Malawi’s tobacco industry faces another looming shock as the European Union (EU) plans to introduce a “ban” on tobacco imports from Malawi and other tobacco-growing countries.
A representative from the tobacco companies, Limbani Kakhome has told the Economics Association of Malawi (Ecama) annual Lakeshore Conference currently underway in Mangochi.
In November 2019, the USA, through its Customs and Border Protection (CBP), also issued a ban, Christened World Release Order (WRO) against tobacco and tobacco products from Malawi following concerns that they were produced using child labour.
Malawi exports about ten million kilogrammes of tobacco to the USA, annually.
Kakhome, making his presentation titled “Addressing regulatory requirements on supply chain for Malawi’s export crops,” has told delegates that the EU targets to introduce such a trade restriction effective 2023.
He said: “That would be catastrophic to Malawi.”
The EU is Malawi’s biggest export destination.
Kakhome, who is JTI Leaf Malawi corporate affairs and communications director, said many countries around the globe are currently adopting mandatory requirements and are abandoning voluntary guidelines, stressing that there is a lot of supply chain due-diligence across the globe.