Road Traffic to licence more number plate importersDirectorate of Road Traffic and Safety Services (DRTSS) is set to issue three more licences to importers of blank registration plates to create competition and eventually reduce the prices on the local market.
Currently, only one company, Movesa, imports blank number plates after it was registered and licensed by DRTSS in 2011.
But DRTSS spokesperson Chisomo Chibwana, in a written response to a questionnaire, confirmed that the directorate has since issued a public notice to interested importers to bid for the licences.
In 2012, a prospective importer nearly completed the process to be registered and licensed but was stopped due to the change of the Malawi flag which needed to be incorporated in the blank plates.
“DRTSS expects that creating a platform of competition will in turn reduce the unit price of number plates and that is why at present we are calling on interested business entities to venture into blank number plate importation business,” said Chibwana yesterday in an e-mailed response.
She said during the inception of the programme there were several prospective importers who obtained application forms from DRTSS but never returned to proceed with the application process.
Chibwana explained that when the directorate conducted investigations it was revealed, among others, that the applicants thought it was a procurement process where they would be awarded a contract to supply specific quantity of goods.
Currently, the process of importing blank number plates requires prospective importers to get registered with DRTSS and obtain a form from DRTSS for free of charge and then together with samples of blank number plates from their prospective supplier/manufacturer forward to the Malawi Bureau of Standards (MBS) for testing for compliance with MBS 639 standard.