Moving from/to Malaysia


You need to move from Thailand or somewhere else to Malaysia? Siam Relocation’s professional team helps you cope with all your logistic and relocation needs. Our knowledge and experience in this domain give us credit to handle your move. In this article, you will find reliable information about the customs, the best methods of transportation, our best services and about your future life in Malaysia.

malaysian flag

1. Customs clearance in Malaysia

Customs are inevitable when you travel or ship your goods from a country to another. You have to go through them and clear your goods. Of course, SIAM Relocation knows perfectly this process and can offer you to deal with customs.

1.1 Customs process

Remark SIAM: While entering Malaysia as for any other country, everyone has to go through Customs check.

When you enter Malaysia, you will have to go through a custom check process for which you need to be prepared. Here is all the paperwork you need to prepare in order to pass through customs when importing your household goods:

  • The airway bill or the Ocean Bill of Lading
  • A copy of your detailed packing list
  • A copy of the owner’s passport, with photograph
  • A copy of work permit or of a letter of employer in Malaysia
  • A Customs form No.1 where you declare the goods you want to import

If you are a returning Malaysian, you will also need:

  • Your identity card
  • A copy of a work permit or a copy of an employment letter from the country you were staying in before returning to Malaysia

SIAM Info: If you intend to import electrical goods, you will need a permit issued by the department of electrical safety. You can simply contact them by phone to: +60 032612 5400

What about the taxes ?

Malaysian duty rates vary from 0% to 50%, depending on the goods they apply to. The average rate if of 6%. For instance, some electrical products are subject to a 0% duty (laptop, electric guitars, etc).

SIAM Warning: For very regulated products like alcohol, duty can reach up to 250% of valued.

For your relocation, you will also pay the VAT on your imports. The standard VAT rate is of 10% of the CIF value of the goods. Some products have higher or lower rates and other are taxed based on a unit basis (per kg for instance). These were the taxes you are almost sure to pay during your relocation.

As part of the ASEAN, Malaysia has two taxing systems for the importation of goods. For goods not originating from members of the ASEAN, the Harmonized Tariff System (HTS) applies. It particularly concerns some merchandises and industrial goods. For goods originating from members of the ASEAN, the ASEAN Harmonized Tariff Nomenclature applies. It provides advantages for the ASEAN member states by reducing rates.

*Though, you should note that these Tariff systems often don’t apply to relocations but to merchandise transportation.

1.2 Taxes exemption

*Obviously, some goods are totally exempted from duty (0% duty rate), but you can also act to get your goods exempted.

Used personal and household goods will be exempted from duty if the shipper is the owner of the goods, if they have been in the owner’s use and possession for a period of at least than 6 months, and if the shipper changes place of residence into Malaysia (former outside Malaysia and new inside Malaysia).

In the case of a diplomatic entry in the country, the goods are never subject to duty. Only the Embassies can endorse the documents that give you a diplomatic status. Then, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs needs to approve it.

1.3 Vehicle importation

Remark SIAM: There are many reasons why it is very hard to import your car into Malaysia.

The first thing to know is that motor vehicles are subject to import duties and taxes up to 300% of the value of the vehicle, depending on the cubic centimetre. Indeed, the motor industry is quite powerful and heavily subsidized in Malaysia so the country set a sort of protectionism in place.

If you choose to bring your car with you in Malaysia, you must apply for approval within the 6 months following your visa obtention. You apply to the Malaysian Ministry of International Trade and Industry. For your application to be successful, your car should be registered in your home country. You also need a proof that the applicant owns the car, the original registration document and a readable photocopy of it, a valid certificate of insurance and a letter from your employer in Malaysia.

If your application is about to be accepted, an interview will be conducted face to face at the Ministry’s office in Kuala Lumpur.

Then, here are the documents you will need to import your car:

  • The original registration card/certificate of the vehicle
  • The original insurance certificate
  • The original invoice
  • The original import permit
  • The original Bill of Lading
  • A valid work permit

*Please note that your car can only be used for personal use. Selling your car during the two years following the importation is prohibited. When your work permit expires, your car has to be exported back.

Once the car has passed the custom clearance in Malaysia and once the duties are paid, you have to register it with the Malaysian Road Transport Department. And a whole new process begins…

Remark SIAM: There are many reasons why it is very hard to import your car into Malaysia.

1.4 What duties and taxes will I pay for my personal effects?

Warning SIAM: The total cost of your custom clearance process will depend on many factors, which makes it hard to estimate. As seen above, the nature of the goods you ship will strongly influence the duties you pay as will the method of shipment, your personal situation, … 
If this is still vague to you, feel free to contact our SIAM moving consultant by mail or to fill our online form in 1 minute and get an answer within 24 hours !


Example of a declaration for personal effect importation (this one is for Singapore but could work for Malaysia. Ask your SIAM Moving consultant to provide you the correct one)

personal effects declaration singapore

SIAM Plus: Our moving consultant will assist you proceed every administrative and logistics tasks. Thanks to our experience, we are well known to accompany our customers from departure to arrival, just to make sure everything is fine ! Your satisfaction is our success !

Customs contact in Thailand

thai customs

Official name: Thai Customs Department

Official Website: Thai Customs Website

Customs contact in Malaysia

customs malaysia

Official name: Royal Malaysian Customs Department

Official Website: Malaysian Customs Website

Customs process

customs clearance process

Our customs broker inform you

Prohibited & restricted items

Remark SIAM: If you have one of the following item, you should check directly with our SIAM Moving consultant. Some of those items are restricted or even totally prohibited, it is important to anticipate such shipment to avoid any problem. Beyond the “classic” prohibited goods like firearms, drugs or forgery, there are two other categories of prohibited goods : goods of South Africa or Israeli origin.

