Market Information

Malaysia

Country cheat sheets that covers customs clearance and import duties for your e-commerce international shipping needs, eCommerce insights, and more

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 E-commerce Market

Malaysia’s e-commerce market value is US$3.1 billion in 2018 and is expected to grow to US$5.4 billion by 2022.

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 e-commerce 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 country:

  • 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:

70% of the online shoppers in Malaysia used online bank transfer while 41.7% of them still used cash-on-delivery (COD). Online bank transfer may be the top payment method, however, it would be good for businesses to offer COD to attract and capture more customers.

Non-working days in 2019

Saturday, Sunday and public holidays are non-working days. Please expect shipment delays on these days.

List of public holidays:

Some holidays, marked with *, apply to certain states only. See details here.

Date Holiday
Jan 1 New Year’s Day
Jan 14* Birthday of Sultan of Negeri Sembilan
Jan 20* Sultan of Kedah’s Birthday
Jan 21 Thaipusam
Feb 1 Federal Territory Day
Feb 5-6 Chinese New Year
Mar 4* Sultan of Terengganu Installation Anniversary
May 23* Birthday of Sultan of Johor
Apr 3* Isra and Miraj
Apr 15* Declaration of Malacca as a Historical City
Apr 19* Good Friday
Apr 26* Sultan of Terengganu’s Birthday
May 1 Labour Day
May 7* Sultan of Pahang Hol
May 12 Mother’s Day
May 19 Wesak Day
May 22* Nuzul Quran
May 20 – Jun 2* Harvest Festival
Jun 5-6 Hari Raya Aidilfitri
Jun 16 Fathers’ Day
Jul 7* Georgetown Heritage Day
Jul 13* State Public Holiday
Jul 17* Raja of Perlis’s Birthday
Jul 22* Sarawak Day
Aug 11-12 Hari Raya Haji
Aug 31 National Day
Sep 1 Awal Muharram
Sep 9 SPB Yang di Pertuan Agong’s Birthday
Sep 16 Malaysia Day
Oct 5* Governor of Sabah’s Birthday
Oct 5* Sultan of Johor Hol
Oct 11* Melaka Governor’s Birthday
Oct 12* Governor of Sarawak’s Birthday
Oct 24* Sultan of Pahang’s Birthday
Oct 27* Deepavali
Nov 1* Sultan of Perak’s Birthday
Nov 9 Maulidur Rasul
Nov 11-12* Sultan of Kelantan’s Birthday
Dec 11* Sultan of Selangor’s Birthday
Dec 25 Christmas Day

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 Usually in Jan or Feb
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 Changes every year as it follows the Islamic calendar

Learn more about these events here.

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

Statista (2018) | Customs Duty Free (2017) | Channel NewsAsia (2018) | Statista (2018) | Tech Wire Asia (2018) | Euromonitor International “Economy, Finance and Trace: Malaysia” (2018) | Office Holidays (2019)

Updated as of 21 Oct 2018.

                               
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