How to Clear Customs in MalaysiaFollowing my first overseas purchase that was being detained by custom in Malaysia, I decided to write this post to share my experiences on how to deal with them.
Note: This is a personal sharing of mine on how to deal with Malaysia Royal Custom for your detained or held items from overseas purchases. Hopefully this will be helpful to assist you to clear your items :)
Signs to Look for - Your Items *MIGHT* be detained by customsIf you saw the following description on PosLaju tracking website such as 'Custom Inspection. High - value goods', there is a high chance that your item might be detained by the custom for import tax and sales tax. In that case, you would normally received a letter of detainment from them and is delivered by your trusty PosLaju mailman on the next day. In my case, I got the said letter on the next day from the website.
|Tracking status from PosLaju tracking website for EMS shipment|
You will find 2 pages of paper enclosed within the envelope:
- Letter of Detainment sent by PosLaju Center. It could be Johor Bahru, Penang, or KLIA/Subang. You'll have several options to deal with this.
- Official Note of Detainment sent by Malaysia Royal Custom to PosLaju Center.
|Letter of Shipment Detainment sent by PosLaju|
|Letter of Detainment sent by Malaysia Royal Custom to PosLaju Center|
Prepare to Deal with the LetterUpon getting the said letter, you will have three options to deal with it:
- Appoint PosLaju as the agent to deal with you. You'll need to pay a flat agent handler fee of RM49.50 + import tax & sales duty that will be calculated by them. These are paid when the items is sent to the local PosLaju branch nearest to your location. There is also an option to send the items directly to your delivery address. Though I am not aware of whether the payment is done on the spot or not.
- Appoint someone else on behalf of you to deal with the customs. This is usually chosen if you have someone living closer to the custom office
- Approach this case yourself. There is a slim chance that you might be able to negotiate the price or even forgo paying the taxes with them. I would only recommend this if your items is valued below RM500 but still get detained for what so ever reason.
As per Malaysia's custom law, any items valued above RM500 is subject to be imposed with tax limit. And this includes CIF (Cost, Insurance, and Freight/Shipping).Although there are some tips to avoid having to pay for the said tax such as labeling the parcel as GIFTS, there are slim chances that it will get inspected.
In my case, I am well aware that my item is indeed above the RM500 mark. And since I do not have any relative staying closeby their center in JB nor have the time to travel there myself, I decided to appoint PosLaju as the agent to handle this case for me.
In addition to filling the form, you'll also need to prepare any official invoice you got from the ordered item in order for them to appraise the value. In other words, you have to convince them that you are actually paying the XXX amount for the items.
For purchases made through PayPal, which is very likely to be the case, simply check your email for the PayPal receipt and attach it. If you have gotten any official invoice from the merchant, attach it too. In my case, I don't actually receive any official invoice from the merchant (AmiAmi) aside from the email exchange and their official website just show the order history. Regardless, I sent it out anyways. I have to strongly mentioned that the payment receipt is probably most important/critical/solid supporting document for them to truly believe the amount that you had ACTUALLY PAID for the items.
Below are the two supporting documents that I printed and sent to them.
|Payment invoice sent by PayPal|
|Order History from AmiAmi|
Responding to the LetterAs stated in their letter, you could choose to either fax or mail it directly to the designated address posted above the letter. In my case, I did BOTH. I mailed it but also send a personal email to their designated email (firstname.lastname@example.org). To my surprise they handle it quite efficiently and get back to me within an hour, along with the calculated final tax that I am going to pay in the local PosLaju branch when it arrived.
|An excerpt of email sent to PosLaju Custom JB|
|An excerpt of email reply from custom offer on duty in PosLaju Custom JB|
And there you have it, the entire process of dealing with them. In my case, this is all dealt with on the same day after receiving the letter of detainment.
Hope this article is helpful to you and please share it with your friends that are also experiencing the same hassle :)