Frequently Asked Questions



We are looking for business partners in Malawi. If you have some contacts to companies please contact us.

Malawi Trade Portal's Database does not store business contact information or company list. On the other hand, it contains information related to import/export regulations, preferences, SPS/TBT, Measures, standards, requirements and tariffs in Malawi.

In this regard, we would like to recommend you to visit Malawi Confederation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry website for business contact information.


Can you advise the duty rate to import goods into Malawi ?

Click The duty rate to import goods into Malawi are available here .


What commodities require an import permit to Malawi?

to see the commodities list that Click hererequire an import permit.


Can I obtain the information on market background, business partnership and list of import-export companies in Malawi by searching on Malawi Trade Portal Website?

Malawi Trade Portal provides information regarding the laws, regulations and procedures for importing and exporting in Malawi.

If you would like to have information about potential business partnerships, list of export –import companies or opportunities, we recommend that you contact the Malawi Confederation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry ( or the Malawi Investment and Trade Center ( On these websites you will find information about business opportunities in Malawi and contact details.


Do I need to fill in a Customs declaration when I arrive in Malawi at an international airport or border crossing?

No. You can just walk through the Nothing to Declare green channel.  If you are carrying goods in excess of the duty free allowance or if you are in doubt you must walk through the red channel and declare the goods to the Customs Officer on duty.  Click here for more information.


Can I look up the Malawi Customs Tariff online?

Yes.  The complete commodity classification and tariffs applicable to Malawi are loaded on this website.  Please click here to search and view the tariffs.


Can I bring food or plant materials into Malawi?

Yes, as long as they conform with the laws and regulations regarding these materials.  Click here to view the laws, regulations, etc. and look for specific requirements or click here to search for any specific measures that may be applicable from time to time.  You can also contact the TBT/SPS enquiry points.


Can I bring personal effects into Malawi if I am taking up residence and will they be subject to duty?

Generally, personal effects are exempted from Customs duty as long as these items are not of a commercial nature and are normal household items.These exemptions apply to foreigners taking up residence in Malawi, civil servants returning from their mission and students who have graduated abroad and are returning home.  If you are in doubt about the eligibility of certain items you should contact Customs.  


Does livestock need to be quarantined when brought into Malawi?

Not necessarily.  When you obtain an import permit from the Department of Animal Health and Livestock Development at the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development you will be advised of whether this is a requirement.


What are the duty free allowances when entering Malawi?

to view the Click hereduty free allowances when entering Malawi.


Are goods for diplomatic missions exempt from duty?

Yes.  All goods and vehicles for diplomatic missions, international organizations and NGO's approved by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning are exempt from Customs duties. 


Can I clear my goods at any Customs office in Malawi or do they have to be cleared at a specific Customs office?

You can clear the goods at the Customs office at the border of entry or exit. You may also follow the procedure for inland clearance, click here to see the procedure.


Do I have to use a Customs Agent for importing or exporting commercial goods?

No.  However, using a Customs Agent will ensure that all regulatory requirements are properly discharged and may save unnecessary delays. 


Do I always need to get an import license before importing goods into Malawi?

No.  For most commodities it is not necessary to get an import license.  However, for some commodities you will need to apply for an import license from the Department of Trade of the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism. Please click here for a list of the goods that are subject to these requirements.


For what goods do I need to get an export license?

Generally, for certain maize, mineral and forestry products. Please click here for a list of the goods that are subject to these requirements.  


Are technical standards for various products compulsory when importing these products into Malawi?

Yes, there are some compulsory standards enforced through technical regulations.

Standards help domestic markets to operate effectively, increase competitiveness and provide an excellent source of technology transfer. They play an integral role in the protection of consumers and the environment. Standardization contributes not only to international trade but also to the basic infrastructure that underpins society, including health and environment, while promoting sustainability and good regulatory practice. 

Malawi has established a TBT Enquiry Point which can give further guidance in this respect.


Are any SPS measures currently in force in Malawi?

Any animal, food or plant products that is imported into Malawi must conform with the standard requirements as laid in the basic laws that govern the import, manufacturing and trading of these commodities.  You should therefore seek guidance from the relevant department at the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development and the Ministry of Health to discover whether any specific prohibitions are in place at the time of import.

Malawi has established an SPS Enquiry Point that can give further guidance in this respect.