Customs regulations for your trip to Malaysia

Last modified: July 25, 2023
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Customs regulations

Used Household Goods and Personal Effects

Documents Required

  • Passport
  • Detailed inventory in English, dated and signed by the owner of the goods
  • Copy of bill of lading (OBL) / air waybill (AWB)
  • Full contact information of the owner of the goods in Malaysia
  • Letter of employment / copy of work permit
  • Copy of Malaysian ID (returning citizens)
  • List of electrical items
  • Diplomatic exemption letter from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (obtained by the Embassy – diplomats)

Specific Information

  • The owner of the goods must be present in the country when the goods are being imported
  • All shipments are subject to Customs examination
  • ISPM 15 fumigation is required for all wooden packaging materials at origin country prior to import.
  • All used household goods and personal effects used and owned by the owner of the goods for more than 6 months may be imported into Malaysia duty free.
  • Items less than 6 months old are subject to Customs duties and taxes.
  • Some entry ports in Malaysia may require an electrical board permit for all electrical goods.
  • The list of electrical items must include the item name, model, make, serial number and year of purchase (not required for port of entry at Port Kelang).
  • List of additional items include detailed information for books, VCDs, DVDs, CDs, etc. included in shipment
  • The diplomatic letter from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs takes approximately 7-10 business days to obtain; check with agent regarding requirements to be included in the letter.

Malaysia is a multicultural, majority Muslim country. You should respect local traditions, customs, laws and religions, especially during the holy month of Ramadan, other religious festivals or if you intend to visit religious sites. See Travelling during Ramadan

You should also dress modestly, particularly in conservative and rural areas and when visiting places of worship.

If you’re a Muslim you may be subject to local Shari’a law.

There are severe penalties for all drug offences; this includes amphetamine-type stimulants. Trafficking incurs a mandatory death penalty. Possession incurs a custodial sentence and possible whipping.

You could be asked to take a urine test on arrival in Malaysia if you’re suspected of having used drugs before your visit. Urine tests can also be taken when individuals are detained following raids on bars and nightclubs. If the test is positive, you could be detained, charged and/or deported and blacklisted.

Importing unlicensed firearms and ammunition into Malaysia is prohibited and can carry the death penalty.

Homosexual acts are illegal in Malaysia and punishable under federal law, and in some states, shari’a law. You should avoid any behaviour which could attract unwanted attention, including public displays of affection. Openly gay and lesbian support groups exist. See our information and advice page for the LGBT community before you travel.

Malaysia follows the Harmonized Tariff System (HTS) for the classification of goods. All imported and exported goods into the country must be categorized based on the Malaysian Customs tariff numbers. Any queries regarding the classification of import and export goods should go to the particular customs station of which the goods are to be imported.

Malaysian customs require the following documents for exporting products to Malaysia:

  • Invoice
  • Packing list
  • Delivery letter
  • Leaflet, catalog or other related documents
  • Insurance certificate, if insured
  • Bill of lading/airway bill
  • Letter of credit (if used)
  • Permit, licenses/ certificates
  • Proof of fare payment
  • A declaration form (Customs Form No. 1) that indicates the number, description of packages/ crates, value, weight, quantity and type of goods and country of origin
  • Completed Custom forms should be submitted to Customs offices at the place where the goods are imported or exported.
  • All duties/customs taxes imposed on imported goods will need to be paid in advance before the products can be released. Taxes to be paid include import tax and sales tax.

Additional documentation may be required to certify U.S. content. U.S. exporters are advised to confirm documentary requirements before shipping.
Free import :

  • 200 cigarettes or 225 grams of tobacco;
  • max. 1 liter of wine, spirits or malt liquor;
  • max. 3 pieces of new wearing apparel;
  • one pair of new footwear;
  • one unit of each portable electrical or battery operated appliance for personal care and hygiene;
  • a total max. of MYR 75.- of dutiable food preparations;
  • all other goods, incl. gifts and souvenirs up to a total value of max. MYR 400.- (except goods from Langkawi and Labuan, up to a total value of max. MYR 500.-).

The trafficking of illegal drugs is a serious offence in Malaysia and the penalty for such an offence is death.

The items can only be imported duty free if the following conditions are met:

  • the articles are imported by the visitor on his person or his baggage;
  • non-residents stay in Malaysia more than 72 hours;
  • nationals and residents of Malaysia have left the country for more than 72 hours.

Restricted/Dutiable Items

Quantitative import restrictions are seldom imposed, except on a limited range of products for the protection of local industries or reasons of security. Seventeen percent of Malaysia’s tariff lines (principally in the construction equipment, agricultural, mineral, and motor vehicle sectors) are also subject to non-automatic import licensing, which is designed to protect import-sensitive or strategic industries.

Malaysia’s tariffs are typically imposed on a value-add basis, with a simple average applied tariff of 6.1 percent for industrial goods.  For certain goods, such as alcohol, wine, poultry, and pork, Malaysia charges specific duties that represent incredibly high effective tariff rates.  Duties for tariff lines where there is significant local production are often higher. The Ministry of Finance announced on July 16, 2018, that the SST is chargeable on the manufacture of taxable goods in Malaysia.  The SST is also applied to the importation of taxable goods into Malaysia at the rate of 5 percent or 10 percent, or a specific rate depending on the category of products.

