Malaysia consists of two similarly sized regions in southeast Asia: Peninsular Malaysia and East Malaysia (Malaysian Borneo). The country shares it borders with Brunei, Indonesia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and VietNam and has an active trade in the region and all the world, as it's been for centuries, and remains still so. Just think on the analytical facts: Malaysia shipped US$234.3 billion worth of products around the globe in 2014 up 2.5% from $229.3 billion one year earlier. The latest figure represents 1.3% of worldwide exports estimated at $18.2 trillion.
The trade plays a large role in Malaysian economy. Malaysia has managed to maintain a positive trade balance, exporting more goods than it imports except in 1982, 1991 and 1994 - 1997.
Malaysia was once the world's largest producer of tin, rubber and palm oil. Its manufacturing sector has a crucial role in its economic growth. Malaysia is a relatively middle-income country, but it has transformed itself since the 1970s from a producer of raw materials into an emerging multi-sector economy and means to lead these transformations to the future.
Under current Prime Minister NAJIB, Malaysia is attempting to achieve high-income status by 2020 and to move farther up the value-added production chain by attracting investments in Islamic finance, high technology industries, biotechnology, and services.
To make the steps in that direction, we can see there is NAJIB's Economic Transformation Program, which is a series of projects and policy measures intended to accelerate the country's economic growth. The government has also taken steps to liberalize some services sub-sectors. The NAJIB administration also is continuing efforts to boost domestic demand and reduce the economy's dependence on exports.
But exports - and particularly of electronics exports, oil and gas exports, palm oil and rubber exports - remain a significant driver of the economy. Petroleum and natural gas suppliance, light manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, medical technology, electronics and semi-conductors, timber processing, petroleum and natural gas production; agriculture processing, petroleum and natural gas production remain Malaysian strong ponts.
Malaysia is a member of the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade agreement negotiations and, with the nine other ASEAN members, will form the ASEAN Economic Community in 2015.
Top 5 Products exported by Malaysia are Refined Petroleum, Petroleum Gas, Palm Oil, Integrated Circuits and Computers.
Top 5 Export destinations of Malaysia are the following countries Singapore, Japan, China, United States and Thailand.
Malaysia is a federal constitutional monarchy located in Southeast Asia. It consists of thirteen states and three federal territories and has a total landmass of 329,847 square kilometres separated by the South China Sea into two similarly sized regions, Peninsular Malaysia and East Malaysia (Malaysian Borneo). Peninsular Malaysia shares a land and maritime border with Thailand and maritime borders with Singapore, Vietnam, and Indonesia. East Malaysia shares land and maritime borders with Brunei and Indonesia and a maritime border with the Philippines. Malaysia has a constant active trade with these bordering countries as well as importing different goods worldwide.
Top Products imported by Malaysia: Integrated Circuits, Refined Petroleum, Crude Petroleum, Office Machine Parts, Planes, Helicopters, Spacecraft, electrical and electronic products, chemicals, machinery, appliances and parts.
Southeast Asia, particularly Malaysia, has been a trade hub for centuries. Since the beginning of history, Malacca has served as a fundamental regional commercial center for Chinese, Indian, Arab and Malay merchants for trade of precious goods. Today, Malaysia still continues to be an active trading center for many countries, and shares healthy trade relations with a number of countries, specifically the US. The country is associated with trade organizations, such as APEC, ASEAN and WTO. The ASEAN Free Trade Area that was established for trade promotion among ASEAN members also has Malaysia as its founding member. Malaysia has also signed Free Trade Agreements with countries including Japan, Pakistan, China and New Zealand, which alleviates the trade and is favorable to the world trade as well as Malaysian trade.
Malaysia's main import partners are: China, Singapore, Japan, Indonesia, Thailand and United States share the rest percentage.
Customs requirements of Malaysia
Malaysia Customs Contacts:
Address: Preventive Unit, Level 3 North, No.3 Persiaran Perdana, Ministry of Finance Complex Precinct 2, Federal Government Administration Complex, 62592 Putrajaya
Malaysia is a Southeast Asian country occupying the Malaysian Peninsula and part of the island of Borneo. It's known for its beaches, rainforests and mix of Malay, Chinese, Indian and European influences. The sprawling capital, Kuala Lumpur, is home to colonial buildings, busy shopping districts such as Bukit Bintang and skyscrapers including the iconic, 451m-tall Petronas Twin Towers.
