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International Merchandise Trade Statistics

International merchandise trade statistics in Malawi are compiled by the National Statistical Office, foreign trade statistics section located at its headquarters in Zomba.

Sources of data

Customs Records: The major source of trade data is from the Malawi revenue Authority (MRA) through the customs declaration forms (Form12). The MRA captures the forms electronically in ASYCUDA ++ format (Automated System of Custom Data) from the automated/busiest posts about (90 percent). The remainder of the ports are non-automated and paper forms of the declaration are sent by post to the National Statistical Office.

Survey of major exporting companies and associations; For some major items a comparison is made with trade statistics reported by major exporting companies and associations that have special quota trade agreements such as;

a) ILLOVO Sugar Corporation,

b) Tea and Coffee association of Malawi and

c) Tobacco Control Commission.

Imports and exports of electricity tariff are obtained from the Electricity Supply Commission (ESCOM). lNo surveys are done for the major importing companies.

Coverage; Inclusions and exclusions

Inclusions: Included are all traded goods as reported by the Customs declaration forms, With value exceeding 1000 Malawi kwacha.

Exclusions: The following categories of goods are not included in the statistics:

  • Consignments of goods in direct transit,
  • Returned merchandise and returned packing material,
  • Merchandise repair free of charge,
  • Personal belongings; removable articles imported on transfer of residences,
  • Goods imported by diplomatic corps,
  • Supplies under military defence agreements,
  • Commercial samples.
  • Classifications:

In the customs declaration, the data is recorded according to the UNSD harmonized commodity description and coding systems (HS 2005). The HS is an eight–digit international customs and statistical nomenclature. In its aggregate from the HS-2 classifies commodities according to their physical material content into 97 major chapters.
The Standard International Trade classification, (SITC), Revision 3. The SITC is a UN classification for statistical purposes. In the SITC the commodities are grouped by level of processing. It has 10 categories, Broad Economic category system (BEC). It has 7 categories. The new COMESA, Common External Tariff Nomenclature, (CET) is still in its development stages. This classfies the HS chapters into four main categories,

A: Raw materials

B: Intermediate goods

C: Finished goods

D: Capital Goods

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