Trade barriers

Government authorities

What government office handles complaints from domestic exporters against foreign trade barriers at the WTO or under other agreements?

The Trade Practices Section of MITI.

Complaint filing procedure

What is the procedure for filing a complaint against a foreign trade barrier?

Malaysia does not have a specific procedure for trade barrier complaints and adopts the WTO procedure for dispute settlement. This includes requesting consultations, formally demanding negotiations to try to settle the matter or, as a last resort, requesting the WTO to set up a panel of three arbitrators to judge the case.

Grounds for investigation

What will the authority consider when deciding whether to begin an investigation?

See question 16.

Measures against foreign trade barriers

What measures outside the WTO may the authority unilaterally take against a foreign trade barrier? Are any such measures currently in force?

Alternative measures include government-to-government negotiations and the threat of possible trade sanctions.

Private-sector support

What support does the government expect from the private sector to bring a WTO case?

Where it is deemed necessary, the government will institute a WTO case in Geneva through the Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC). The private sector is expected to assist by forwarding the necessary trade information and figures to the AGC and attending to any queries the AGC might have in preparation of the WTO case.

Notable non-tariff barriers

What notable trade barriers other than retaliatory measures does your country impose on imports?

The government of Malaysia operates a system of import licensing. Import permits are required for a number of items, including arms and explosives; motor vehicles; certain drugs and chemicals; plants; soil; tin ore, slag or concentrates; and various essential foodstuffs. Prohibited imports include multicolour copying machines, any ‘indecent or obscene’ articles and certain poisonous chemicals.

All imported beef and poultry products must originate from facilities that have been approved by Malaysian authorities as halal.

Import duties generally range from zero to 40 per cent. In line with Malaysia’s commitment to the ASEAN Common Effective Preferential Tariffs scheme, all industrial goods traded within ASEAN are subject to import duties of between zero and 5 per cent only.

In addition to import duties, the government of Malaysia also imposes excise duties on certain selected categories of imports such as automobiles, leaf tobacco, cigarette products and alcoholic beverages.