Malawi introduces 16.5 % VAT on bus imports: ‘No standing passengers, all buses should be fitted with seat belts’.

Malawi Government has introduced 16.5% Value Added Tax (VAT) on imported minibuses and big buses three years after it scrapped it off following recommendation by operators.

No standing passengers now

In 2014 national budget, government removed the Import Duty, Import Excise and VAT on imported minibuses which eased a tax burden on operators and importers.

Presenting this year’s budget statement in Parliament in Lilongwe, Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development, Goodall Gondwe announced some changes to the tax regime, introducing VAT on imported minibuses and big buses with effect from Friday (19th May) midnight.

The VAT will be applicable on minibuses and buses manufactured within a period not exceeding five years.

The introduction of the VAT is one of amendments made to the Customs and Exercise (Tariffs) Order.

Aside introducing the VAT on buses, government through Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) has also removed Customs Procedure Codes (CPCs) 4000,443 and 4071,443 for minibuses and buses manufactured within a period of five years of seating capacity exceeding 11 persons but not exceeding 44 persons including driver.

There is no immediate reaction from Minibus Owners Association of Malawi (MOAM) but MRA Commissioner General, Tom Gray Malata has advised the general public especially bus importers and operators to take note of the changes and comply accordingly.

Among other amendments to the Customs and Exercise (Tariffs) Order is the re-introduction of single excise rate of US$ 15 per 1,000 cigarette sticks or its Malawi Kwacha equivalent for both imported and local manufactured cigarettes.

Meanwhile, Parliament has endorsed a proposal stopping buses from carrying standing passengers and that all buses should be fitted with seat belts.

The proposal also demands that minibuses should only be operating on designated routes identified by color code and route numbering.

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16 thoughts on “Malawi introduces 16.5 % VAT on bus imports: ‘No standing passengers, all buses should be fitted with seat belts’.”

  1. ndondwa says:

    No standing passengers, welcome move zimadabwitsa munthu walipilira koma kuyenda choima from LL to BT slavery chani, things are better said than done would be happy if this is enforced.

  2. Dreams says:

    Nanga ma bus depot amuma city athu mkuti nawo bwanji dziko kukhala ngati lilibe utsogoleri kunyasa simpanga mnyazi kukabwera alendo akunja mkawaprekeza kokakwera bus. Please change the images of these bus terminal and taxi ranks.

  3. Kandawe says:

    Badget yokomela mabwana okhaokha. Maminibus amathandiza anthu ovutika kwambili chifukwa amava dandaulo la passender unlike these big buses with fixed prices which if you do not have enough money for that Route you can travel, ndiye Nwana atsitsirekoni custom kuti minbus fares asamakhale okwera komasotu WORLD Bank yati itithandiza ndiye mukamilanji yoonda ganizani mofatsa a Gondwe

  4. ofewa says:

    ya that is good we need to ho forward for sure things has to change keep it up MP and all that you have worked in this

  5. mikelc says:

    Welcome development

  6. chen says:

    Enforcement is the problem. Lamulo la 3 pass per seat linaikidwa but you still see minibuses carrying four passing through traffic checkpoint. Will be eagerly writing to see this come to pass

  7. ABANDA BANDA says:


  8. Finyani Finyani Jr says:

    But then renovate them Deports. Think of where these (min)busses are parked in our towns. We haven’t talked of roads yet. I literally don’t know what Minibus Owners Association do apart from hiking fairs and collecting money on a daily basis. It could be “you ” renovating some of these.

  9. watipaso says:

    Good news, these bus operators do pack us like bags of sweet potatoes

  10. Y. A. Ngondo says:

    No standing passengers and fitting seat belts on all buses is noews worth appreciating. Equally important is the operation of minibuses on designated routes identified by colour coding and numbering. These will surely enhance sanity in the passenger transportation industry thereby safeguarding the passengers’ safety.

    This is the order in other countries. The Passenger Welfare Association should have pushed for such proposals way back in time.

  11. Hede says:

    This budget bwana Goodal mwaitakata bwino even one Laza is left with mouth agape.

  12. Maps says:

    No standing passengers in big buses! This is welcome news indeed, even the so called special coaches owned by AXA were admitting standing passengers on board putting their lives at greater risk in case of accidents. Stiff punishment should follow all defaulters.

  13. Chapondamchinga says:

    Things are better said with this clueless gaffment

  14. mbili ya bakha says:

    timakwera ma bus a ma bwana omwe satithandiza kukoza malamulo, AXA bwa, lilongwe bt coima kukahalila pasi pa ci thanki kku LL OLO pa cileka landabout bwandipofeya cimodzimodzi ndi oima. ikakhala coac kucoka ku LL NDI KUCOKA KU BT mitengo yosiyana and this is KATSONGA yemwe amamlilila kukhoza cipani? woimilila anthu kukama ngombe zoonda kale. tingomulemeletsa. ma kochi ena mukupanga zomwezi. kodi

  15. misozi banda says:

    mmmm tionela limodzi izi. ma deport athuwa -wenela yakalekale, ya atsamunda JABULANI, KKKKKKK kukanika kuponda pasi nyasi. ti ma deport ngati povinila gule basi. ndalama zikaperekedwa mmangokalasa, kuwazapo tala mawa ma potihozi, zotsalazo mmatumba aziakazanu mmaulendo okashopa ku china. muuulilidwa nthawi inoyi

  16. Opinion says:

    No standing passenges on buses, this is good news indeed! They should not be sitting on the bus floors too! The penalties for defaulters should also be clearly spelt out for defaulters.

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