One of the main constraints to investment and export growth, as mentioned repeatedly by the private sector and as identified in the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy (MGDS) and the National Export Strategy (NES) is the Control of Goods Act. The Act empowers the Minister responsible for trade to make regulations to control export and import of goods to Malawi as well as their distribution, disposal, sale and purchase. By providing discretionary powers to Ministers, the current Control of Goods Act can undermine policy credibility, and creates unnecessary unpredictability in the market, and potentially is a disincentive to investment in Malawi’s agricultural and other sectors.

Given the challenges presented by the Control of Goods Act, this project entailed: a review the Control of Goods Act and other related legislation and linked regulations; and proposals of detailed amendments to the current legislation so that collectively they help Malawi to promote the trade of goods, and render any associated administration of this legislation efficient and effective without the necessity of resorting to policy discretions such as export restrictions. The overall aim is to create a more credible and predictable trading environment

Successfully completing the project required the following services:

  • Initial stakeholder engagement to understand key issued caused by the Act
  • Compilation and review of documents, acts, and agreements pertinent to the Act (including the MGDS II, the Malawi National Export Strategy (NES), and other related policies)
  • Reviewing evidence of the impact of the Act’s application in practice
  • Literature review of studies and recommendations surrounding export restrictions in Malawi
  • Analysis and review of regional best practices
  • A review and redrafting of the Control of Goods Act, including substantive and procedural principles underpinning the updated Act and matrixes of drafting proposals and amendments
  • Development of discussion guides and questionnaires for stakeholder consultations
  • In person and remote consultations with key government and non-government stakeholders
  • Coordination and execution of a stakeholder workshop
  • Finalisation of a redrafted Act and consulting report
  • Full validation of redrafted Act