Logistic and forwarding services in Malawi


Capital City

16.83 Mio.

National languages
English (official language), decreeed national language Chichewa, in the north Chitumbuka

Kwacha (MWK)

Gross national product (GNP)
 USD 4.943 Mrd.

GNP per person
USD 273

Financial exports to Switzerland
CHF 4.91 Mio.

Financial imports from Switzerland
CHF 6.57 Mio.

Bilateral relations Switzerland–Malawi

Bilateral relations between Switzerland and Malawi are good but not close. The FDFA’s Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation supports the people of Malawi with various programs and projects.


Business language


Dimensions and weights

Metric system.


National currency 1 Malawi Kwacha (MK) = 100 Tambala (t).
ISO code: MWK

Customs tariff

Harmonised system, customs clearance based on the transaction value.

Import control

A large number of goods come under the Open General Import Licence. An application for an import licence must be submitted for all goods which do not come under the OGL and are listed in goods and country lists. All imports are subject to an authorisation obligation by the Malawian Reserve Bank. The validity of licences is generally three months. The goods must be sent within the duration of validity. Importers can procure foreign currencies at auctions or via exchange offices once the exchange rate has been approved.
Exporters can set up accounts in foreign currencies with Malawian banks. Inspection certificate (Clean Report of Findings) – Clean Reports of Findings are no longer required.
Instead, the Malawian customs authorities carry out an inspection of the goods and calculate a Destination Inspection Fee (DIF, international consignment note).
Standard VAT rate: 16.5%.

Terms of payment and tenders

Transactions based on letters of credit recommended, documents against payment (D/P) only in the case of solvent importers. E-invoicing: Invoicing in EUR or GBP. Payments in advance are generally not permitted for foreign currency law reasons.
All correspondence in English. Tenders in the national currency, USD or GBP CIF destination.

Designations of origin

In principle there are no special provisions. However, the import of goods, the marking or other labelling on which could give a misleading impression of the origin is prohibited unless they are also labelled with the country of origin (e.g. Made in …).


Ask the importer about labelling regulations. Standard marking in English with the addition of the country of origin is advisable.


There are no special regulations about box signing. Standard markings are sufficient. Seaworthy packaging.

Product samples

If sample goods are recognised by the customs controller as “samples with no retail value”, they can be imported duty free.

Shipping and accompanying documents

Standard and:

a) Commercial invoices, 3 copies, English, signed, standard information. Certification not required.

b) 1 declaration of origin on a special template (“Goods exported to Malawi – Certificate of Origin”); fill in Part A and Part B. If a shipment contains goods of different foreign origins, a separate declaration of origin is required for each country. As the origin, indicate “Swiss” in the case of Swiss goods, or “European Union” for goods originating from UE. The declaration of origin must be signed by the exporter; Chamber of Industry and Commerce certification is not required.

c) Uncertified order bills of lading with a notify address.

d) Postal packages up to 20 kg: 1 foreign dispatch note, 1 customs declaration in English.

e) Movement certificate EUR. 1 or UE not required.