Ultimate Guide to Import Licenses in Malaysia

What is an Import License in Malaysia

An import license in Malaysia is an official document that grants permission to bring goods into the country. It is required for certain types of goods, such as those considered hazardous, environmentally sensitive, or subject to government controls. Import licensing aims to protect the public interest, promote fair trade, and ensure that goods meet Malaysian standards.

There are two types of import licenses in Malaysia:

  1. Automatic Import Licensing (AIL): This is the most common type of import license, and it is granted in all cases where an application is submitted. The purpose of AIL is to collect statistical and other factual information on imports.

  2. Non-Automatic Import Licensing (NAIL): This type of import license is subject to approval by the relevant government agency. The purpose of NAIL is to control the importation of goods considered sensitive or requiring special consideration.

How to Apply as an Importer in Malaysia

Registering as an importer in Malaysia involves several steps to ensure compliance with the country’s import regulations and obtain the necessary permissions. Here’s a comprehensive guide on how to register as an importer in Malaysia:

  1. Determine Eligibility: Before registering, ensure you meet the eligibility criteria to become an importer in Malaysia. You must be:
    • An individual with a valid Malaysian passport or a registered company in Malaysia
    • Of legal age (18 years or above)
    • Possess a clean criminal record
    • Have the financial capability to import goods
    • Ability to provide all required documentation
  1. Choose an Import License Type: Decide on the type of import license you require, either an Automatic Import License (AIL) or a Non-Automatic Import License (NAIL). AIL is the standard license, while NAIL is for specific goods subject to government controls.

  2. Obtain Company Registration (if applicable): If you’re registering as a company, ensure it’s duly registered with the Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM). This involves providing company details, directors’ information, and other necessary documents.

  3. Gather Required Documents: Collect all the essential documents for the import license application, including:

    • Import Declaration Form (Form K)
    • Invoice for the goods
    • Packing list
    • Bill of lading
    • Certificate of origin
    • Any other relevant documents (e.g., permits, certifications)
  1. Complete Import Declaration Form: Download Form K from the Royal Malaysian Customs Department (RMCD) website or complete it online. Provide accurate information about the imported goods, including their description, quantity, value, and country of origin.

  2. Submit Application and Pay Fees: Submit the completed Import Declaration Form and accompanying documents to the nearest RMCD office. Pay the applicable application fees, depending on the license type and imported goods.

  3. Await Approval: The RMCD will process your application and conduct necessary verifications. AIL applications are typically approved within 24 hours, while NAIL applications may take up to two months.

  4. Collect Import License: Once your application is approved, you will receive an import license document valid for a specified period. This license authorizes you to import goods into Malaysia within the defined terms and conditions.

  5. Register for Goods and Services Tax (GST): If you intend to import goods subject to GST, you must register with the Royal Malaysian Customs Department. This involves providing company details, financial information, and tax identification documents.

  6. Comply with Import Regulations: As an importer, you must adhere to all applicable regulations and procedures. This includes obtaining permits for restricted goods, paying import duties and taxes, and ensuring goods meet Malaysian standards.

  7. Maintain Accurate Records: Keep detailed records of all import transactions, including invoices, customs declarations, and payment receipts. These records may be required for tax audits or other regulatory purposes.

  8. Stay Informed of Changes: Keep abreast of changes in import regulations or procedures to ensure your compliance remains up-to-date. Regularly check the RMCD website or consult with trade consultants for updates.

Who Can Apply for an Import License in Malaysia

Based on the current guidelines from the Malaysian Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI), the following entities are eligible to apply for an import license in Malaysia:

  • Registered companies in Malaysia: Companies duly registered with the Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM) can apply for import licenses. This includes both local and foreign companies with a registered Malaysian office.

  • Individuals with a valid Malaysian passport: Malaysian citizens with a valid passport are also eligible to apply for import licenses. This applies to individuals who are importing goods for personal use and those who are importing goods for commercial purposes.

  • Foreign companies without a registered Malaysian office: Foreign companies that do not have a registered Malaysian office can still apply for an import license. However, they must appoint a local agent to act on their behalf.

  • Government agencies and institutions: Government agencies and institutions can also apply for import licenses. This includes ministries, departments, statutory bodies, and local authorities.

In addition to the above, there are a few other general requirements that all applicants for import licenses must meet:

  • The applicant must be of legal age (18 years old or above)
  • The applicant must have a clean criminal record
  • The applicant must be able to demonstrate that they have the financial means to import the goods
  • The applicant must be able to provide all of the required documentation

If you are unsure whether or not you are eligible to apply for an import license in Malaysia, you can contact MITI for more information.

What is the Import Tariff of Malaysia

Malaysia’s import tariffs vary depending on the type of goods being imported. However, the average applied tariff rate for industrial goods is 6.1%. For certain goods, such as alcohol, wine, poultry, and pork, Malaysia charges specific duties that can be significantly higher. Duties for tariff lines with significant local production are often higher as well.

In addition to import duties, Malaysia imposes a Sales and Services Tax (SST) of 10% on most imported goods. Some goods are taxed at a reduced rate of 5%, while others are exempt from SST altogether.

Here is a table of Malaysia’s import tariffs for some selected goods:

Product Import Duty SST
Cars 0-50% 10%
Motorcycles 0-35% 10%
Electronics 5-10% 10%
Clothing 5-15% 10%
Food 0-20% 10%

Please note that these are just examples, and the actual tariffs for your goods may vary. For more information, please consult the Malaysian Customs Department website or contact a trade consultant.