Released On 15th Jun 2021
Importing Electronic Goods into Malaysia
A better understanding of Malaysia’s schemes for imported and exported goods will help traders navigate their way through Malaysia's customs clearance procedures. This guide therefore offers insight into Malaysia’s import process (which is clearly defined for electronic goods), its main industries and economy, and its role as a key financial hub in Asia.
Apart from anything else, Malaysia is a wonderful holiday destination – the weather, culture, sights and beaches attract millions of international tourists every year. However, tourism is only a small segment of revenue generation for the country.
Malaysia’s key industries, financial and economic factors
Malaysia’s capital, Kuala Lumpur, has emerged over the past 10 years as a key financial centre for the Asian continent, with global brands choosing the country for their headquarters and centre of business, aided by the fact that English is a recognised language, alongside the official language of Malaysian.
Furthermore, the regulatory and fiscal environments in Malaysia have been designed to foster the attractiveness of the country, with relatively low taxes in the global competition.
Its geographic location in Asia, bordering Brunei, Indonesia, Singapore and Thailand, with the Philippines and Vietnam close by, makes it an important hub of business in South East Asia.
Malaysia’s robust growth comes from some key industries which are driven by global and local consumption and the cost of doing business and manufacturing:
- Rubber and Palm oil processing
- Medical technology
- Timber processing
- Petroleum production
- Petroleum refining
Heavily reliant on commodities such as hydrocarbons and palm oil, Malaysia resides on the global list of top exporters of electrical and electronic products.
3 key steps to importing electronics into Malaysia
Malaysia goes to great efforts to ensure they have a clear and defined import process, whilst ensuring that goods meet safety criteria for their citizens.
As Mouse & Bear specialises in import services for electronic goods and IT hardware, we’ll focus on the three main steps that exist for importing electronics (of any kind) into Malaysia:
1. Registration with the Companies Commission of Malaysia
Before an importer can obtain an import license, they must first register with the Companies Commission of Malaysia. This registration process includes identifying:
- the owner of the business
- business address
- nature of business
- information about the owners of the business.
In order to register, the business owner must be a Malaysian citizen, and over 18 years old. It is not permitted for a third-party company to submit the application forms on the owner’s behalf.
2. Apply to the Ministry of International Trade & Industry (MITI)
The next step is to obtain an import license. A business must apply to the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI). This Malaysian Government is responsible for international trade, industry, investment, productivity, small and medium enterprise, development finance institution, halal industry, automotive, steel, and strategic trade.
Malaysia uses a privatised single digital window for all import and export regulations, called Dagang Net.
3. Apply for SIRIM to import Communication and Multimedia products
To import Communication and Multimedia products into Malaysia, MITI requires approval from a national certification regime called SIRIM.
SIRIMs are applied for before the importation of the goods and should be done for every shipment. SIRIMs come under Communication and Multimedia Certification Section (CMCS) services related to the importation, certification and labelling of communication and multimedia products.
A datasheet of the products is required to apply for the SIRIM – there are two types:
- Compliance Approval, where a sample of the goods must be submitted for testing
- Special Approval Certification, which may be granted for equipment under conditions as set out below.
Special Approval Certification is to be used exclusively by an individual or company, limited to the following uses only:
- For personal or the company's own use
- For trials, market surveys or demonstration of equipment which uses network connections
- Exhibition purposes without network connection
- Research and development
Medical goods can apply for a SIRIM by default if they adhere to national standards such as:
- Malaysian Standard (MS)
- British Standard (BS)
- Regional standards such as European Norm (EN)
- International Standards (ISO) or a well-known association specification/standard which is publicly available such as JKR Specification, AWWA, ASTM.
The Certification Mark granted under this scheme proves that your product has undergone assessment and supervision, and your goods will have a sticker representing the appropriate certification as proof. For specific products regulated by the Malaysian authorities, finished products require an additional SIRIM Label with unique serial numbers.
Importing goods by courier
Goods can be imported into Malaysia by courier. However, there is a limit to the amount or quantity, which is prescribed by Malaysia’s Government from time to time. If the value or quantity of imported goods exceeds the prescribed limit, the necessary procedures as described above must be completed according to the instructions described earlier in this article.
Courier services cannot be used when using IOR services as the automated processes implemented by the courier services means the ability for an IOR agent to intercept the shipment becomes very difficult and causes delays. On a practical note, the operation for courier services in Kuala Lumper airport is in a different terminal to agents.