Chakwera administration hike duty for vehicles


As President Lazarus Chakwera’s and fellow politicians continue to import vehicles duty free, the government has hiked import duty on vehicles with an importer expected to pay over K4 million at the border to bring in a Daihatsu Mira.

This is according to a Customs and Excise (Tariffs) (Amendment) (No.4) Order, 2023, signed by Minister of Finance Sosten Gwengwe which has come into operation on 1st July, 2023.

It introduces new fixed import duty for various vehicles which are brought into Malawi.

Tariffs in the new order include K4.6 million for 2020 Daihatsu Mira, K3 million for 2010 Daihatsu Mira, K3.6 million for 2013 Toyota Passo, K5.8 million for 2009 Mazda Axela, K11.3 million for 2020 Mazda Axela and K5.2 million for 2001 Mazda Axela and K4 million for Honda Fit.

Other tariffs include K18.2 million for 2020 BMW 4 SERIES, K38 million for 2020 AUDI Q7, K26 million for 2020 Ford Everest and K26 million for a Ford Ranger.

Meanwhile, Malawians have expressed anger over the new tariffs saying they are prohibitive especially for an economy that does not manufacture vehicles and where many people do not have vehicles.

“Nissan Xtrail 2010. Kuyigula ku Japan 5.8 million mpaka Dares salaam.  Duty ku MRA 7.3 million (You spend K5.8 million on a vehicle from Japan up to Dar es Salaam but have to pay K7.3 million on duty in Malawi),” said one person on social media.

Another person said: “An Axela used to buy at 6.8 million including duty, now with that amount you will only pay the duty.”

One social media user noted that the Chakwera administration is introducing exorbitant tariffs while politicians with public positions import vehicles duty free.

“Iwowo their cars are duty free but ifeyo we should cough up 5 times the buying price?”

Speaking to the local media, second-hand car dealers have wondered why duty for newer vehicles vehicles is higher than that for older vehicles of the same model which are considered to be hazardous to the environment.

Chakwera and Vice President Saulos Chilima during the 2020 elections promised duty free week but last year the Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) only allowed duty free importation for goods not exceeding $3, 000 which was approximately about K2.5 million.

MRA said in January this year that the duty free week initiative will not be implemented this year.

You can download the complete document of the duty on used vehicles here.