FAQ

CUSTOMS CLEARANCE FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

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Shipping Regulations

Import Goods into Malaysia

Under Malaysian Law stated in the Customs (Prohibition of Import) Order 2017, there are Absolute Prohibition and Conditional Prohibition. You may refer to Order as per Appendix 1 for the full list. Below is a guide for items related to DHL Express:

Absolute Prohibition – The importation of the items into Malaysia is absolutely prohibited

  • Any items sensitive to any religion, belief in Malaysia or may disrupt the peace and harmony of the country
  • Pornographic Material items include but not limited to sex toys, sex dolls, illicit prints such as books, magazines, digital print and paintings etc

Conditional Prohibition – The importation of the items into Malaysia is allowed with an import license or in the manner provided by the Order

  • Pharmaceutical Items such as Cosmetics, Vitamins, Supplements, Perfume, Skincare Products
  • Cigarettes, Tobacco and any items containing Nicotine
  • Wine, Liquor, Beer and Spirit as well as apparatus for home brewing
  • Any items originating from Israel
  • Any foodstuff and beverages for commercial purposes consumed by either human or animals
  • Any form of Animal Skins
  • Birds Nest
  • Wood or any wooden products
  • Telecommunication product
  • Rubber Products such as tires
  • Used/ Scrap electronic items including laptops and mobile phones
  • Plants listed under the CITES Convention (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora)

An importer may apply for a permit or license for importation directly from the Government Agencies or through an agent. The designated Government Agencies may be referred to the Customs (Prohibition of Import) Order 2017 Column 5 of each Schedule.

DHL Express does not perform any permit application on behalf of the importer. It is advisable for the permit approval to be obtained prior to shipment arrival into Malaysia.

Export Goods Out of Malaysia

Exporters need to be aware of customs regulation at the importing country in order to avoid clearance delay or worse confiscation of the item resulting into violation of the destination country’s law.

Before exporting out of Malaysia, exporters must be aware and read through the Customs (Prohibition of Export) Order 2017 to ensure that any items that require permit for export are being provided to DHL Express upon pick up. Common items that are under Conditional Prohibition are but not limited to:

  • Any items into Israel
  • Birds Nest
  • Rubber, Palm Oil, Plant and Animal Products

Export declaration requires invoice and waybill or any permit if shipment item is mentioned in the Customs (Prohibition of Export) Order 2017.

Export declaration requires invoice and waybill or any permit if shipment item is mentioned in the Customs (Prohibition of Export) Order 2017.

Export Food out of Malaysia

Yes, you can. The consignee must obtain import license from the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) for commercial import.

Yes, you can. No import license is required for personal consumption that weigh less than 5kg.

Yes, you can. The exporter/importer should be registered in China customs. Chinese label registration is required. Paperwork for the registration are sanitary certificate from origin country, certificate of origin, sales contract, original label and Chinese translation.

Yes, you can. For personal purpose, the registration with China Customs can be exempted. But, the quantity should be reasonable for personal use. Meat, sea food and yolk products are not acceptable for personal shipments.

DHL Express does not accept any shipment that requires inspection by UK Customs at a Border Control Post (BCP). However, some food items and products of animal origin can be imported under UK Import license without the need for presentation at a BCP.

If you want more information on what DHL Express can or cannot accept, or are unclear about a certain commodity, do not hesitate to contact our Customer Service on DHL Express Facebook today!

Foodstuffs that is not commercially manufactured, commercially labelled or commercially packaged will be seized by Quarantine.

Yes, you can. Herbal or Nutritional Supplements must contain the full name/s of the product/s and an ingredients listing on the commercial invoice. Failure to comply may lead to clearance delays.

Yes, you can. Baby formula (Milk Powder) must have an Import Permit and Health Certificate to satisfy Australia Quarantine requirements. A declaration showing the full ingredients list is required for all food products.

All shipments into Australia containing foodstuffs must contain an accurate goods description of the said foodstuffs. Vague and ambiguous descriptions such as “snacks” OR “Food” are not acceptable. Failure to comply will result in regulatory (Quarantine) delays.

Yes, you can. Shippers are required to register with the FDA. Prior Notice is required for all food shipments with exception of homemade food to an individual with a value less than USD800. Foodstuffs must be commercially manufactured, commercially labelled or commercially packaged with list of ingredients and expired date.

Foodstuffs may also require the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food & Drug inspection and/or import permit.

No, you cannot. Personal consumption mooncake with or without egg is prohibited from sending to the United Kingdom.

Yes, you can. Food and animal products may be imported to the United Kingdom if travelling under license. Shippers must self-assess legal requirements and provide veterinary & health certs, relevant licenses, or a statement confirming goods are not subject to any import restrictions.

