Customs Processes

facebook sharing button
twitter sharing button
linkedin sharing button
Smart Share Buttons Icon Share

Malaysia, like all other countries, the speed of shipment clearance at customs is determined by a few factors, including accuracy of document submission, shipment compliance, and duty payment.

As a shipper, the common questions and encounters you'd face are - 

  1. Customs clearance
  2. Customs declaration
  3. Customs inspection
  4. Shipment delay
  5. Shipment return to origin
  6. Import from Israel

Malaysia Customs Clearance

When importing goods, you will need the following shipping documents:

  1. Commercial Invoice

  2. Packing List

  3. Import Declaration - Customs Form No. 1/K1 Form

  4. Bill of Lading (B/L) or Air Waybill

  5. Import License (for business only)

  6. Certificates of Origin (for business only)

  7. Insurance certificate (for business only)

  8. Other relevant documents such as catalogue, product ingredients.

  9. Additional permits, licenses, or certificates (for controlled/restricted, or prohibited items)

Export clearance is a series of formal actions taken to release a shipment for export from one country to another.

It involves:

1. Obtaining any necessary export licenses or permits.

2. Completing all required customs documentation and paperwork.

Import clearance is a series of formal actions taken to release an imported shipment to the receiver once after it arrives in a country.

This process involves:

1. Submitting the import declaration of the goods to customs officials.

2. Customs officers will examine and verify the accuracy of the imported goods in the declaration.

3. Paying any Customs duties and taxes.

Shipment clearance in Malaysia usually takes 24 to 48 hours after arrival.

Shipment will be released for delivery once all duties and taxes are paid.

If you are using DHL Express and your shipment tracking status has not been updated after 48 hours, please reach out to us for assistance.

Customs officers rely on the HS Code for quick and accurate classification of shipments, determination of duties and taxes, and enforcement of security measures.

Any error in the HS Code will disrupt this process and cause clearance delays.

You can expedite shipment clearance by paying all imposed duties and taxes, such as import duty and sales tax, upfront as soon as the shipment is picked up.

Malaysia Customs Declaration

The declaration process involves providing a complete and accurate description of your shipment. 

This includes:

  • Listing the number and description of packages.

  • Describing the weight, size, quantity, and value of all taxable goods.

  • Specifying the country of origin of each goods.

Documents needed by the Royal Malaysian Customs Department (RMCD) include:

  • Custom Form 1 (K1 Form).

  • Airway bill.

  • Commercial invoice.

  • Any relevant permits, licenses, or certificates.

An incorrect declaration occurs when the value, description, or quantity of goods is not accurately stated.

Shipments should not be declared with nominal values, even for items like samples, gifts, or those given free of charge.

The declaration must include comprehensive and precise information about the goods, covering quantity, description, weight, measurements, value, and the destination country for dutiable goods.

In Malaysia, K1, K2, K3, and K8 are the 4 customs forms required for different stages of shipment movement and declaration:-

1. Customs Form No. 1 (K1):

Description: Declaration of imported goods 

Purpose: Bringing goods into Malaysia from overseas

2. Customs Form No. 2 (K2):

Description: Declaration of exported goods 

Purpose: Sending goods from Malaysia to overseas

3. Customs Form No. 3 (K3):

Description: Declaration to transport duty-paid goods within Malaysia

Purpose: Moving goods between Peninsular Malaysia and East Malaysia

4. Customs Form No. 8 (K8):

Description: Declaration to move or transfer duty unpaid goods in transit

Purpose: Bonded movement of dutiable and non-dutiable shipments in Malaysia

Experience Lightning-fast Customs clearance in 220+ Countries.

Now Twice as Fast!

Get a DHL Account

Malaysia Customs Inspection

Customs perform shipment inspections to verify the accuracy of declarations, monitor compliance with import or export laws, and detect smuggling and trademark violations.

A physical examination is the process of inspecting goods after they have been declared for shipment.

It is required for these 3 reasons:

1. Ensuring accuracy

Making sure that the description of the goods matches both the customs declaration and invoice.

2. Confirming HS Code classification

Checking that the goods are classified correctly, following all laws and rules.

3. Gathering information:

Collecting important details about the goods’ characteristics, physical or chemical properties, and intended use. This helps with proper valuation and classification.

A physical examination typically takes 24 to 48 hours from its arrival.

The Royal Malaysian Customs Department (RMCD) conducts physical examinations when a shipment appears to be suspicious due to:

1. Unclear description on the shipment declaration.

2. Unusually low declared value of the shipment.

3. Shipment identified for risk profiling by Customs.

Shipments can be picked for physical examination due to 3 suspicions of:

  1. Misleading information.

  2. Understating value.

  3. Not declaring all items accurately.

Malaysia Shipment Delay

Confiscation is the act carried out by Malaysian customs authorities to seize shipments that are illegal, unauthorized, or failing to adhere to the customs laws of the country.

Confiscation happens usually when the shipment lack the necessary import licenses and permits, or when prohibited items are detected.

Customs typically hold shipments for a few days for inspection.

However, if there are suspicions, the detention can extend beyond 14 days until a valid explanation is provided for customs clearance.

A detained letter is an official notice stating that Customs have held your shipment, including the reason and any additional information to resolve the issue.

You can expect to receive the letter within five (5) days from the Customs decision to shipment detention.

Yes. If the shipment contains a prohibited item that was imported unintentionally, customs may release it with a warning.

KDN refers to Kementerian Dalam Negeri (Ministry of Home Affairs), a regulatory body who is responsible for inspecting shipments containing items like sample posters, publications, DVDs, and books.

If your shipment is being held by KDN, it means they see the need to conduct a thorough inspection on your shipment to regulations compliance.

Shipment is marked as "abandoned at Customs" for a few reasons:

1. No response from the receiver to complete customs clearance.

2. Receiver failed to complete the necessary clearance procedures.

3. Prohibited items were found and shipment cannot be released

4. Violation of the Customs Act by any party involved

Malaysia Shipment Return to Origin (RTO)

Shipments are returned to the origin (RTO) due to 7 reasons:

1.  Failed shipment clearance due to regulations violation. 

2. Receiver failed to provide necessary permits.

3. Clearance has exceeded the designated timeline.

4. A request for RTO is made by the shipper.

6. A request for RTO is made by the receiver.

7. Refusal to pay duties and taxes after the appeal on HS code amendment is rejected.

Yes. RTO charges are determined by whether the RTO was caused by a DHL error or a Customer error.

The shipper is responsible for paying the freight charges for shipments that have to be returned to origin (RTO) upon Customs approval.

Malaysia Import from Israel    

Shipment with Israel as country of origin can only enter Malaysia if the importer has an import license issued by the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI).

Malaysia has classified Israel as a sanctioned country, so it is essential for the importer to coordinate directly with MITI to obtain the necessary import license for shipments with an Israel CO.

Yes, specifically for shipments from Israel, an import license issued by MITI must be provided along with the import declaration (K1 Form).

No, all shipments must have approval from Customs to exit or enter Malaysia.

Enjoy Up to 64% Off on International Shipping

Ship Globally for Less!

Open a DHL Account