This article explains the conditions and procedure that are required to comply by the companies wishes to obtain import license in Malaysia.
In order to protect strategic and young industries of Malaysia from import competition, Malaysian government imposed an involuntary licensing administration for importing few types of commodities such as construction equipment, agricultural products, minerals, motor vehicles. For example, importing heavy machinery must be approved by the MITI authority and the approvement is given only when the machinery is not available locally. The main authority for granting import license is Royal Customs Malaysia and its subsidiary organization MITI and other specified authorities are responsible for administrating importing licensing in Malaysia.
Before applying for an import license for the specific product, the potential applicant must check for the eligibility. For example, importing motor vehicle in Malaysia, a vehicle must be certified by the recognized body from exporting country and company should hold an approved permit for completely buildup motor vehicles.
After checking the eligibility, the importer should find the proper application form. A list of application related to different products may found in Malaysian Custom website or at Syarikat Percetakan Nasional (M) Berhad, Jalan Chan Sow Lin, 50554 Kuala Lumpur.
Applicant needs to fill up the application form and also collect other relevant documents mentioned in application form. Then complete application form along with supporting documents need to submit at Ministry of International Trade & Industry (MITI), Import & Export Control Section, 2nd Floor, Block 10, Government Office Complex, Jalan Duta, 50622 Kuala Lumpur.
Applicants may also submit an application form at MITI’S Branch Offices in Sabah and Sarawak or online. After submission, the application goes to the secretary general of MITI. They receive the application, verify all the documents, process application form to determine the
eligibility and then finally approve or reject the application. Usually, the submitted application gets processed within seven working days for manual application and five working days for online application. So within five to seven days of application submission, the applicant gets the result.
Potential importer of Malaysia should know about the restricted products that are not allowed to enter into the country. There are four schedules of items that are subject to a various level of restriction and these schedules are detailed in the custom’s prohibition of imports order 1998.
The first schedule includes the items of Chinese traditional patent medication including medicines that contains ingredients as borneolum and fuzi. This list also includes forty-five herbal medicines and also thirteen animal and mineral drugs.
The second list containing products that are subject to licensing and mainly related to health, sanitary, security, environmental protection, intellectual property reasons. This list also includes bioproducts such as poultry, beef (these require halal certifications), eggs, rice, sugar, cement clinker, fireworks, magnetic tapes for video and audio recording, explosives, woods, safety helmets, diamonds, rice, defense machinery, color copying machine, some specific telecommunication equipments, arms and ammunition, saccharin etc.
The third schedule covers the item that is subject to temporary import restrictions for protecting a domestic industry and this includes milk, coffee, cereal flours, certain wire and cables, some iron and steel related products etc. The fourth and final schedule contains items that may be imported into Malaysia but with meeting specific requirements and guidelines.
The list of this product includes animals, animal products, plant and plant products, cigarettes, soil, fertilizer or animal origin, bulletproof vests, electrical apparatus, safety belts, imitation weapons etc. Additionally, Malaysia got specific regulation for importing cars and automobile. Under this regulation, the importer requires approved permits for all the cars importing into Malaysia and new cars may have twenty-four hours entry into Port Klang, Selangor, and port of Tanjung Pelepas.
Also, Malaysia got high import duties for the cars. Although the country got average simple tariff applied 8.1% and tariff protection is high for the products that are deemed to be important for Malaysia. These mainly include automotive, textile, clothing leather, food and beverage, and the products that may compete with local production.
Additionally needs to comply with labeling regulation that is effective from the first of March 2004 and under this regulation all pre-packaged processed foods must carry a nutritional label. These products include cereals, bread ， milk product， canned meat， canned fish， canned fruit and vegetables， fruit juices, soft drinks, salad dressings etc.
The nutrition labeling claims regulation of Malaysia induces specific types and format of labeling that may require for showing proper nutritional information, energy value and amount of carbohydrate, protein, and fat in the food value that is expressed per 100g or per 100ml per package. For soft drink, the amount of total sugar presented on the drink must be specified and also the amount and types of fatty acids used should be mentioned on the label. These calculations of energy and also the way of expressing fatty acids, vitamins and minerals are different from the general practice and it is more complicated for the companies to import products with specific label design.