The Road Fund Administration (RFA) has appealed to all motorists, clearing agents, banks and the public to comply with the road access fee set to roll out on November 1 this year for vehicles with foreign registration numbers.
The road access fee was recently approved by the Malawi government and is a road user charge (RUC). It will be collected by the Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) on behalf of RFA.
Speaking at a press briefing on Tuesday in Blantyre, RFA director of finance Alexander Makhwatha said they introduced the fee to broaden the RFA revenue base. RFA uses the fund for mantainance and rehabilitation of public roads in Malawi.
The fee will be charged at a fixed rate of $20 (about K14 600) per vehicle and will not depend on the vehicle’s country of origin or the distance to be travelled in Malawi.
He said they expect to generate in excess of $400 000 (about K200 million) annually from the fee.
“All motorists issued with a temporary importation permit [TIP] by the MRA shall be required to pay the road access fee at the border of entry and upon renewal of the TIP with MRA. The fee shall be paid through designated banks and motorists are advised to keep clearance documents from MRA as they may be required to produce them for verification,” he said.
In her remarks, MRA assistant revenue accountant Akonda Yakobe said they have welcomed the development and they are ready to collect the fee as mandated.
She assured all stakeholders that there will be no complications as they already have in place the required structures to ensure the whole process goes smoothly.
“This fee is an extension to the transit fee that we have been collecting, so we already have the skills and the structures in place, the process will be the same and it will not require new staff,” she said.
Failure to pay the road access fee will attract a penalty of $500 (K365 000) per vehicle on the spot. n