  • Liquor, wine and tobacco (a special import permit is required and is difficult to obtain); these items are subject to high import duties and taxes.
  • To import alcohol or tobacco a list must be supplied mentioning type of alcohol, quantity in ml or liter, country of origin, purchase value and percent of alcohol.
  • The following items may qualify for free import if within the indicated limits:
    • Cigarettes (200), tobacco (225 g)
    • Alcohol (1 L)
    • Books,VCD,DVD, CD, etc. (subject to censorship screening on arrival).
    • A screening fee will be charged directly to the owner of the goods.
  • Restricted pets include:
  • Bull mastiff
  • Bull terrier
  • Doberman
  • Rottweiler
  • Belgian / German shepherds
  • To import these pets requires a pedigree certificate and micro-chip.
    • The government veterinary officer will inspect owner’s residence prior to approval for import permit.

Prohibited Items

  • Narcotics (the death penalty is given for drug trafficking)
  • Non-branded drugs
  • Firearms, gas pistols, electric shock batons, stun guns (and similar weapons), ammunition and explosives (flares incorporating a barrel, etc.)
  • Indecent or obscene video cassettes, DVDs, films, books, magazines and other articles
  • Flick knives, butterfly knives and certain other offensive weapons, including some martial arts weapons
  • Counterfeit currency
  • Radio transmitters, walkie-talkies, citizen band radios, cordless telephones, etc. (an import permit is required)
  • Meat and poultry; many other animal products; check with agent
  • Plants and plant produce including trees and shrubs, potatoes and certain other vegetables, fruit, bulbs and seeds
  • Animals and birds, whether alive or dead (egg. stuffed), parts and articles derived from protected species, including furs, skins, ivory, reptile leather and goods made from them

Miscellaneous (Pets, Motors, and others.)

Motor Vehicles

Documents Required

  • Original passport (1 copy)
  • Original registration (1 copy)
  • Proof of ownership
  • Original insurance policy in country of origin proving use (1 copy)
  • Letter from owner of the goods requesting permission to import a motor vehicle

Specific Information

  • All motor vehicles imported attract high import duties and taxes.
  • All documentation is required a minimum of 7 days prior to arrival of the vessel or 2 days prior to arrival of the flight to avoid incurring additional shipments (excludes diplomats).
  • The process can take between 7 – 14 working days for the Ministry to issue the exemption letter.
  • The owner of the goods must apply for 1 import permit per vehicle with the Ministry of International Trade and Industry in Kuala Lumpur prior to import.
    • The owner of the goods can only import a motor vehicle if approved.
  • Import duties where the cost, insurance and freight (CIF) value is less than RM 20,000.00, is approximately 170% – 300% and subject to taxes of approximately 10% – 20%.

Pets

Documents Required

  • Certificate of vaccination
  • Veterinary health certificate
  • Import permit

Specific Information

  • To apply for an import permit the owner of the goods must provide rabies / vaccination given 2 weeks validity with documentation and a microchip, along with the owner of the goods’ passport and/or Malaysian ID (returning citizens), and their complete address.
    • This takes a day and is valid for 30 days.
  • West Malaysia and East Malaysia have completely different set of government regulations.
    • Please check with destination agent in Malaysia for more specific information.
  • All pets arriving after 10:00pm, will be charged for overtime cost at USD 80.00 flat rate
  • No food will be provided while in quarantine, please make sure sufficient food is supplied at the quarantine.
    • Attach food for the duration of quarantine; otherwise food will be given for a cost.
  • Space must be reserved for quarantine in advance of arrival.
  • The owner of the goods is allowed to visit the pet(s) at quarantine within office hours and on weekends upon special request to be made in advance.
  • Every pet owner is allowed to import their own pets, as long as rabies / vaccination documentation is up to date.
  • The veterinary health certificate must be issued 7 days prior to departure and state that the animal has been free from rabies during the preceding 6 months.
  • Cats and dogs are subject to quarantine in West Malaysia, if they are imported from Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Japan or Sweden.
  • Cats and dogs are subject to quarantine between 30 and 180 days inEast Malaysia.
    • The government State Veterinarian Department will consider house quarantine after 30 days, subject to a formal application and approval during the first week of quarantine.
  • Detailed information regarding the transport of animals must be provided to the destination airport prior to departure, including the type and number of pets.

Antiques, Artifacts, Carpets, Paintings

Documents Required

  • Import permit
  • Origin certificate
  • Photograph of Item
  • Valuation report

Specific Information

  • Contact the destination agent in Malaysia for further instruction.

Baggage Clearance regulations:

Baggage is cleared at the airport of final destination in Malaysia.

Not applicable to baggage of transit passengers:
1. with a destination inside or outside Malaysia if:
– transiting between terminal KLIA and terminal KLIA2 in Kuala Lumpur (KUL). Passengers must collect their baggage on arrival in Kuala Lumpur (KUL) and re-check in;
– the connecting flight is booked on a separate ticket. Baggage must be collected and re-checked in for the connecting flight;
2. with a destination outside Malaysia if not leaving the airport transit area and if their baggage have been checked through to the destination abroad.

Currency

Currency Import regulations:

Local currency (Malaysian Ringgit-MYR) and foreign currencies: No restrictions. Amounts exceeding MYR 30,000.- and USD 10,000.- or equivalent must be declared for re-export.

Currency Export regulations:

Allowed: local currency (Malaysian Ringgit-MYR): up to MYR 30,000.- and foreign currencies: up to USD 10,000.- or equivalent. Higher amounts may be exported if import has been declared upon arrival

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