Yes, you can send mooncake to Singapore for personal consumption. No import license is required for personal consumption and it has to be less than 5kg.

Yes, you can. However, the receiver must obtain an import license from the Singapore Food Agency (SFA).

Mooncakes are not allowed into Australia unless the importer holds the below valid documents:
• Valid import permit
• Health Certificate
• Manufacturer’s Declaration

Yes, you can. It will be subjected to an inspection by the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI), so do expect delays.

Yes, you can only send mooncake without eggs. The importer should register in China customs. Chinese label registration is required. Paperwork for the registration are sanitary certificate from origin country, certificate of origin, sales contract, original label and Chinese translation.

Yes, you can only send mooncake without yolk. For personal purpose, the Chinese label registration can be exempted. But, the quantity should be reasonable for personal use. Meat, seafood and yolk products are not acceptable for personal effects.

Yes, you can. However, mooncake made in China is highly prohibited to be imported, with the exception of products containing non-meat and physical weight under 6KG approved by FDA.

Yes, you can. Shippers must clearly mention the type of commodity specifically on invoice. Mooncake with eggs or egg products, an import license is required. Exception on eggs: fully cooked or constitutes one of the ingredients of any compounded food).

Yes, you can. However, mooncake that contains certain animal commodity and or plant commodity is prohibited to be imported.

If you want more information on what DHL Express can or cannot accept, or are unclear about a certain commodity, do not hesitate to contact our Customer Service on DHL Express Facebook page today!

Examples of commodities the FDA consider to be food include:

  • Dietary supplements and dietary ingredients
  • Infant formula (baby food)
  • Beverages including alcoholic beverages and bottled water
  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Fish and seafood
  • Dairy products and shell eggs
  • Raw agricultural commodities for use as food or components of food
  • Canned and frozen foods
  • Live food animals
  • Bakery goods, snack foods, candy and chewing gum
  • Animal feed and pet food

The following are exempt from Prior Notice requirements:

  • Meat food products, poultry products and egg products that are subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and comply with the USDA rules and regulations
  • Food that was made by an individual in his/her personal residence and sent by that individual as a personal gift (i.e. for non-business reasons) to an individual in the United States. FDA recently expanded exemptions (or authorized enforcement discretion) to include all personal food shipments. These are shipments sent person to person for non-commercial purposes.

Examples include:

  • Food in household goods, including military, civilian, governmental agency, and diplomatic transfers;
  • Food purchased by a traveler and mailed or shipped to the traveler’s U.S. address by the traveler;
  • Gifts purchased at a commercial establishment and shipped by the purchaser, not the commercial establishment;
  • Food contained in diplomatic pouches.

Note: This does not include shipments sent from a retailer or distributor to an individual. Such shipments do require Prior Notice.

Samples of food for non-consumption valued below $200 have also been identified as exempt from PN requirements. This would include shipments clearly identified as samples destined for food manufacturers or testing labs, but would not include shipments to retailers or individuals.

The FDA has the sole authority to determine the scope of the covered commodities. Further details are available on the FDA Website.

All facilities that manufacture, process, pack, or hold food for human or animal consumption in the United States must register with the FDA.

Each registration must include:

  • the name, address and phone number for the facility and its parent company (if applicable);
  • the name, address and phone number of the owner operator or agent in charge;
  • all trade names the facility uses;
  • applicable food product categories; and
  • a statement certifying that the information submitted is true and accurate and that the person is authorized to submit the registration.
  • All non-US facilities must also designate a U.S. Agent who must live or maintain a place of business in the U.S. and be physically present in the U.S. for purposes of registration

DHL Express USA Inc can file Prior Notice for individual shipments (see Section 4 below), but does not offer registration services. Customers can register direct with the FDA at the FDA Website.

In addition to standard invoice requirements, the following elements must be included on the shipping invoice and be available at the time of pick up:

  • Identification of each article of food, including the common or usual name or market name, the quantity described at the smallest package size, and the lot or code numbers or other identifier.
  • In order to be able to submit a proper Prior Notice DHL requires English language description of each food item shipped. (The FDA product code, if known (available from the FDA Website, will speed up the process.)
  • Complete name and address of the manufacturer or grower and their FDA registration number (if available)
  • Country of production
  • Complete name and address of shipper and their FDA registration number (if available)
  • Complete name and address of the importer, purchaser or ultimate consignee and their FDA registration numbers (if available)

The “Required Information for FDA Prior Notice Submission” can be completed and included with the shipping documents to ensure all details necessary are available.

