Shipping to Malaysia from Australia

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Given the fact that Malaysia is Australia's ninth largest trading partner, companies should understand how to transport goods to this country to further their businesses.  

As a strategic gateway to Southeast Asia, Malaysia is a promising market with a fast-growing economy for Australian businesses looking to expand their exports. Malaysia offers a wide range of opportunities in a variety of business sectors, including but not limited to agriculture, mining, manufacturing, food and beverage and more. 

To aid Australian business owners and investors in their venture into the lucrative Malaysian market, here are some important information to note.

Malaysia-Australia Free Trade Agreement (MAFTA)

Firstly, like many other global free trade agreements, the Malaysia-Australia Free Trade Agreement (MAFTA) provides Australian businesses with a significant competitive advantage. Signed on 22 May 2012 in Kuala Lumpur between the Ministers of Trade from each nation, the MAFTA eliminated and reduced tariffs on goods traded between the two countries.

This agreement lowered upfront costs, allowing Australian businesses such as automotive manufacturers in Adelaide, sustainable technology exporters in Gold Coast or advanced electronic makers in Sydney to price their products in a more competitive position within corresponding market segments in Malaysia.

Other benefits that businesses can enjoy because of MAFTA include: 

  • More than 99% of goods from Australia are traded tariff-free in Malaysia.

  • Complete elimination of tariffs for commodities such as plastics and chemicals.

  • The elimination of all iron and steel tariffs since 2020.

Other key outcomes of the agreement include:

  • Deregulation of the licensing requirements for liquid milk exporters permits access to more exclusive high-value products.

  • All tariffs on large cars were eliminated, and most tariffs on automotive parts have been removed.

  • Withdrawal of almost all taxes and tariffs on processed food and various manufactured items.

  • Australian wine exporters are set to receive the most favourable tariff arrangements from Malaysia compared to any other country.

  • Rice tariffs will be completely eliminated by 2026, with open access arrangements starting in 2023.

Australian investors are also guaranteed the right to majority ownership in companies in a wide range of sectors supplying services in Malaysia:

  • 100% ownership in higher education, accounting, auditing and bookkeeping as well as management consulting services (other than financial management)

  • 70% ownership in investment banking, direct insurance services, and telecommunications services

  • 51% ownership in taxation services.

Popular products shipped to Malaysia

Major exports from Australia to Malaysia include mineral fuels, coal, copper, machinery, wood and metal ores. With its expanding economy and resilience to the pandemic, Malaysia also presents noteworthy opportunities for exports in many other industries such as food and agribusiness (including halal food), education, digital economy (e-commerce and fintech), healthcare, smart cities, energy and military defence.

Australian goods that are highly sought after by Malaysia consumers include 

  • Cereals

  • Meat and organ meat

  • Dairy products, eggs, honey, edible products

  • Electrical, electronic equipment and technical apparatus

  • Seeds, grains and fruits

  • Precious stones and pearls

Prohibited and restricted goods

Some examples of prohibited goods

  • Any reproduction of Malaysian currency and other currency

  • Indecent media, goods and articles

  • Piranha fish

  • Turtle eggs

  • Fabric with Quran verses

  • Hazardous chemicals

Restricted goods such as the ones listed below require licensing and permits from Malaysian authorities: 

  • Corals

  • Explosives and fireworks

  • Pesticides

  • Pharmaceuticals 

  • Safety helmets and articles of clothing that protect against attacks

Customs, duties and tax documentation required

Goods imported into Malaysia may be subject to additional duties, taxes and other charges. For shipments to be processed at international customs borders, exporters need to prepare essential shipping documents. The following may be required upon import:

  • Commercial invoices – Features transaction details, including what is being bought, by whom, and the terms agreed upon.

  • Packing declaration – Necessary only for ocean freight. It specifies the materials used to package products.

  • Packing list –While this may not be compulsory, it can be helpful when certain items are required for inspections, as the list will include details on how the shipment is packed.

  • Certificate of Origin (CO) – Including a description of the goods, total invoice value, and signature by the representatives of the manufacturing or supplying firm. This is an important document that helps facilitate free trade between Malaysia and Australia, allowing businesses to avoid paying duties in both countries.

Make shipping to Malaysia a breeze with DHL Express Australia

As you can see, preparing to export to Malaysia can be a complex process with many things to be wary of. Thus, it is recommended that Australian business owners apply for an account with trusted logistics experts like DHL Express Australia, where you can be assured that you will receive competitive and fair pricing regardless of your delivery location.

With our global network and experienced logistics professionals, DHL Express Australia can help you navigate the shipping process with ease and efficiency. No matter if you are shipping from Gold Coast, Adelaide or Sydney to send your products over to Kuala Lumpur, Penang or Johor Bahru, DHL Express will provide you with reliable support and professional advice on international shipping from Australia to Malaysia.

For other helpful insight on issues related to business, e-commerce, and international shipping guides, head over to our website and stay ahead of the competition.

Frequently asked questions about shipping to Malaysia from Australia

1. How much does it cost to ship a package from Australia to Malaysia?

The cost of shipping a package from Australia to Malaysia can vary depending on several factors, such as the size and weight of the item, as well as the location of departure. It's important to keep in mind that there may be differences in shipping costs when exporting from various parts of Australia, such as Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth or Gold Coast, even if your shipment is headed to the same location, for example, Kuala Lumpur.

2. How long does it take for a parcel from Australia to arrive in Malaysia? 

The delivery time for a parcel from Australia to Malaysia typically ranges between 5 and 16 days, depending on the speed of delivery. Services such as express shipping or same-day delivery for more urgent goods are usually much faster but often come at an additional cost.

3. Which courier service provides the cheapest shipping from Australia to Malaysia?

DHL Express Australia is typically one of the most affordable courier services for shipping from Australia to Malaysia, effectively providing reliable services through its wide network of international offices and team of trustworthy logistic professionals. Apply for a business account with DHL Express now to start shipping and receiving the top-notch support your business deserves. Whether you are shipping to Malaysia, Singapore or Korea, we are here to help.