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Shipping to Malaysia? Learn About Customs Rules and Regulations for Shipping by Sea

Shipping to Malaysia? Learn About Customs Rules and Regulations for Shipping by Sea

Located in Southeast Asia, Malaysia is home to a population of over 28 million, according to World Bank data. The country’s capital city is Kuala Lumpur and Malaysian’s federal government is located in Putrajaya. Malaysia is home to a number of shipping ports, including the Labuan Port, the Rajang Port, the Sandakan Port and the Kota Kinabalu Port.

If you need cargo shipping services to Malaysia, there are a number of required documents you should plan to have including:

  • Passport
  • Work Permit
  • Visa (for both employment and residence in Malaysia)
  • Letter from your employer in Malaysia stating the specific reason for import, job function and approximate length of stay
  • Letter of Authorization to Destination Agent, signed by customer, for your shipment to be cleared

In addition, you will also need to have eight signed copies of Customs Form No. 1.

The inventory required for your shipment to Malaysia should correspond exactly to the contents of your shipment. Please make a separate list of the electrical items, appliances and new items that you are shipping. You should clearly list the brand, model, country of origin, voltage and price of the items in your cargo shipment.

When your cargo goes through customs clearance in Malaysia, you should plan to be present since there are some required documents you will need to sign.

It is also important to note that all cargo shipments entering Malaysia are subject to a customs examination in the country.

If you are interested in shipping duty free to Malaysia, you can do this as long as you have owned the items for at least three months and as long as you do not dispose of them for at least six months after arrival in Malaysia.

To qualify for duty free shipping to Malaysia, you must also be either a foreigner with a work permit in Malaysia or a citizen of Malaysia who has been living out of the country for at least 12 prior consecutive months.

Shipping to Malaysia – Items that are Subject to Duty Fees, Restrictions and Taxes

If you are shipping cargo to Malaysia, certain items are subject to duty fees, taxes and/or special import permits. For example, all electrical items shipped to Malaysia must be accompanied by an Import Permit.

In addition, if any of your items are less than six months old, you will be expected to pay certain duty fees and taxes. Make sure you have the original invoices with the value of your items.

When shipping to Malaysia, some items are restricted. For example, restricted items include the following:

  • Video cassettes and films are subject to review by the Film Censorship Board in Malaysia
  • Precious metal objects
  • Any plants that you ship to Malaysia require a Phytosanitary Certificate and approval from the Malaysian Ministry of Agriculture.
  • Alcohol and cigarettes are subject to high import fees

You can ship a computer to Malaysia, tax free, but you are limited to no more than three imported computers per family. In addition, you cannot sell any computers that you ship to Malaysia duty free for at least one year following import to the country. Please note, computers also require an import license.

You are required to have a special permit in order to ship telephones and fax equipment to Malaysia.

Prohibited Items when Shipping to Malaysia

If you are shipping cargo to Malaysia, there are certain items that you are not allowed to import into the country. The following items are not allowed for shipment to Malaysia:

  • Firearms, dangerous weapons, fireworks, explosives, ammunition and knives
  • Narcotics and drugs (violators may be subject to Death Penalty)
  • Food items
  • Pornographic or politically sensitive material (in the form of books, videos, films)
  • Gold bullion
  • Satellite dish
  • Short wave radios
  • Vehicles older than 5 years (see below)

Any literature on communism is prohibited from shipment to Malaysia

In addition, you are not allowed to ship items from Israel to Malaysia.

Vehicle Shipping to Malaysia

Car shipping to Malaysia is generally quite difficult. All motor vehicles, whether new or used, are subject to customs duties in Malaysia, and are also highly taxed. Please note that vehicles older than 5 years are prohibited from shipment to Malaysia.

If you want to ship a vehicle to Malaysia, you must have a special Import Permit. You should make sure to have this import permit granted before your vehicle is shipped to Malaysia. The required documents for vehicle shipping to Malaysia include the following:

  1. Original ownership certificate
  2. Customs Form No. 1 (plan to have eight copies)
  3. Insurance Policy
  4. Original and copy of passport of vehicle owner
  5. Letter from vehicle owner stating reason to import vehicle to Malaysia
  6. Vehicle Invoice, if auto is new

Moving Overseas and Bringing a Pet to Malaysia

If you are moving overseas and are interested in bringing a pet to Malaysia, you are allowed to bring a dog or cat or bird to Malaysia as long as you have the proper documentation and follow the required protocol.

In order to bring a pet to Malaysia, you will need to obtain an Import Permit prior to your animal’s arrival in the country. You will also need a health certificate for your pet, issued within seven days of flight, which clearly states that your animal comes from a rabies free area.

All pets entering Malaysia must also have a vaccination certificate which shows proof that vaccination was administered between 30 and 180 days prior to arrival.

You should also make note of the breed, age, color, your pet’s name, your contact information, and flight details. Once arriving in Malaysia, your pet will undergo a quarantine period for one month. You should notify the kennel/quarantine space at least 7 days in advance of your arrival so that you know there is space. After two weeks of a successful quarantine period, your pet may be allowed to spend the remainder of the quarantine at your home.

There is a lot to think about as you plan an overseas move to Malaysia or some other destination worldwide. A professional international shipping company will help you navigate all of the country specific rules and regulations, paperwork, and logistics.

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