Customs duties

Normal rates and notification requirements

Where are normal customs duty rates for your jurisdiction listed? Is there an exemption for low-value shipments, if so, at what level? Is there a binding tariff information system or similar in place? Are there prior notification requirements for imports?

Customs duties are paid on an ad valorem basis on imports and exports as provided under the Malaysian Customs Act 1967. The rates, and any applicable exemptions, are set by subsidiary legislation made under the Customs Act, and depend on the type of goods imported or exported. The rates generally range from zero to 40 per cent, with much higher rates imposed on alcohol and tobacco products.

The complete list of the applicable duties can be found at the Royal Malaysian Customs Department’s website ( or For e-commerce using air courier services, goods imported not exceeding a total value of 500 ringgit per consignment are exempt from custom duties.

Malaysia uses both the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (HS Code) and ASEAN Harmonized Tariff Nomenclature (AHTN).

AHTN is used for trade transactions between Malaysia and the other ASEAN countries, while the HS Code applies for trade with non-ASEAN countries.

Import permits may be required for certain products to be imported. See question 20.

Special rates and preferential treatment

Where are special tariff rates, such as under free trade agreements or preferential tariffs, and countries that are given preference listed?

This information can be found at the MITI website (

How can GSP treatment for a product be obtained or removed?

The Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) is a system whereby developed countries grant preferential treatment to eligible products imported from developing countries, so that exports of developing countries would be competitive in the developed countries’ markets. The preferential treatment is in the form of reduced import duties, and is granted without reciprocal obligation on the part of the developing countries.

GSP treatment for a product can be obtained when the product genuinely originates from the beneficiary countries and when certain origin conditions are satisfied. The product must also be transported directly from the exporting preference-receiving country to the preference-giving country.

The claim for GSP treatment must be supported by documentary evidence as to origin and consignment. The documentary evidence accepted for the purposes of GSP is the certificate of origin (more commonly referred to as ‘form A’), which in Malaysia can be obtained by the interested manufacturer or exporter from the Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers.

In Malaysia, the authorised issuing or endorsing authority for form A is MITI.

In order to obtain GSP treatment, manufacturers or exporters are required to submit an application for cost analysis approval to the Trade Cooperation and Industry Coordination Section of MITI. An approval letter will be issued by the Trade Cooperation and Industry Coordination Section for products that qualify under the rules of origin under the GSP scheme. Once an approval letter is issued, MITI will endorse the said form A submitted by the interested manufacturer or exporter.

Is there a duty suspension regime in place? How can duty suspension be obtained?

No, there is no duty suspension regime in place. However, Malaysia has established numerous free trade zones and licensed manufacturing warehouses with various investment incentives where manufacturing companies can produce or assemble imported products primarily for re-exportation. Customs controls in these zones are minimal, and all machinery and raw materials and components used in the manufacturing process may be imported duty-free.


Where can customs decisions be challenged in your jurisdiction? What are the procedures?

The Customs Appeal Tribunal (CAT) is an independent body, established to decide on appeals against the decision of the director-general of customs pertaining to matters under the Customs Act 1967, the Sales Tax Act 2018, the Service Tax Act 2018 and the Excise Act 1976.

A filing fee of 100 ringgit is payable for each appeal lodged, and must include particulars such as the name, address, particulars of dispute, reasons of appeal and the remedy sought.

An appeal to the CAT must be filed within 30 days from the date of notification in writing of the decision of the director-general of customs.

The CAT’s decision is deemed to be an order of a sessions court and can be enforced accordingly. The appellant or the Director-General of Customs may appeal against the decision of the CAT to the High Court on a question of law or of mixed law and fact.