Malawi - Country Commercial Guide
Prohibited and Restricted Imports
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Several import and export commodities are subject to licensing and/or permitting requirements.   Licenses are required for certain goods of national security significance as stipulated in the Control of Goods Act (COGA).  This includes military or police uniforms and radioactive substances.  The Ministry of Industry and Trade issues import and export licenses.  It frequently reviews and changes the lists of goods subject to licensing.  In principle, changes are published in the Government Gazette.  Licenses are valid for six months but may be extended.

The following goods require an import and export license.  The requirements are provided in the Control of Goods Act which was enacted in 2020:

A.   Goods for which an import permit is required:

  • Wild animals, Wild Animal Trophies and Wild Animal Products
  • Meat; Bovine and Swine
  • Live Poultry, Day Old Chicks, Undressed and Dressed Poultry
  • Fish whether frozen, dried, or live and eggs and spawn thereof
  • Table Eggs
  • Fresh Milk
  • Fruit and Vegetables (Fresh & Preserved) lettuce, cabbage, cauliflower, rape, turnips, fresh beans, fresh peas, green pepper, fresh chilies, garlic, onions, carrots, beetroot, radishes, tomatoes, egg plants, Irish/sweet potatoes, bananas, mangoes, and pineapples
  • Grain of any variety such as rice, barley, beans, and groundnuts in all forms including meals, flours, and residues
  • Maize: Dried maize on or off the cob; Crushed maize; Samp; Maize grits; Maize cones; Hominy chop; Maize offals; Processed maize meal with or without additives
  • Refined and Crude Cooking Oil
  • Cane Sugar
  • Bottled Water
  • Canned, Glass and Plastic Bottled Non-Alcoholic drinks exceeding three cases
  • Liquor in Sachets
  • Canned and Bottled Alcoholic drinks exceeding three cases.
  • Coarse and Table Salt
  • Cement
  • Soap:  Laundry bar soap and Powdered detergent (loosely packaged detergent powdered soap weighing more than 15kg)
  • Matches
  • Plastic Products - below 60 microns
  • Secondhand Clothes exceeding one bale.  Underwear (pants, bras) - strictly not to be imported
  • Secondhand items:  Kitchen utensils; Refrigerators.
  • Ball Point Pens
  • Fertilizer

B.   Goods for which an export permit is required:

  • Implements of war (other than arms and ammunition), atomic energy materials of strategic value, and items of primary strategic significance used in the production of arms and ammunition and other implements of war, including the following- Beryllium; tantalum; uranium; lithium; columbite Cobalt; thorium; germanium; titanium; nickel; and any materials containing such metals.
  • Petroleum products
  • The following gemstones in the unmanufactured state – Corundum; Garnet; Quartz; Tourmaline; Turquoise; Beryl; Zircon; Jade; Olivine; Feldspar; Topaz; Opal; Chrysoberyl; Spinel; Lazurite
  • Scrap Metal
  • Hides and Skins in processed and non-processed form
  • Rice, including: (a) rice meals; (b) rice bran; (c) rice residues.
  • Maize including Dried maize, on or off the cob; Crushed maize; Samp; Maize grits; Maize cones; Hominy chop; Maize offal; or processed maize meal with or without additives.
  • Raw round hardwood timbers
  • Sorghum
  • Soya beans
  • Cotton Lint and Seed
  • Oil seeds and residues from oil seeds