The Malawi government has introduced import restrictions for cement and other four products which will now require import licences in an effort to curb smuggling of the products in the country.
The Ministry of Industry and Trade, which will be responsible for issuing of the licences, says the new products on the import licence list also include refined cooking oil, laundry soap, liquor in sachets and fresh milk.
In a statement issued Monday, the ministry advises concerned agencies to take note of the notice and re-enforce their monitoring and inspections to ensure nobody violates the law.
“Anyone found importing these products without an import licence will be liable to prosecution in accordance with the provisions of the relevant laws of Malawi,” reads the statement, in part.
Ministry of Industry and Trade spokesperson, Wiskes Mkombezi said smuggled products threaten local industry as they provide an affairs competition since they come into the country without pay taxes.
“Smugglers deny the country of its much needed revenue. It is a threat to economic growth. Smuggling may also bring items into the country that is injurious to the public health, public morals and others,” he said.
“The ministry, therefore, will always commit itself to fight smuggling and give strong support to all stakeholders such as Malawi Revenue Authority and the Malawi Police Service in this fight,” said Mkombezi.
“We also call upon members of the community to join hands with the government in the fight against smuggling. Smuggling must be fought everywhere in all its forms,” said Mkombezi.