23- 29 January is Duty-Free Week

Finance Minister Felix Mlusu at Parliament

There is some sweet news to Malawian importers  following the announcement that the much awaited duty-free week will run from the week beginning 23rd January and end on 29th January, 2022.

All importers claiming for qualification for suspension of duties under the regulations shall have a Taxpayer Identification Number (TPIN) and shall, during the period within which the duty free week shall be applicable, qualify for suspension only once.

This is contained in a gazetted notice from Minister of Finance Felix  Mlusu dated 14th January.

“This Notice may be cited as the Customs and Excise (Declaration of Duty Free Week) Notice, 2022.

“There is hereby declared a duty free week in the week beginning 23rd day of January, 2022 and ending 29th day of January, 2022, and hence the provisions of the Customs and Excise (Duty Free Week) Regulations, 2022 shall, accordingly, be applicable”.

This is in line with Section 175 (1) as read with section 96 (1) of the Customs and Excise Act which entails that the “duty free week” means the period appointed by the Minister during which payment of duties appearing in any tariff may be suspended.

Songwe border is expected to become a beehive of activities following the Duty free week

It will be in accordance with the conditions set out hereunder; and “eligible importer” means an importer who qualifies to import goods free of duty under some regulations.

“Notwithstanding the provisions of the Act, during any duty free week, certain goods may be imported free of any import duty, import excise and import valued added tax to which such goods would, but for the provisions of these Regulations, be liable.

“During any duty free week, all other provisions of the Act and any applicable laws, including—(a) payment of processing fees on importation; and (b) production of import licences or permits, shall apply, mutatis mutandis, to these Regulations,” read the notice.

Trucks captured at Mchinji border

Following the declaration, only the goods whose customs value for duty purpose do not exceed US$3000; and only those goods imported and entered for clearance during the duty free week shall qualify for suspension of duties under regulation three.

Upon payment of an appropriate processing fees, the customs processing system shall automatically select all Customs Procedure Code 495 declarations for physical examination and further processing by customs.

According to the notice, where upon physical examination, the goods are found to not qualify under Customs Procedure Code 495, as a result of false information submitted by the importer, all applicable import duties shall apply in full.

Meanwhile, Malawi Revenue Authority Commissioner General John Bizwick and Secretary to the Treasury Dr. Mafuta Mwale are expected to brief journalists on the initiative on Tuesday 18th January at the Central Office of Information in Lilongwe.