Note that a separate prior notice is required for each article of food when any of the above items varies or changes. This also includes changes in the size or kind of packaging or container.

DHL will require submission of a Prior Notice confirmation number or the required data elements to submit a Prior Notice application on the shipping documentation at the time of pick up.
The FDA also allows food importers to submit the Prior Notice application directly. Prior notice must be submitted electronically at the FDA Website
The “Required Information for FDA Prior Notice Submission” can be completed and included with the shipping documents to ensure all details necessary are available.

Export Durian Out of Malaysia

Yes, DHL Express can accept durian and durian processed food with proper vacuum packing to Hong Kong and Singapore only for our account customers.
The shipper has to ensure that the shipment is with sufficient gel pack to maintain the required temperature during shipment transit. The shipper is also required to provide MAQIS permit for Malaysia customs clearance.

Export Cosmetics out of Malaysia

Yes, DHL Express can only ship perfume without alcohol.

Yes, we can. An MSDS document is required.

Yes, we can. However, DHL Express do not accept any liquid based contains alcohol to ship internationally. However, do send an email to [email protected] for approval.

Yes, you can. Shipping cosmetics are subjected to customs duty and tax unless covered by De Minimis Value of Php 10,000.00.

Yes, you can. Shipping cosmetics are subjected to the approval from HSA. The receiver must provide the product license and the commercial invoice must state name of medicine/drug, brand name, reason for import, product composition, quantity per bottle and weight of each capsule.

Yes, you can. In order to ship cosmetics, a detailed description and end use of the cosmetic item required. The manufacturer’s full name, physical address and the product registration number is also required.

Yes, you can. However, cosmetics containing lead must be declared. Cosmetic products containing cannabis or cannabidiol (CBD) oil are prohibited.

Cosmetic products for personal use is a prohibited item to Indonesia regardless quantity, weight and value.

The importation of cosmetics by a business entity into Indonesia is restricted and a permit from the National Agency of Drug & Food Control (BPOM) is required and the consignee is required to apply for this permit. If the maximum value (FOB) / shipment is more than USD 1,500, the certificate of inspection from origin is required.

Yes, you can. In order to ship cosmetics in powder, gel or iquids form, MSDS may be required.

If you want more information on what DHL Express can or cannot accept, or are unclear about a certain commodity, do not hesitate to contact our Customer Service on DHL Express Facebook page today!

Export Medicine out of Malaysia

Yes, you can. In order to ship non-prescription medicine, you must have NOC (No Objection Certificate) from Drug Administration. Medicine with prescription sent to a company must have NOC from Drug Administration. Whereas prescribed medicine sent to personal name will require prescription matching receiver’s name from physicians for personal use only (max weight: 2kgs). The receiver may need to visit customs if the authority requires.

If you want more information on what DHL Express can or cannot accept, or are unclear about a certain commodity, do not hesitate to contact our Customer Service on DHL Express Facebook page today!

Yes, you can. The importation of personal medicine into Singapore must be accompanied with either one of these document:
a) Prescription issued by a Singaporean Resident Doctor or
b) An email approval from the Singapore Health and Safety Authority (HSA).

The shipper has to indicate on Waybill description as “HSA Approved Medicines” for importation using HSA approval. Shipment without proper supporting documents will risk shipment seizure and destroy by the Singaporean custom.

Medication without prescription is subject to approval from Health Science Authority and receiver must provide product license. Invoice must state name of medicine/drug, brand name, reason for import, product composition, quantity per bottle & weight of each capsule.

If you want more information on what DHL Express can or cannot accept, or are unclear about a certain commodity, do not hesitate to contact our Customer Service on DHL Express Facebook page today!

Yes, you can. The importation of personal medicine into Singapore must be accompanied with either one of these document:
a) Prescription issued by a Singaporean Resident Doctor or
b) An email approval from the Singapore Health and Safety Authority (HSA).

The shipper has to indicate on Waybill description as “HSA Approved Medicines” for importation using HSA approval. Shipment without proper supporting documents will risk shipment seizure and destroy by the Singaporean custom.

Medication without prescription is subject to approval from Health Science Authority and receiver must provide product license. Invoice must state name of medicine/drug, brand name, reason for import, product composition, quantity per bottle & weight of each capsule.

If you want more information on what DHL Express can or cannot accept, or are unclear about a certain commodity, do not hesitate to contact our Customer Service on DHL Express Facebook page today!

Export Electronics out of Malaysia

Yes, you can. Only 2 units of mobile phones are allowed per AWB. The battery has to be built-in.

Yes, you can. If your laptop has a removable battery, you may need to remove the battery and send the laptop only. If your laptop has a built-in batter, only 2 units of laptops are allowed per AWB.

