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flag Malaysia Malaysia: Selling and Buying

In this page: Market Access Procedures | Reaching the Consumers | Distributing a Product | Organizing Goods Transport | Identifying a Supplier

 

Market Access Procedures

International Conventions
Member of World Trade Organisation
Party to the Kyoto Protocol
Party to the Washington Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora
Party to the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal
Party to the Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer
Main International Economic Cooperation
APEC, ASEAN, AFTA and the ASEAN - China Free Trade Area.
The country have signed a trade agreement with 21 other countries in the São Paulo Round of the Global System of Trade Preferences among Developing Countries (GSTP).
Non Tariff Barriers
Import regulations in Malaysia are liberal compared to other ASEAN countries' regulations. Most goods can be freely imported under General Open License. Some specific sectors, considered as strategic, are protected by a system of restricted import licenses. Items covered under this category are the iron and steel industry, cement, the sector of the automobile and its components and also polyethylene and polypropylene.
The restrictions in import licensing also affect other sectors in terms of approval (electrical products) and sanitary items (foodstuffs or veterinary products), without being a protectionist measure.
Quotas are not frequently applied to imports and apply to certain products whose local production is favored (rice, meat, fruits and vegetables). In extreme cases (frozen chicken, eggs, liquid milk or sugar), if it is considered that the local production is self-sufficient, import is forbidden. There are other products that are forbidden or subject to special licenses for safety, religion or morality reasons.
Customs Duties and Taxes on Imports
5.6%


Customs Classification
The Customs classification of goods is based on the International Nomenclature of the Harmonized System. A majority of Customs duties are calculated ad valorem and are specific only in certain cases. Imported goods, except for machinery, its parts and components, are subject to a sales tax which varies between 5 and 10%. In recent years, duties have dropped and now fluctuate between 15 and 25%. However, certain sectors can be taxed up to 30%. The Customs tariff is high when the imported product is also locally produced (from 30 to 50 %).
In January 1996, Malaysia, within the ASEAN market, subscribed to the Common Effective Preferential Tariffs (CEPT) arrangements, which significantly increase the product list of the previous Preferential Trading Arrangements (PTA). The introduction of the CEPT is meant to accelerate the establishment of a free trade zone within ASEAN countries (AFTA - ASEAN Free Trade Area). Before 2003, all products integrated into the CEPT, will undergo a duty from 0 to 5%. Non-taxed farm products remain outside the agreement. There is currently a list of temporary exclusion for some products, in force until January 1, 2000.
Malaysia benefits from the Generalised System of Preferences, under which 14% of its exports are carried out.
Import Procedures
The Customs classification of goods is based on the International Nomenclature of the Harmonized System. A majority of Customs duties are calculated ad valorem and are specific only in certain cases. Imported goods, except for machinery, its parts and components, are subject to a sales tax which varies between 5 and 10%. In recent years, duties have dropped and now fluctuate between 15 and 25%. However, certain sectors can be taxed up to 30%. The Customs tariff is high when the imported product is also locally produced (from 30 to 50 %).
In January 1996, Malaysia, within the ASEAN market, subscribed to the Common Effective Preferential Tariffs (CEPT) arrangements, which significantly increase the product list of the previous Preferential Trading Arrangements (PTA). The introduction of the CEPT is meant to accelerate the establishment of a free trade zone within ASEAN countries (AFTA - ASEAN Free Trade Area). Before 2003, all products integrated into the CEPT, will undergo a duty from 0 to 5%. Non-taxed farm products remain outside the agreement. There is currently a list of temporary exclusion for some products, in force until January 1, 2000.
Malaysia benefits from the Generalised System of Preferences, under which 14% of its exports are carried out.
Importing Samples
Textile samples must be cut or stamped "commercial sample" and there must not be more than three of them.
 
 
For Further Information
Royal Malaysian Customs Department
Malaysia Trade Portal
Asia Trade Hub
PCAM 

Learn more about Traders, Agents in Malaysia on Globaltrade.net, the Directory for International Trade Service Providers.

