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Summary of Key aspects of the Bilateral Trade Agreement


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Signed on : 17TH July 2006
Date of Entry into Force:  
Validity: 9 Years
Key areas of the Agreement:

The agreement covers the following areas:

  • Custom duties
  • Rules of origin
  • Compliance with standards
  • Sanitary and phytosanitary measures
  • Non tariff barriers
    • Quantitative import restriction
  • Anti dumping measures
  • Subsidies and countervailing measures
  • Sensitive and strategic products
  • Safeguard measures
  • Cooperation and customs administration
  • Trade promotion and facilitation
    • Facilitation of transit trade
    • Goods in transit and for exhibition and samples
  • Modes of payment
  • Dispute settlement
Benefits to Businesses:
  • Elimination of tariff and non tariff barriers.
  • Goods in transit and for exhibition and samples should be exempted from duty taxes levies and other charges.
  • There shall be freedom to conduct trade promotion and facilitations in the respective territories, and that the trade organization shall cooperate as well as exchange information on trade promotion efforts.
  • Expand and diversify trade between the two countries.
  • Ensure that trade is free and uninterrupted
Key requirements of the Agreement: The following conditions have to be fulfilled:
  • To qualify for duty free treatment, goods shall be accompanied by a certificate of origin issued in accordance with Article III by a body authorised by the country of origin.
  • Where a product is being exported by a person other than the original manufacturer, the Certificate of Origin in respect thereof shall be endorsed by the original manufacturer.
  • Goods shall be accepted as originating in a contracting party if it meets following conditions :
  1. Wholly produced or grown in the territory of the contracting party.
  2. Wholly or partially produced from materials imported from outside territory of the contracting party.
  • International and importing country standards should be complied.
  • Sanitary and phytosanitary measures should be in accordance with WTO agreements.
  • Contracting parties shall not apply any new quantitative restrictions
  • Facilitation of trade should be in accordance with respective laws and regulations, freedom of transit through their respective territories.
  • Payments should be through normal banking channels in accordance with existing foreign exchange laws.
Areas the Agreement does not cover:

The agreement specifies that the following are not covered by the present agreement :

  • Necessary to protect public morals or maintain public order
  • Necessary to protect human, animal or plant life or health
  • Necessary to secure compliance with laws and regulations which are consistent with the provision of the WTO
  • Necessary to protect intellectual property rights or to prevent deceptive trade practices.
  • Relating to transfer of gold, silver, precious and semi-precious stones, including precious and strategic metals
  • Imposed for the protection of national treasures of artistic, historic   or archaeological value
  • Necessary to prevent or relieve critical shortages of food stuffs or other products essential to the exporting contracting party.
  • Relating to the conservation of exhaustible natural resources and the environment.
  • Necessary to ensure compliance with existing obligations under international agreements.
  • Relating to import restrictions, that do not discriminate among exporting countries, on agricultural products necessary to the enforcement of Government measures, which import restrictions operate:
  1. To restrict the quantities of the like domestic products permitted to be marketed or produced.
  2. To remove a temporary surplus of the like domestic products.
  • Relating to import and export restrictions taken in time of war or any other emergency.
  • Necessary to safeguard the balance of payments
  • Strategic and sensitive products shall be exempted from obligations of this agreement.
Access to the full text of the Agreement:

Ministry of Industry and Trade, Gemini House, P.O. Box 30366, Capital City, Lilongwe 3, MALAWI. Tel : +265 1770244