DRTSS stops firm on number plates

MAKWECHA—Law requires registered importers to apply

The Department of Road Traffic and Safety Service (DRTSS) has cancelled Motor Vehicle Spares and Accessories (Movesa) Importer Certificate allegedly due to the firm’s alleged failure to comply with minimum requirements of practice.

Director of the DRTSS Andrew Sandula cancelled the Importer Certificate license number IMP/RPB/0001 on August 24, 2022.

In his letter, which we have seen, Sandula has said during an inspection of their facility, Movesa failed to present form AIRPB to the inspectorate, contrary to Regulations 59D(2) of the Road Traffic Registration and Licencing Amendment Regulations of 2010.


The company also failed to produce a Clearance Certificate to the Inspectorate.

Information indicates that a clearance certificate is issued by the DRTSS and the laws require importers to be cleared by authorities at the directorate before they embark on selling the plates to motorists.

“In view of these findings, I have cancelled your Importer Certificate Number IMP/RPB/0001 pursuant to Regulations 59 E(1) and 59F(1)(d) of the Road Traffic Registration and Licencing Amendment Regulations 2010,” reads Sandula’s letter in part.


He has since asked the company to submit the cancelled Importer Certificate not later than September 11,2022 further to appealing the matter to the Minister of Transport and Public Works within 21 days.

Spokesperson for the Directorate Angellina Makwecha said Friday that the Importer Certificate in question is that which allowed the firm to import motor vehicle number plates into the country.

Asked if the action does not interrupt provision of number plate services, Makwecha said there are currently three other licensed importers of number plates whose contracts are still running.

“The AIRPB means Authority to Import Registration Plate Blanks. The document is issued by DRTSS and the law requires registered importers to apply for the AIRPB before number plates are imported into Malawi. Currently, there are four licensed importers (Moves inclusive) in Malawi,” she explained.

Managing Director for Movesa Fischer Gerrit Movesa did not pick our calls when we called him for a comment and neither did he reply to our questions on WhatsApp.

In May, 2022 Attorney General Thabo Chakaka Nyirenda advised the DRTSS to terminate a contract with Movesa for the importation and supply of retro-reflective blank number plates into Malawi but it transpires that the contract remained intact without his knowledge.

Due to the growing number of Japanese-used vehicles being imported into the country, there has been a steady demand of number plates, which has seen the country’s number plates that used to bear four digits now having five digits on number plates to cater for the new vehicles.

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