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Import duty & taxes when importing into Malaysia

Overview

Import duty and taxes are due when importing goods into Malaysia whether by a private individual or a commercial entity.  The valuation method is CIF (Cost, Insurance and Freight), which means that the import duty and taxes payable are calculated on the complete shipping value, which includes the cost of the imported goods, the cost of freight, and the cost of insurance.  Some duties are also based on quantity measurements, like weight or volume.  In addition to duty, imports are subject to sales tax (VAT), and in some cases to excise.

Duty Rates

Duty rates in Malaysia vary from 0% to 50%, with an average duty rate of 5.74%.  Some goods are not subject to duty (e.g. laptops, electric guitars and other electronic products). 

Sales Tax

The standard VAT is levied at 10% of the sum of the CIF value, duty and any excise applicable.  A reduced rate between 0% and 5% applies to some products.  Sales Tax may sometimes be specific, i.e. applicable on units per litre and per kg.

Minimum thresholds

Imports with a shipment value, i.e. CIF value, up to MY$ 500 are exempt of duty, with the exception of alcohol, wine and tobacco products from USA.  There is no minimum threshold for sales tax and excise. 

Other taxes and custom fees

Excise rates vary and are applicable either ad valorem or specific, i.e. on units (MY$) per litre, per litre of alcohol (LAL), per kg, per Sticks (ST- for cigarettes).  Below is an indication of the excise rates as they are applied:

-       10% to 105.0%

-       $0.1 PER L to $34 PER L

-       $22.5 PER LAL to $42.5 PER LAL

-       $0.22 PER ST

-       $7.5 PER KG to $220 PER KG

Local Customs office and contacts

More information on import declaration procedures and import restrictions can be found at the Malaysian Customs website.