any written law.
The Authority would therefore like to appeal to importers to clear their imports on time as un-cleared goods may be disposed of through public auction to recover Customs duties, storage fees and other expenses.
Furthermore, the Authority would also like to appeal to importers, the business community and the public to take advantage of the Pre-Clearance Facility to clear their goods before they arrive at the border.
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