How to import cars in Malawi

How to import cars in Malawi

By Jack Kates

It is actually quite easy to import cars in Malawi. It is a Right Hand Drive and there is no restriction on how old a vehicle may be imported in and no Road Worthy inspection required. In the past all kinds of junks were imported in but in 2010 government imposed excise duty on used vehicle that rises in line with the age of the vehicle. This has made import of new vehicles more affordable, in some cases a new vehicle may end up costing less.

This may change once again as government is contemplating a drastic reduction in duty by end of 2014. We will update you as soon as we know.


Since Malawi is a landlocked country, Dar es-Salam port in Tanzania, Maputo port in Mozambique and Durban port in South Africa may be used but most of our customers prefer Dar es Salam port as one can drive the car to Malawi after it has been cleared.

South Africa does not allow imported in-transit vehicles to be driven through its roads. You can also use clearance agent to deliver the vehicle to Malawian border or even to your home if you so like. If you use Durban here is some pertinent information

REC Membership: SADC, COMESA
Recommended drop-off point: Blantyre
Carriers per Week: 3 
Transit Time in Days: 7

Recommended routing:
Durban>>Johannesburg>>Beit Bridge>>Chirundo>>Mwanza>>Blantyre


African Ports and Countries they serve

Port Countries covered
Durban Zimbabwe,Lesotho, Botswana, Namibia, Lesotho, Swaziland
Dar es Salaam           Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Congo, Burundi
Mombasa Kenya, Uganda, Sudan, South Sudan
Maputo Mozambique


How long does it take to get to Dar es Salam

It takes 4 weeks from Thailand to Dar es Salam and two weeks from Dubai to Dar es Salam.

Required Documentation for Import of Cars

  • Original Commercial/Purchase Invoice.

  • Drivers License & International Insurance Policy (green card).

  • Original Certificate of Title and Registration.

  • Copy of client’s work contract.

  • Original Bill of Lading: It must show Chassis number, Engine number, Cubic Capacity, Manufacturing year, brand and model.

  • Power of Attorney if you are using Destination Agent to do clearance on your behalf

We always recommend checking with your embassy, a clearing agent in Malawi or the authorities in Malawi to ensure you have up to date information on the rules and regulations. The information here is for guidance purposes only and should not be used as hard and fast rules.

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