Logistic and forwarding services in Malaysia


Capital City
Kuala Lumpur

29.24 Mio.

National languages
Malaysian, Chinese, English, Tamil

Ringgit (MYR)

Gross national product (GNP)
USD 303.53 Mrd.

GNP per person
USD 10’380

Financial exports to Switzerland
CHF 721.5 Mio.

Financial imports from Switzerland
CHF 423.99 Mio.

Bilateral relations Switzerland–Malaysia

Switzerland maintains good contacts in the educational field and supports projects of the International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO) for the sustainable management of tropical forests. Swiss companies also benefit from the favourable conditions in Malaysia.

Economic cooperation

A good operating environment and access to the Asian-Pacific market with around 600 million people make Malaysia an attractive location for Swiss companies. Within the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Malaysia is Switzerland’s third most important trading partner after Singapore and Thailand. In 2011, around 120 Swiss companies employed over 20,000 people in Malaysia. In addition, Malaysia is also a popular holiday destination for large numbers of Swiss people.



Business language


Dimensions and weights

Metric system with partial use of the Anglo Saxon system.


National currency Ringgitt (RM $) = 100 Sen.
ISO code: MYR

Customs tariff

Harmonised system. Customs clearance based on the transaction value.

Import control

Most goods, particularly industrial products, can be imported into Malaysia without any restrictions. The import of certain products is prohibited, or subject to a licence and/or special regulations.
There is a ban on the import of goods from Israel and weapons, certain toxic chemicals, vehicles over five years old and pornographic or similar material. There is a requirement for a licence for: electronic items (e.g. personal computers, telephone and fax accessories, wires and cables), new and used (less than five year old) vehicles, vehicle parts, construction machines, pets (dogs, cats, birds), plants, soil, certain medications and chemicals, certain steel products and a number of foods. Rice may only be imported by the National Rice Authority.
The are restrictions on the quantity of certain goods which can be imported (hens to protect domestic agriculture). In the case of any doubt, the Royal Customs and Excise Department in the Ministry of Finance, which is responsible for overseeing imports, or the Ministry of Trade and Industry should be consulted. The Ministry of Trade and Industry administers the import licences on behalf of the Royal Customs and Excise Department. The duration of validity of a licence is generally 12 months; it can be extended on request. Imports by state agencies do not require a licence. The lists of goods which are subject to import bans or restrictions for various reasons are part of the Customs Prohibition of Imports. There are existing guidelines on foreign currency controls which apply to all states except: Israel, Serbia and Montenegro: Transfers to foreign currencies are only to be carried out in foreign currencies, not possible in MYR. Payment in foreign currencies is currently permitted, as are payments for imports, but these must be transferred in a foreign currency. In the case of exports over FOB MYR 100.000 per shipment form (KWP-X) must be filled in and handed to customs on export. Export revenue in foreign currencies must be returned to MY after no more than 6 months. Import and export do not require approval up to 1.000 MYR (or equivalent in a foreign currency) = authorisation from the Central Bank is required.
Sales Tax of 6% since January 2015.

Terms of payment and tenders

Attempts should be made to use letters of credit. Documents against payment is still dependent on the importers being solvent. Invoices in EUR/USD or any other convertible currency. Tenders in English; prices CFR (cost and freight), port Kelang. Option for export insurance.

Designations of origin

Not required in principle. “Made in …” labelling of the goods is advisable.
An indication of the country of origin (e.g. Made in …) is always required in cases in which a misleading impression about the country of origin could be given due to the labelling or type of packaging.


There are special labelling regulations for pharmaceuticals, animal feed, cigarettes and agricultural products.


No special regulations for box signing have been passed, standard marking is sufficient. Seaworthy packaging, take the climate conditions into account. Goods labels in English are sufficient. Information about the nutritional content must be provided on food packaging. A price label is required for all goods offered in retail. There is a ban on the import of goods which have any images or drawings or bank notes or coins of any kind. Packages should not (where possible) contain goods of different customs tariff positions.
Use of the IPPC standard ISPM no. 15.

Product samples

Samples with no retail value = permitted duty free.
Standard securities for temporary import. Printed advertising materials and gifts are subject to duty (enclose 1 certificate of origin), note on the invoice: “Value for customs purposes only” with an indication of the value.
ATA Carnet procedure applicable.

Shipping and accompanying documents

Standard and for:

a) Commercial invoices, 3 copies, in English with the standard information; include FOB value, CIF costs and CIF value (if it relates to different customs positions, list each type of goods separately with the CIF value), uncertified commercial invoices, signed with the country of origin.

b) Certificates of origin (for Western Malaysia) are only required for goods from Commonwealth countries where a special customs tariff is used.

c) Bills of lading uncertified; order bills of lading are possible if a notify address is given.

d) Air and sea freight.

e) Where applicable a plant health certificate is required.

f) Postal packages: maximum weight 20 kg, 1 international dispatch note, 1 customs declaration in English.