Malaysia is member of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) group and the ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA), which aims to reduce trade barriers among the member countries over a 15-year period. Malaysia has signed and implemented bilateral FTAs with Japan and Pakistan and recently concluded FTA negotiation with New Zealand. The country is also a party to five regional FTAs, namely ASEAN-China, ASEAN-Korea, ASEAN-Japan, ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand and ASEAN-India.
In 2010, Malaysia agreed to enter into multilateral trade discussions with the U.S. and other members of the Trans-Pacific Trade Partnership (TPP). Negotiations on the TPP are still ongoing. The U.S. and Malaysia signed a Trade and Investment Framework Agreement in May 2004. The TIFA established a Trade and Investment Council (TIC) that meets several times a year to discuss ways to improve the bilateral trading relationship.
While Malaysia is progressively liberalising its tariff regime, some product and service categories are still protected by high tariffs and import licensing provisions. Under the Custom Prohibition Act 1967, selected category of goods are regulated to safeguard local manufacturers' interest, health and plant life and the national security of the country. The measures are also taken in view of the Malaysia's foreign policies and to ensure that there should be adequate supply of essential goods.
The following are broad categories of goods covered by the Act:
- food & agricultural products
- motor vehicles
- audio video recording machines
- steel products
Agricultural and food products
The Food Act 1983 and the Food Regulation 1985 Malaysia regulate the various aspects of food standards in Malaysia. All food, beverage and edible agricultural products imported or manufactured locally are required to comply with the guidelines. Details of the Act and Guideline are available on the Malaysian Ministry of International Trade & Industry website: Food Act 1983 and Food Regulation 1985 respectively.
Malaysia adopts the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System of classification of goods. Malaysia is progressively liberalising its tariff regime, but some products that are in competition with locally-manufactured products are still highly protected.
All regulations pertaining to food products can be found in the Food Act 1983 (incorporating all amendments up to December 2011). Specific labelling regulations can be found in the Labelling and Food Declaration Guide issued by the Ministry of Health.
Halal and health certificates are required for all meat-based products and are issued by JAKIM, the Malaysian Government body responsible for Halal certification. Halal Development Corporation sets the policies pertaining to the halal qualifications and JAKIM enforces these policies.
Quotes preferably in Ringgit Malaysia (RM), CIF (cost, insurance and freight). Payment usually byletter of credit. Established agencies may request documents against acceptance (D/A) terms of 60–90 days.
Not compulsory but may be requested in certain cases.
Two copies are required. The invoice, signed by the exporter or shipper, must indicate the following details:
- number and descriptions of packages
- marks and numbers of individual packages
- detailed description of the goods
- gross and net weights or quantity
- FOB and CIF values
- country of origin
- place of shipment and destination of the goods
The certificate of origin must be completed for goods on which preference is claimed. The certificate's details must include:
- a description of the goods
- their total invoice value
- a signature by the proprietor, a partner or principal official of the manufacturing or supplying firm (name of person signing and position in firm must be stated)
The following certification must be provided:
- that the person signing has the means of knowing the statement in the certificate to be correct
- that the person signing is duly authorised to issue the certificate on behalf of the manufacturer, producer or grower and, if appropriate, the supplier
- that the goods are the produce or manufacture of the Commonwealth country named
- if grown or produced, that the goods were grown or produced in and consigned from the named Commonwealth country or countries
Bill of lading
Minimum of two copies required. To Order bills are acceptable.
Must be furnished if contents of shipment not itemised in invoice. Packing list also facilitates clearance through customs.
Public health requirements
- Prior permits from the Malaysian Department of Agriculture are required for a range of items:
- plants and parts for propagation, including seeds
- soil for research purposes and growing media
- Special requirements govern the importation of drugs, pharmaceuticals and chemical additives used in food.
- All imported foodstuffs and drugs are subject to inspection.
- Electric motors must be approved by the Chief Electrical Inspector.
- Machinery must meet with safety requirements and be approved by the Chief Inspector of Machinery.