Malawi Bureau of Standards clarifies on Cess Levy

Werani Chilenga

The Malawi Bureau of Standards (MBS) has dismissed reports that Cess Levy on imported products was introduced to facilitate the construction of its laboratory.

Recently, Parliamentary Committee on Natural Resources and Climate Change Chairperson Werani Chilenga claimed that the levy was introduced with an aim of collecting revenue that would be used for the construction of MBS laboratory, a project which was completed.

He said, since Malawians were facing economic challenges, it would make economic sense to remove the levy.


But, in a response to a questionnaire, MBS spokesperson Monica Khombe said the levy was meant to support standardisation in Malawi.

Khombe said the levy was not introduced for laboratory construction, as claimed by Parliament.

“The levy is not for construction of a laboratory but to support standardisation in Malawi. I think it was just a mistake,” Khombe said.


Meanwhile, Trade Minister Mark Katsonga Phiri has said the committee should formally present the proposal to remove the levy to Parliament so that it could be scrutinised.

Phiri said the country had removed myriad levies that would have facilitated the provision of public services.

“The government has removed the levy on water, cooking oil, fuel; as such, removing the MBS [Cess] Levy would not be a good idea.

“Let the committee substantiate their recommendation; otherwise, I am not sure if I agree with them or not,” Katsonga Phiri said.

The Cess Levy was approved in 2015 as part of reform areas for the bureau to enable it to carry out more standardisation work in such areas as acquisition and maintenance of state-of-the-art test and calibration equipment.

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