If you want more information on what DHL Express can or cannot accept, or are unclear about a certain commodity, do not hesitate to contact our Customer Service on DHL Express Facebook page today!

Strategic Trade Goods

In Malaysia there is a law on Export Control which is referred to as Strategic Trade Act 2010. Under the Act, there is a list of items (STA Items) which requires a permit from Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) prior to exportation. These items may be military items or items which are considered of dual use and may be used in the act of violence and terrorism.

DHL Express will assist in declaring the STA items to the RMCD based on the instruction of the exporter. The exporter is responsible to provide DHL Express the permit issued by MITI in order for the items to be declared in the K2 form as STA shipment.

DHL Express will assist in declaring the STA items to the RMCD based on the instruction of the exporter. The exporter is responsible to provide DHL Express the permit issued by MITI in order for the items to be declared in the K2 form as STA shipment.

There will be penalties imposed by the RMCD if an STA item with a permit was not declared prior to uplift.

If there is no form of declaration by the exporter, MITI and RMCD have the rights to proceed with legal action towards the exporter for not complying.

Incoterms

The Incoterms, or International Commercial Terms is a set of rules that outline the responsibilities and risks to be placed on the seller and receiver during an international trade process.

The diagram below will help you understand the responsibility between the seller and the buyer throughout the entire shipping process, from customs clearance and shipping insurance to exporting of courier services. Bear in mind that incoterms also has specific mode of transport that it covers and also Incoterms such as DDU is being replaced by a new term in compliance to INCOTERMS 2010.

Incoterm

Incoterms stated in the invoice is used for Customs Valuation Purposes. For importation into Malaysia, Cost Insurance and Freight (CIF) is being used.

Some customers may not have in depth knowledge of Incoterms or in certain situation the shipment is to be shipped by sea however due to urgency the mode of transportation is change at the last minute. FOB value is referred to by customs as the value agreed between buyer and seller as per item value stated in the invoice. This means that the value of Insurance and Freight has to be added in to determine the Customs Value.

There is a possibility of the above happening if the IATA TACT Rate value is higher than the stated freight value or the shipping cost stated is too low.

IATA TACT Rate is an annual shipping rates extracted from IATA TACT website to determine the shipping value based on the origin and weight of the shipment. This rate is agreed annually between Customs and the Express Companies in Malaysia in reference to the IATA TACT website. The rate table is updated at the back end of our DCE system and may only be shared to customers upon request.

HS Code

The Harmonized System (HS) code is a categorization system created, developed, and maintained by the World Customs Organization (WCO). Every commodity is tagged to an HS code, and the code assigned to it is internationally recognized in almost every country and is commonly used in customs to clear shipments.

Each HS code comprises of six digits. The first two digits identify the chapter of which the HS code falls under. There are a total of 21 chapters, each chapter provides a description to generalize the category. The next 4 digits comprise of the heading and sub-heading within the chapter.

ASEAN countries follow the ASEAN Harmonized Tariff Nomenclature (AHTN) – where the first six digits still take reference from the international HS codes, but there is an additional two digits at the end that further breaks down the sub-headings. Commodities shipped within ASEAN normally use the eight digit AHTN classification, but the 6 digit HS codes are also considered valid.

You can visit (http://tariff.customs.gov.my) and search for any of your commodity.

DHL will refer to the invoice provided for HS Code classification by the shipper. If there is no classification done, DHL will use the Malaysian Customs Duties Order to classify the items in the shipment to the best of our knowledge. DHL will classify the shipments using a 10 digit HS Code based on the Customs Duties Order 2017.

Shipping Dangerous Goods / MSDS

DHL will refer to the invoice provided for HS Code classification by the shipper. If there is no classification done, DHL will use the Malaysian Customs Duties Order to classify the items in the shipment to the best of our knowledge. DHL will classify the shipments using a 10 digit HS Code based on the Customs Duties Order 2017.

No. The MSDS serves as proof that your shipment is not classified as a dangerous good. Different countries may also have different requirements, so there is no hard and fast rule for the need of an MSDS. The bottom line is, in the event that your contents are an authorized dangerous good, they will have to adhere to proper packaging and transportation guidelines.

Kindly send MSDS to [email protected] for further confirmation.

In most circumstances, MSDSs are readily obtainable online – especially if they are commercialized/readily available products in the market. However, in the event that the contents of your shipment are unique, you must create your own MSDS. If you manufactured the item, you should be able to produce a document indicating the breakdown of the contents in its physical state and the transportation requirements.

It is important to note that all MSDSs should be dated and have a validity period of 5 years.

De Minimis

De Minimis shipments are also known as Direct Release shipments.

