Local fuel transporters complain over Nocma

Fuel tanker

Transporters of fuel products in the country have raised a concern with government regarding the Delivered Duty Unpaid (DDU) system that suppliers use, which disadvantages the local transporters.

DDU is an old international trade term indicating that the seller is responsible for the safe delivery of goods to a named destination, paying all transportation expenses and assuming all risks during transport.

According to two letters that we have seen addressed to Minister of Transport and Public Works Sidik Mia and National Oil Company Malawi (Nocma)’s Chief Executive Officer, the transporters are raising what they describe as challenges they face which they claim are threatening sustainability of their operations.


The recent letter, dated September 1, 2020 to Mia, signed by the group’s chairperson Gordon Luhanga said the current system puts them at a disadvantage because foreign suppliers prefer to use Tanzanian transporters.

“The DDU gives room for foreign transporters to be contracted directly by fuel suppliers who are contracted by National Oil Company of Malawi (Nocma) and Petroleum Importers Ltd (PIL) leaving local transporters jobless.

“There is no employment benefit for our country since a foreign transporter is used. The system opposes the buy Malawian policy by favouring foreign transporter,” reads part of the letter.


The transporters have since asked government to discontinue and abolish the use of DDU and use X tank systems where by client has a choice of who to haul the fuel.

“We would like to request the government to discontinue and abolish the use of DDU system of importing fuel products into the country which should also result in the discontinuing of the use of foreign fuel transporters as they do not promote local economic activities.

“We would like to request government to consider buying more volumes of fuel using Beira route as opposed to Tanzania where Malawian transporters face a lot of challenges when it comes to loading of fuel and documentations processes takes seven days after loading,” reads the letter.

There was no immediate comment from Mia.

The grouping on August 18, 2020 met with Vice President Saulos Chilima where they raised similar issues.

Meanwhile, Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) has said it has received several complaints and concerns from some local service providers with regards to the cancer of monopoly in the award of business contracts in the country.

HRDC Chairperson, Gift Trapence said upon analysing the complaints and concerns, they have found them legitimate and genuine as they border on economic rights of Malawians.

“For instance, we have heard from Fuel Tankers Operators Association

(FTOA), who have been forthright in raising concerns with regards to monopolisation by few transporters who transport fuel products from outside Malawi.

“We have also noted the trend in several industries and sectors where few families enjoy monopoly of every business opportunities in the country. In this vein, as HRDC will be engage different the government

to make sure that the monopoly is levelled,” he said.

Malawi relies on the port of Beira in Mozambique and Tanzania’s Dar-es-salaam as well as Mbeya port to ferry its cargo, including fuel.

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