The Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) has announced the resumption of physical examinations on consignments of used clothing, specifically focusing on undergarments. This decision comes in response to growing concerns over the importation of prohibited undergarments such as underwear, bras, socks, thigh clings, boxer shorts, and leggings.
In a public notice, the country’s revenue collector stated that it is enforcing the government’s ban on the importation of undergarments, which was officially gazetted on July 24, 2020. MRA’s marketing and communications manager, Wilma Chalulu, confirmed the implementation of this restriction.
Economic expert Dr. Betchani Tchereni emphasized that the practice of importing second-hand products, including undergarments, has had detrimental effects on Malawi’s foreign exchange reserves. Dr. Tchereni further suggested that manufacturing these items locally would help conserve the country’s limited resources.
“Malawi behaves as a second-hand country due to the practice of importing second-hand products. We can’t be outsourcing everything,” remarked Dr. Tchereni.
The enforcement of physical examinations on used clothing shipments, specifically targeting banned undergarments, reflects the government’s commitment to curbing the influx of such items into the country. The MRA’s efforts aim to protect local industries, conserve foreign exchange reserves, and promote self-sufficiency in the manufacturing sector.