De Minimis shipments are when imported shipments do not attract any duties and taxes due to its Cost, Insurance and Freight (CIF) value that is below RM500. Having said that, shipments must still be declared from customs using a simplified format with fewer data elements than formal clearance.

In Malaysia it is known as a K4 manifest which provides consolidated information of the shipments arriving into Malaysia.

However, any items under the Customs (Prohibition of Imports) Order 2017 must not be declared as a De Minimis shipment regardless of its value.

License Manufacturing Warehouse

Licensed Manufacturing Warehouse is established under the provision of section 65/65A of the Customs Act 1967. A LMW is granted to any person for warehousing and manufacturing approved products on the same premise. It is primarily intended to cater for export oriented industries.

Customs duty exemption is given to all raw materials and components used directly in the manufacturing process of approved produce from the initial stage of manufacturing until the finished product is finally packed ready for export.

The LMW holder must provide DHL Express with the below documents prior to importation

  • LMW License
  • LMW Exemption List and Approval

The approval is given by the Industrial Department of RMCD for importation of raw materials, packaging, machinery and tools as well as return shipments due to various reasons.

MovementDeclaration FormRemarks
Overseas Import into LMWK1
Domestic into LMWK9Declaration is not done by DHL Express Malaysia
LMW to PCA (Domestic)K9Declaration is not done by DHL Express Malaysia
LMW to Bonded WarehouseK2
FZ to LMWK1
LMW to FZK2
LMW to OverseasK2

It is the responsibility of the companies that are situated in the LMW to have a document control process with regards to shipment movement. DHL Express will only provide the copy of the Invoice, Waybill and the Declaration Form to the companies during shipment delivery.

Temporary Import & ATA Carnet

Temporary Import is a facility for the temporary importation of goods without payment of customs duty/tax with a security being given to the satisfaction of the Director General of Customs and with a view to subsequent re-exportation in consistent with the provision of Section 97 Customs Act 1967. Temporary Import is stipulated with specific conditions set by RMCD.

The acceptable duration is 3months from the date of import. However, any extension (up to 12 months) needs to be applied prior to the deadline.

If any disposal or sale is done in the country, consent must be applied through RMCD.

In the event the items are not returned back within the approved period, the supposed duties and taxes must be paid at the importing station.

For items to be temporarily imported into Malaysia, the process must be initiated prior to importation. Failure to obtain the proper approval before doing so, will risk importers having to pay the duties and taxes for the importation.

  • Bank Guarantee Letter
  • Temporary Import Approval from Customs
  • Commercial Invoice
  • Air Waybill

ATA Carnet is an internationally recognized customs document which allows a shipment to move from one country to another tax and duty free. These shipments must return back to its origin country within 1 year of travelling. Items shipped may be Commercial Samples, Professional Equipment for Movies and Events or Goods for Fair and Exhibitions.

Temporary Import and Export is applicable from one country to one country. Whereas for ATA Carnet the goods may be travelling from various countries entering and exiting during the duration of the Carnet. Think Formula One Race Season, Concert Tours, Documentary Filming.

The Carnet will be traveling together with the shipment. Upon entering a country, the customs officer will stamp on the counterfoil and remove a voucher from the set. The same process will need to be done for the goods exiting the country.

The shipment will require a physical inspection by customs.

Once inspection is done, the ATA Carnet counterfoil and remaining voucher (certificate sets) will be attached back to the shipment.

Free Zone, Free Commercial Zone & Free Industrial Zone

According to the Free Zone Act 1990, “Free Zone” means any part of Malaysia declared to a Free Commercial Zone or a Free Industrial Zone.

A Free Commercial Zone is a Free Zone is designated area to perform commercial activities that include trading (excluding retail trade), breaking bulk, grading, repacking, relabeling and transit.

A Free Industrial Zone is a Free Zone that is a gazette area meant for manufacturing activities.

Payment of duties and taxes for goods brought into or placed in the Free Zones are not required. However, a declaration of entrance and exit must be performed by the clearance agents.

The documents required are as follows:

  • Complete Set of Invoice
  • Waybill Number
  • Any related exemption if applicable
MovementDeclaration FormRemarks
Overseas Import into FZK8
Domestic FZ to FZK8Declaration is not done by DHL Express Malaysia
PCA to FZK2
FZ to PCAK1
FZ to Bonded WarehouseK8
FZ to LMWK1
LMW to FZK2
FZ to OverseasK2

It is the responsibility of the companies that are situated in the Free Zones to have a document control process with regards to shipment movement. DHL Express will only provide the copy of the Invoice, Waybill and the Declaration Form to the companies during shipment delivery.