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Malaysia

Your Malaysia cheat sheet that covers customs clearance and import duties for your eCommerce international shipping needs, eCommerce insights, and more

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Malaysia's B2C Customs Clearance Info and eCommerce Insights

Malaysia flag
ID MY
Capital Kuala Lumpur
Official Language Bahasa Malaysia
Currency Ringgit Malaysia (MYR)
Population Size 31.1 million

Malaysia’s eCommerce Market

Malaysia’s eCommerce market value is US$4.3 billion in 2020 and is expected to grow to US$5.9 billion by 2024.

This industry will witness growth over the coming years given the increase in government spending on the IT sector. Also, with easy access to affordable smartphones and laptops and the rise of mobile internet, internet penetration increases leading to a growing internet population that eCommerce businesses can tap on.

Customs & regulations

Import Duty and Taxes

Malaysia maintains a de minimis value threshold of MYR500 on inbound shipments.

Shipment value below MYR500
Tax 0%
Shipment value above MYR500
Sales & Services Tax (SST) 5-10%
Import Duties 0-25%

You may check the tariff amount for your commodity here.

Restricted and Forbidden Goods

Restricted items that must meet certain conditions before going through customs clearance:

  • Apparatus/equipment for the brewing of beer in the home
  • Batik sarong
  • Electric domestic equipments that use 50 volt or 120 volt DC or more
  • Pharmaceutical products
  • Plants include parts and plant products
  • Rice and padi, and more

Prohibited items that cannot be imported into the market:

  • Cloth bearing the imprint or duplicate of any verses of the Quran
  • Cocoa pods, rambutans, pulasan, longan and nam nam fruits from Philippines and Indonesia
  • Illicit drugs
  • Indecent media such as printings, films and computer disc
  • Intoxicating liqour containing more than 3.46 milligrams per litre in any lead or compound of copper, and more

This list may change depending on government regulations. Visit the official customs page for the latest version.

Documentation

Documents required by Malaysia’s customs clearance include:

1. Packing List

This gives product details, shipment volume in kilogram or cubic meter, and serves as a checklist to ensure shipment has been packed correctly or not.

2. Commercial Invoice

This gives total shipment value usually in US dollar. Helps to determine the import duties and taxes, and eligibility of shipment.

If you are shipping without a logistics partner that can clear customs on your behalf, you may need to include the following shipping documentation as well:

  • Certificate of origin
  • Bill of lading or airway bill
  • Insurance policy
  • Other relevant permits, licenses, and certificates

Additional information

Payment preferences:

A majority of Malaysians (46%) use bank transfer to make eCommerce purchases, while the use of cards stands at 29% and digital wallets at 7%. Even though 7% of eCommerce purchases are Cash-on-delivery, it’s good to know that the majority of shoppers who prefer to pay by cash are older. 34% of 45-54 year old shoppers prefer this method over online payment methods.

While digital payment methods remain popular, it would be good for businesses to offer multiple payment methods to attract and capture more customers.

Non-working days in 2020

Saturday, Sunday and public holidays are non-working days. Please expect shipment delays on these days. Do note that some holidays in Malaysia are specific to individual states.

List of public holidays:

