If you are considering making regular or periodic shipments from Thailand to Malaysia, there are actually several options to consider. Because these two countries share a border in Southeast Asia but at the same time have large land masses that are a long distance from each other.
There are several issues to consider when shipping between these two countries:
Ocean Freight – If the volume of your shipments are going to be on the large size (2 CBM or higher) and if you are not time constrained, then ocean freight is going to be your best option. The most efficient route is typically from whatever city you are shipping from in Thailand to your destination in Malaysia via Port Klang, which is Malaysia’s largest and main port. From Port Klang there are multiple roads and railways connecting all the major cities in Malaysia and you can expect the total transit time to be between 8 to 10 days. From a cost perspective, this will often be the best option.
Air Freight – If time is your main consideration, then air freight is probably the best option. Regular freight services between Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport and airports in Kuala Lampur, Langkawi, Penang and Kuching allow for delivery times of between 1 to 3 days. The cost of airfreight is determined primarily by weight but volume can also influence the cost of a shipment when shipping via air. As a rule of thumb, to calculate the volumetric weight of your shipment, just multiply the volume in cubic meters by 167 to find the volumetric weight. If the actual weight of your shipment is greater than the volumetric weight, then the cost will be calculated on the actual weight.
Cross Border Trucking – Because these two countries share a small border, there are times and situations where cross border trucking of goods might be a good option. This can be especially appealing if you are shipping something from a southern Thailand location to a destination in northern Malaysia. The singular appeal of this transportation mode is that door to door pickup and delivery to and from specific locations can be accomplished without having to load and unload the cargo from one transportation mode to another.
Whichever option is right for your particular shipping needs, there are several issues and considerations that have to be addressed when moving goods between Thailand and Malaysia.
- Documentation required for Malaysia customs includes such items as the invoice, bill of lading, declaration forms, proof of insurance, etc. Your freight forwarder is an important part of these requirements as they will be able to guide you through the specific documents needed to insure a trouble free transit of goods.
- Taxes and tariffs are generally applied based on the availability or manufacture of the specific product within Malaysia.
- Restricted or illegal items – items such as weapons, drugs, tobacco and hazardous substances are just some of a rather extensive list of items that are banned from entry into Malaysia.
Frequent Asked Questions
How Much Duty and Tax is Charged for Goods imported into Malaysia?
Industrial goods imported into Malaysia typically are taxed at a rate of around 6.1% while Malaysia’s customs department imposes a GST of 6%
Are there restrictions on types of goods allowed into Malaysia?
Aside from the obvious items such as counterfeit money, pornography and weapons, it may be a good idea to check with authorities before importing items into Malaysia. Examples of restricted items include pens, pencils, some radio receivers and certain types of liquors.
I’m moving to Malaysia for work. What do I need to do to import my personal items into Malaysia?
If you are importing household items and personal effects that you own, you can import these items duty free if you can prove that you have owned them for at least 6 months.
You will need to be physically present in Malaysia when your stuff arrives. If you are not a Malaysian, you will likely have to present a copy of your visa as well as a letter from your employer to prove that you will be working in Malaysia.