Concerned fuel tanker operators say they want the Parliamentary Committee on Natural Resources and Climate Change to intervene on the current system of importing fuel in the country.
The fuel transporters say government is using 75 out over 700 tankers belonging to Malawians, a development that is negatively affecting their business.
A concerned transporter, Aslam Gaffar, who operates Zagaf Transport, told the parliamentary committee members during a meeting on Saturday in Salima that they have the capacity to transport all types of fuel products into the country at any given time, but are being sidelined.
He said: “Out of the 700 tankers, only 75 tankers have been used to haul fuel from the port of Beira by Petroleum Importers Limited [PIL] using the Ex-tank incoterm for a period of about one year now.”
Currently, another grouping, the Fuel Tankers Operators Association has dragged to court the State oil importing company’s decision to use delivered duty unpaid (DDU) international commercial term (incoterm).
The operators noted that National Oil Company of Malawi (Nocma) has been using delivery at place unloaded (DPU) incoterm in importing fuel, which is similar to DDU.
In global commerce, DDU method of importing refers to a system in which the seller or supplier assumes all the risks for delivery of the product from external depots at the ports to various internal depots in the country.
In this case, the local importer only takes charge of the products after it is delivered on site at local depots in the country.
On the other hand, DPU incoterm means the goods must be delivered at a named destination. The seller is in control of the goods up to that named place from which the buyer takes charge.
Fuel tanker operator Christopher Kamunthu said Nocma’s failure to honour its promise to have 86.7 percent haulage of fuel into the country done by local transporters has left so many transporters jobless.
The current fuel supply contracts started running in October 2021 and will end in September this year.
According to Kamunthu, if the 86.7 percent was implemented, government would have saved $42 million to haul 293.8 million litres in the current fuel supply contract from Dar es Salaam as local transporters would have been paid in kwachas.
Parliamentary Committee on Natural Resources and Climate Change chairperson Welani Chilenga said local fuel tanker operators must be prioritised.
He said: “Our transporters need to be the first to benefit from the business not foreign transporters.
Among others, the transporters are also against government’s move to increase Nocma’s fuel importation quota to 90 percent, thereby reducing that of PIL to 10 percent.
They also want fuel transport payments, including for foreign transporters, to be made in local currency so that the country can save foreign exchange.
Chilenga said the committee will soon call for a meeting of all stakeholders in the liquid fuels and gas sector, including Malawi Energy Re g u l a t o r y Authority, Nocma, Ministry of Energy, Ministry of Transport, PIL and fuel tankers operators to iron out the issues.