The agency responsible for the administration of indirect taxes is the Royal Customs Malaysia which is responsible to collect the duties and taxes through imports based on the regulations and legislation set by the government of Malaysia. This is under the purview of the Ministry of Finance of Malaysia.
Import of Goods
Regulations must be followed if you want to import anything into Malaysia. Generally, all illegal items are absolutely prohibited from importation into Malaysia.
Below are some of the products that are not allowed to be imported into Malaysia although it is not limited to this list. This includes any reproduction of currency notes, coins and such as well as indecent items like paintings, printings, books, artwork and any other related media.
Any item which can threaten the harmony and peace of Malaysia cannot be imported.
- Turtle Eggs, all types of piranha fish
- Certain types of liquor
- Weapons of any kind
- Sodium arsenate
- Poisonous chemical
- Certain fruits like longan, pulasan from Indonesia and the Philippines.
Meanwhile, there are certain types of products that can be imported through an import license or permit from the authorities concerned.
- Any type of meat and parts
- Egg in the shells
- Live animals
- Fireworks (usually used for celebrations and festivals)
- Fake or imitation weapon like guns and knives
- Security items
- Batik sarong
- Live fish
- Pharmaceutical products
The list above does not cover all the products and you must check with the relevant authorities before trying to import anything.
Drug Trafficking It is an extremely serious offence and is a crime punishable with death by hanging.
Duties and Taxes
To import anything into Malaysia, there is import duty and taxes involved using the CIF or Cost, Insurance and Freight method. This is regardless if you are a private individual or a company and the duty and taxes will be applicable after taking into consideration the cost of freight, cost of insurance and the cost of the goods imported.
Generally, the rates for importing anything into Malaysia can be between 0 and 50% of the total. However, the average duty rate is usually not more than 6%. There are some types of goods like laptops and electronic products which are not subjected to duty.
VAT is standard with 10% of the total CIF value, duty and any excise involved. There are some products which are lower that can be between 0 and 5%.
Submitting of inward manifest
The inward manifest is the document required for imports.
- If your products arrived by vessel, the Master or Agent of the Vessel will be responsible to submit this and must be done within 24 hours after the cargo arrived.
- If your products arrived by plane, the pilot or the agent of the aircraft will be responsible. They must be cleared upon arrival or when required by the officer of the customs.
- If your products arrive by rail, the station master will be responsible and must be cleared upon arrival.
- Goods arrival on vehicles will be the responsibility of the person in control of the goods and must be cleared on arrival.