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Reaching the Consumers

Marketing Opportunities

Consumer Behavior
Consumers are more aware of the price than the prestige or quality of a brand.
Consumer Profile and Purchasing Power
The purchasing power of the Malays is one of the highest in Asia and shopping is a favorite consumer pastime.
Consumers Associations
Fomca , Federation of Malaysian Consumer Associations
Era Consumer Malaysia
Main Advertising Agencies
Association of accredited advertising agents (AAAA)

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Distributing a Product

Evolution of the Sector
The Chinese are commercially powerful and dominate the distribution network. Trade is the center of small family businesses and operates from a complicated structure of suppliers, entrepreneurs and sub-entrepreneurs.
The most influential persons in the economic activity are the public administrators, the Malaysian entrepreneurs (not many) and the Chinese entrepreneurs (who hold the most important private groups of the country).
To sell your products in the country you should call on importers/distributors (who may be a local company), foreign trading companies (which offer better specialization and more technical services than local companies) or medium sized local trading companies. Other alternatives are commission agents, setting up a representative office or making a local alliance with a Malaysian company; the last two are the most recommended options.
Market Shares
Supply stores: 85.7%, Chinese medical shops: 6.4%, groceries: 3.8%, drugstores: 2.7%, supermarkets: 1.3%, hypermarkets: 0.08%, cash and carry: 0.02%. Although hypermarkets, supermarkets and department stores are dominant in urban areas, local retailers and small traders represent 57% of the local market in terms of sales income. Hypermarkets represent 10% of total retail sales. Groceries and service stations represent about 9% of total retail sales and are located in the main urban centers.
Organizations in the Retail Sector
Malaysia retailers association

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Organizing Goods Transport

Main Useful Means of Transport
Due to its geographical location, Malaysia has an extensive maritime network, which includes 16 commercial ports. It also has a highly efficient commercial air network, which convers the entire country, with 5 international airports. All this is reinforced by a well maintained road network, which aids the transportation of goods. Rail freight is also available. 
Ports
The ports of Malaysia
The guide to transport in Kuala Lumpur
Airports
Kuala Lumpur Sepang International Airport
Penang International Airport
Langkawi International Airport
Kutching International Airport
Kota Kinabalu International Airport
Sea Transport Organizations
Maritime Institute of Malaysia (MIMA)
Air Transport Organizations
Department of Civil Aviation
Road Transport Organizations
Department of road transport (JPJ)
Rail Transport Organizations
Malaysian national railway company (KTMB)

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Identifying a Supplier

Type of Production
The manufacturing industry (around 30% of GDP) has long been the driving force behind growth. Electronics (semi-conductors, electronic equipment and telecommunications equipment) is the leading manufacturing activity, followed by the production of audio-video equipment, and office equipment. The manufacturing sector represents more than 80% of exports. Exporting industries, especially for electronic and electrical products, chemicals, and plastic and wood products, represent more than 70% of the index of manufacturing production. The manufacturing sector oriented towards the domestic market, which represents about 28% of the industry, includes mainly the manufacturing of metal products, products linked to building, foodstuffs and transport equipment. The mining industry (around 7% of GDP) exploits tin, oil, copper, iron ore, natural gas and bauxite.

Business Directories

Multi-sector Directories
AMIN Members - Members of the Association of Marine Industries of Malaysia.
Malaysia Builders Directory - Directory provided by Marshall Cavendish Business Information.
Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Directory - Directory provided by Marshall Cavendish Business Information.
Malaysia Food Business Directory - Directory provided by Marshall Cavendish Business Information.
Malaysia Logistics Directory - Directory provided by Marshall Cavendish Business Information.
Malaysia Printing & Supporting Industries Directory - Directory provided by Marshall Cavendish Business Information.
Malaysia Sports & Fitness Directory - Directory provided by Marshall Cavendish Business Information.
Members of the MISIF - Misif is the Malaysian Iron and Steel Industry Federation.
Hotfrog - Malaysian business directory.
Malaysia Business Directory - Find a business in Malaysia.
MalaysianBiz - Malaysia's business directory.
Merbers of the Federation of Sabah Manufacturers - 150 members comprising Major Players to SMIs, SMEs and the Cottage Industries involved in various manufacturing and non-manufacturing activities & services.
SME Info's Directory - SME business directory.
SMI SME Business Directory - SMI & SME online business directory.
Yellow Pages - Find a business in Malaysia.
 
 
Manufacturers Associations of the Main Industries
43 professional associations listed for Malaysia.
 
Trade Agencies and Their Representations Abroad
Malaysian International Chamber of Commerce and Industry
National Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Malaysia
Association of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Malaysia
Enterprises Federation
SMI Association of Malaysia
Directory of Associations of SMEs and SMIs.
 
 

Learn more about Service Providers in Malaysia on Globaltrade.net, the Directory for International Trade Service Providers.

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Learn more about Sales in Malaysia on Globaltrade.net, the Directory for International Trade Service Providers.

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Last Updates: February 2015