Export Procedures

Procedures and the documentation required when exporting depend on the type of export that has been declared i.e exports from open stock, temporary exports and re-exports.

Direct Export

This refers to procedures where goods which are destined for final export from Malawi, e.g. goods from open stock, direct exports of goods after bonded warehousing and exportation after free zone or bonded factory procedures.

Temporary Exports

This refers to procedures where goods being exported will be returned to Malawi, and included:

  • Temporary exportation for outward processing manufacturing/processing: Goods exported under this procedure must be produced to Customs prior to exportation.
  • Temporary exportation for repair: The goods may be exported for repair in another country and then returned to Malawi. The goods on their return may be subject to import charges on the value of the repair.
  • Temporary exportation for return in an unaltered state: Refers to goods being exported and then returned to Malawi without any change or processing having taken place on the goods. e.g. goods exported for trade fairs and vehicles exported for return


This refers to procedure where goods are being exported after temporary admission, and is of different types:

  • Re-exportation after temporary admission for inward processing (suspension system)
  • Re-exportation after temporary admission for inward processing (drawback system)
  • Re-exportation after temporary Admission for return in unaltered state
  • Re-exportation after free zone or bonded factory procedure

Export Documentation

Documentation in export trade is vital in that documents have to be completed before the consignment leaves the country of origin and at the destination to enable the consignee in the importing country to clear the goods through local authorities. It must be noted that if the documents are not properly completed they may be rejected on presentation to customs authorities and this may interfere with the free movement of goods resulting in delays and missing delivery dates.

The following are the major effects of a poorly completed /missing documentation:

  • The cost of interest charges incurred by the exporters as a result of delays in receiving payment.
  • The costs of putting the problem right, such as telephone bills, courier charges for sending replacement documents, bank charges for amending documents such as letters of credit and, possibly, loss of credit insurance cover.
  • Perhaps the most serious, but also most difficult to quantify, is the cost to the relationship between the exporter and the customer. A new customer will be upset by poor documentation and the result will be he/she will be reluctant to do further business with the exporter concerned.

The documents most frequently required for an export shipment are the following but the exporter should remember that they vary depending on the export procedure used, the type of goods and market requirements:

Document Name Issuing/Controlling Authority Statutory requirement  Goods
Customs Bill of Entry F12 MRA Single administrative document for customs declaration All goods more than MK500, 000 in value
Form 38 MRA manual declaration form for minor exports Baggage exports
Form 44 MRA Proof of export under duty drawback All goods for which duty drawback/refund is claimed

Form C300-

Temporary Export Permits (TEP)

MRA Manual Temporary Export declaration for Malawian registered vehicle Temporarily exported Malawian registered motor vehicles
General Registration Certificate (Form 48) MRA Export declaration for minor exports for repair and return Goods for repair of minor value
CD1 Form RBM Foreign Exchange Control Exports of more than US$5000.00
The Commercial Invoice Exporter Declaration of value All commercial goods
Certificate of Origin



Proof of origin of goods Depends on the preference regime being sought
Bill of Lading Shipper/transporter Defines contract between exporter and shipper Goods transported through sea
The Consignment Note or Airway Bill Transporter Transporters’ declaration of goods carried in the conveyance Goods transported by road and air respectively

Sanitary  Certificate

Department of Animal Health Certification of  health of animal and animal products

Live animals

Animal products

Phyto-Sanitary Certificate Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation Certification of health of plant and plant products Scheduled plant and plant products
Import Permit Relevant authority in destination country Certification of conformity to health and security measures in importing country Scheduled products
Export License Ministry of Industry and Trade

Implementation of National Trade Policy

Implementation of Controls of Goods Act

Scheduled products[2]
Export Quality Certificate Malawi Bureau of Standards Certification of product conformity to national and international standards Scheduled products
Police Clearance Report Malawi Police Anti-theft clearance report for motor vehicles and engines exported from Malawi Motor vehicles and engines

[2] The full listing of the scheduled products is can be obtained from the respective Departments