The Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) has spelt out tough penalties, including ban, on exporters found guilty of contravening regulations for the repatriation of export proceeds to Malawi.
Recently, the Central Bank issued a statement in which it informed exporters and the public that effective July 31, 2021, proceeds from exports of goods and services from Malawi must be repatriated to Malawi within 120 days from the date of repatriation.
The bank said this is in line with economic developments in the country and also aligns with other countries within the region that have similar economic conditions.
“The Bank would like to further indicate that the mandatory period for transfer of export proceeds to Malawi must be strictly adhered to as failure to do so shall attract sanctions,” read the statement the bank released last week.
In an exclusive interview Nyasa Times this week, RBM spokesperson Dr. Onellie Nkuna said justified the stand the bank has taken, saying this will translate into faster processing of both domestic and international financial transactions including receipt of export proceeds.
Nkuna said the Malawi Government and other stakeholders have been undertaking a number of trade facilitation initiatives with an aim of enhancing export activities in the country.
“Among them are digitisation of financial transactions, and introduction of modern payment systems including integration with regional payment systems. This has therefore meant faster processing of both domestic and international financial transactions including receipt of export proceeds.
“As a reflection of this positive development the mandatory period for repatriation of exports has been changed to 120 days from 180 days. This policy change is also aimed at being in line with some regional and trading partners’ practices,” she said.
But Nkuna stressed that the policy change does not necessarily increase or reduce total export receipts but is just shortening the period of receipt of export proceeds.
“You may wish to note that there are penalties for exporters who fail to comply with the requirement on export proceeds repatriation. For instance, one can even be banned from undertaking further exporting activities from Malawi,” she said.