At a bilateral level Malawi maintains bilateral trade arrangements with South Africa (non-reciprocal), Zimbabwe, Botswana and Mozambique. Whereas at regional level the country is a member to Southern Africa Development Community(SADC), Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and currently is part of the Tripartite Free Trade Agreement negotiations. At a multilateral level Malawi is a member of the World Trade Organization, and Africa Caribbean and Pacific Group of States and the European Union (ACP-EU) Cooperation Agreement, where Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) are embedded.
Click here for a copy of the Malawi/Zimbabwe Bilateral Trade Agreement.
2. Malawi-Mozambique Trade Relations
The Malawi-Mozambique Bilateral Agreement grants duty free access to goods originating from the two countries with the exception of goods listed in Annexe I of the Agreement i.e. Exclusion List. The goods exempted include sugar, beer, coca-cola and other branded soft drinks, manufactured tobacco, refined edible oil, dressed chickens, table eggs, unmanufactured tobacco, stationary, petroleum products, firearms, ammunition, and explosives.
Mozambique is an important transit route for goods coming into Malawi as such the bilateral agreement also includes provisions for trade facilitation.
Follow this link to view the certificate of origin for Malawi-Mozambique Trade.
The bilateral Trade Agreement is the major framework for the two countries' trade cooperation. It was negotiated as part of the support programmes by the Government of South Africa to assist in the economic development of Malawi. The agreement is non-reciprocal or asymmetrical. Malawi exports to South Africa are accorded duty-free treatment while imports from South Africa into Malawi are dutiable at the normal (Most-Favoured-Nation) rates applied to any other country.
South Africa is the major export market for Malawi in Africa accounting for over 35% of Malawi’s total exports. Major exports include tobacco, farm vegetables, rubber, oil seeds and fruit, clothing, and iron. Imports include fertilizers, pharmaceutical products, dairy products, mineral fuels, machinery, glassware, stationery, chemical compounds, motor vehicle and industrial spares.
Click here for the Malawi/ South Africa Trade Agreement.
Click here for the Malawi/Botswana Trade Agreement.
Click here to view Malawi-Botswana duty free Certificate of Origin.
- World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement
- Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) Free Trade Area (FTA)
- Africa Caribbean and Pacific Group of States and European Union (ACP-EU) Partnership (Cotonou) Agreement.
As members of the WTO, Malawi and Kenya share common interests in multilateral trade negotiations.
As members of COMESA , the two countries were among the first to join the Free Trade Area (FTA) on 31st October, 2000, and accord each other’s exports duty-free treatment.
Both Malawi and Kenya enjoy non-reciprocal duty-free market access in the EU market under the provisions of the ACP-EU Partnership Agreement.
- Malawi’s major exports to Kenya include coffee, tea, spices, cereals, sugar, wood and articles. However, Malawi sugar exports to Kenya face non-tariff barriers such as standards and certification requirements.
- Major imports from Kenya include pharmaceuticals, fertilizers, rubber articles, clothing, soaps and motor vehicle spares.
7. Malawi-China Trade Relations
The Malawi-China Bilateral Trade Agreement sees goods from Malawi entering China duty-free. The Agreement allows duty free entry into China of Malawi's major exports such as tobacco, tea, sugar cane, coffee and legumes. Malawi’s trade volume with China hit US$100 million in 2012, a 400-percent jump from 2010.
Click here to view Malawi-China duty free Certificate of Origin.
The objectives of COMESA are designed to facilitate the removal of structural and institutional weaknesses of member states so that they are able to attain collective and sustainable development.
COMESA’s main vision is to establish a fully integrated and internationally competitive regional economic community with high standards of living for its entire people. One of the main objectives of COMESA is to achieve regional integration through trade and investment.
Click here for more information on COMESA Trade.
Click here for the COMESA Rules of Origin Certificate.
The process of tariff reduction was agreed through a process of negotiations which were launched in 1996. Apart from tariff reduction, the negotiations also centered on rules of origin on product lines (product specific rules of origin). The implementation of the Protocol was launched in September 2000 after its ratification by two thirds of the member States.
Twelve SADC member states have been participating in tariff reduction under the SADC Trade Protocol. The countries are Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia, Mauritius, Mozambique, Madagascar, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The tariff reductions were aimed at establishing a Free Trade Area in 2008. As agreed the SADC Free Trade Area was established in January 2008. A formal function to launch the FTA was held in Johannesburg, South Africa in August 2008. Malawi has not reached the minimum threshold of 85% trade liberalisation which was agreed to be the minimum for the Free Trade Area. At the moment Malawi has liberalised 70% of her trade with SADC. Malawi is, therefore, part of the SADC FTA and is working on removing tariffs on the remaining products.
Click here for more information on SADC Trade integration process.
Click here for the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Certificate of Origin.
Since 2002 ACP countries have been negotiating the new trade arrangements with the EU known as Economic Partnership Agreements. The negotiations are being done in regional configurations. Malawi is negotiating for an EPA under the Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA) configuration which comprise Burundi, Comoros, Seychelles, DR Congo, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Seychelles, Rwanda Sudan, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA)
The African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) is a United States Trade Act, enacted on 18th May, 2000 as Public Law 106 of the 200th Congress. AGOA has since been renewed to 2025. The legislation significantly enhances market access to the US for qualifying Sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries. Qualification for AGOA preferences is based on a set of conditions contained in the AGOA legislation. In order to qualify and remain eligible for AGOA, each country must be working to improve its rule of law, human rights, and respect for core labor standards. Find the AGOA eligibility requirements here.
Malawi's major exports to the US under AGOA include agricultural products, followed by textiles and apparel products. Major US exports to Malawi include machinery, transport equipment, electronic goods and agricultural and forestry products.
For more information of rules of origin under the AGOA framework, please follow this link.