Date Holiday States
1 Jan New Year’s Day National except Johor,
Kedah, Kelantan, Perlis
& Terengganu
14 Jan YDPB Negeri Sembilan’s Birthday Negeri Sembilan
25 Jan Chinese New Year National
26 Jan Chinese New Year Holiday National
27 Jan Chinese New Year Holiday National except Johor
& Kedah
1 Feb Federal Territory Day Kuala Lumpur, Labuan
& Putrajaya
8 Feb Thaipusam Johor, Kuala Lumpur,
Negeri Sembilan, Penang,
Perak, Putrajaya &
Selangor
4 Mar Installation of Sultan Terengganu Terengganu
22 Mar Israk and Mikraj Kedah, Negeri Sembilan,
Perlis & Terengganu
23 Mar Sultan of Johor’s Birthday Johor
23 Mar Israk and Mikraj Holiday Negeri Sembilan &
Perlis
10 Apr Good Friday Sabah & Sarawak
15 Apr Declaration of Melaka as a Historical City Melaka
24 Apr Awal Ramadan Johor, Kedah &
Melaka
26 Apr Sultan of Terengganu’s Birthday Terengganu
26 Apr Awal Ramadan Holiday Johor & Kedah
1 May Labour Day National
3 May Labour Day Holiday Johor & Kedah
7 May Hari Hol Pahang Pahang
7 May Wesak Day National
10 May Nuzul Al-Quran National except Johor,
Kedah, Melaka, Negeri
Sembilan, Sabah &
Sarawak
11 May Nuzul Al-Quran Holiday Kuala Lumpur, Labuan,
Pahang, Penang, Perak,
Perlis, Putrajaya &
Selangor
24 May Hari Raya Aidilfitri National
25 May Hari Raya Aidilfitri Holiday National
26 May Hari Raya Aidilfitri Holiday National except Johor,
Kedah, Kelantan &
Terengganu
30 May Harvest Festival Labuan & Sabah
31 May Harvest Festival Holiday Labuan & Sabah
1 Jun Hari Gawai Sarawak
1 Jun Harvest Festival Holiday Labuan & Sabah
2 Jun Hari Gawai Holiday Sarawak
6 Jun Agong’s Birthday National
7 Jun Agong’s Birthday Holiday Kelantan & Terengganu
21 Jun Sultan of Kedah’s Birthday Kedah
7 Jul Georgetown World Heritage City Day Penang
11 Jul Penang Governor’s Birthday Penang
17 Jul Raja Perlis’ Birthday Perlis
22 Jul Sarawak Day Sarawak
30 Jul Sultan of Pahang’s Birthday Pahang
30 Jul Arafat Day Terengganu
31 Jul Hari Raya Haji National
1 Aug Hari Raya Haji Holiday Kedah, Kelantan, Perlis
& Terengganu
2 Aug Hari Raya Haji Holiday Kelantan & Terengganu
20 Aug Awal Muharram National
31 Aug Merdeka Day National
16 Sep Malaysia Day National
24 Sep Hari Hol Almarhum Sultan Iskandar Johor
3 Oct Sabah Governor’s Birthday Sabah
9 Oct Melaka Governor’s Birthday Melaka
10 Oct Sarawak Governor’s Birthday Sarawak
29 Oct Prophet Muhammad’s Birthday National
6 Nov Sultan of Perak’s Birthday Perak
11 Nov Sultan of Kelantan’s Birthday Kelantan
12 Nov Sultan of Kelantan’s Birthday Holiday Kelantan
14 Nov Deepavali National except Sarawak
15 Nov Deepavali Holiday Kelantan & Terengganu
11 Dec Sultan of Selangor’s Birthday Selangor
25 Dec Christmas Day National
27 Dec Christmas Holiday Johor & Kedah

Market Opportunities

Popular E-commerce Item Categories
  1. Electronics & Media such as consumer electronics
  2. Furniture and Homeware
  3. Fashion Apparels (Modest wear)
  4. Fashion Apparels (Fast fashion)
  5. Heath & Beauty
Popular Shopping Seasons
Event Name Event Period
Chinese New Year Jan/Feb
Lazada Birthday Sale Mar/Apr
Great Mega Sale Jul 19-31
National Day Aug 31
MYCyberSale Sep 3-7
Singles’ Day Nov 11
Black Friday Nov 23
12.12 Online Sale Dec 12
Ramadan & Hari Raya Depends on the Islamic calendar

Learn more about these events here.

Popular Shipping Destinations
EXPORTS
Rank Market
1 Singapore
2 China
3 United States
4 Japan
5 Thailand
IMPORTS
Rank Market
1 China
2 Singapore
3 United States
4 Japan
5 Taiwan
Sources:

Statista (2020) | Malaysia Exports (2018) | Malaysian Customs (2020) |Channel NewsAsia (2018) | JP Morgan (2019) | Nielsen (2019) | Euromonitor International “Economy, Finance and Trace: Malaysia” (2018) | Public Holidays (2020)

Updated as of 30 Jan 2020.

                               
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