Drug contraband

prohibited drug


prohibited ivory


prohibited poison


prohibited explosive


prohibited batteries


prohibited porno


prohibited biohazard


prohibited combustible


prohibited knife


prohibited chemical


prohibited firearms


prohibited cigarette


prohibited corrosive


prohibited prescription drugs


prohibited gambler


prohibited counterfeit

Counterfeit notes

prohibited notes


prohibited hazardous items

Siam Relocation - Best price moving company in Bangkok !

Due to our attractive pricing, many customers trust our services and we thanks them.

Stop to overpay the services and save money with our tailored package matching will all type of removals, from small volume to full house, let us find the best and cost-effective option.


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2. Method of transportation

From Thailand, Malaysia is reachable by air, land and sea, which gives you the choice. But to choose, you should know that each one has drawbacks and advantages. Let’s see which best corresponds to your needs.


ship icon

Ocean freight will be the best deal for you if:

  • The goods you need to ship are greater than 3 CBM
  • You’re not in a hurry to receive them
  • You are located in the northern half of Thailand

SIAM Advice: To have precise rates and transit times for your Sea freight from Thailand to Malaysia, don’t hesitate to contact our SIAM Experts.



Remark SIAM: Malaysia is one of the busiest areas in the world in terms of maritime traffic. Indeed, the Strait of Malacca, between Malaysia southern coast and Sumatra Island (Indonesia), is a daily transit point for more than 220 cargos.

Sea freight biggest advantage is that it will result cheaper than airfreight, especially if you have a big volume to ship. Above 3 cubic meters, we advise to choose sea freight, which also is the greener freight mode. Its biggest drawback is to be much longer than airfreight.

Main Ports in Malaysia

There are four main ports in Malaysia : Port Klang Penang Port (in Kuala Lumpur), Johor Port, Kuantan Port and Bintulu Port.

*They are located all over Malaysia main land.

Transit time

On average, the maritime trip from Bangkok to Port Klang port (Kuala Lumpur) takes 4 days. If you add the picking up, custom clearance and delivery time in the two countries, you should count about a week for your relocation to be done. Of course, this is only an estimation that will vary according to other factors.

*Please note that this is only for guidance. The transit times can of course vary by a few days according to the type of boat, the weather or the departure/arrival port. 

Sea freight rates

Sea freight is influences by many factors and rates vary accordingly. The volume is the most important parameter to know for us to estimate the cost of your move.

After choosing your container size, you will need to choose FCL (Full Container Load) or LCL (Less than Container Load). We advise you to choose a FCL if your shipment is of more than 15 cubic meters, else, a LCL would be a better choice. Obviously, our consultants are here to help you make your decision.

*According to your needs, we can provide you with a packaging and/or loading service which also has consequences on the total price.

Remark SIAM: You want further information about our packing service ? Contact our SIAM moving consultant or check our dedicated page: Packing service

Why choose us?

For years, SIAM Relocation has provided dedicated services to respond to specific needs. Our teams are expert and want you to work with the best solution.

Remark SIAM: As proof, if you transport small volumes, you should note that Siam Relocation is the only moving company to have a rate for the first cubic meter. If you want to ship 1 cubic meter of your goods, other companies will charge you 4 cubic meter as it is their starting rate, SIAM Relocation will charge you 1 cubic meter because we seek for a fair service and relation.


airplane icon

Air freight will be the most efficient solution if:

  • Your goods are smaller than 3 CBM and 200 kg
  • You’re in a hurry to receive/send the goods

SIAM Advice: To have precise rates and transit times for your Air freight from Thailand to Malaysia, don’t hesitate to contact our SIAM Experts.



From Thailand, Malaysia is easily reachable by air because of geographical proximity and South-East Asian companies. For this reason, Malaysia is not only a sea hub but also an air hub.

If you want to ship a small volume of goods (let’s say below 3 cubic meters), air freight will be the best solution. You will benefit from its rapidity (the flight will last a few hours only) and pay the just amount whereas when you choose sea freight for such a volume, you have to pay for additional fees like bundling/unbundling charges at port because you share your container with other shipments.

Remark SIAM: Air freight can be the most adequate solution, it mainly depends on your goods dimensions.

Main airports in India

Kuala Lumpur International Airport is part of the 15 busiest airports in the world in terms of international passenger traffic. It really is the most important airport in Malaysia as it is the only one able to land an A380.

The eastern part of the country is mainly served by Kota Kinabalu International Airport.

The island of Penang is served by Penang International Airport.

*Other minor airports exist but the three mentioned above are the biggest.

Transit time

By air, the average transit time from Thailand to Malaysia is about 3 to 4 hours. For instance, a Bangkok – Kuala Lumpur as well as a Chiang Mai – Kuala Lumpur flight lasts approximately 3 hours.

*Note that the flight does not include the whole logistics process, some parcel could be stuck in customs for X or Y reason.

Air freight rates

Weight and volume have the strongest influence on air freight rates. Consequently, the cost of air freight is inclined to vary with what you ship. Plus, when your shipment will pass through Malaysian customs, you will once more see that it is what you ship that defines what you pay.

Why choose us?

SIAM Relocation has a long experience in air freight transportation and is used to working with the best agents for years. Please contact our moving consultants and they will work to find out the best solution to your needs.

Let’s see together how we price an air freight service. There are 2 different “weight”: actual and volumetric. Those 2 factors are the most important to understand how air freight rate works. Once you get it, you can -totally- understand your air freight quotations.

calculate gross weight
classic air freight volumetric weight

*The carrier will charge based on the most important weight between the volumetric weight and the actual weight.


road freight icon

Road freight will be the most convenient option if:

  • Your home is located in the south of Thailand
  • The volume of your move is between 3 to 15 CBM
  • You’re not in a hurry to receive your goods


Thailand can easily be linked to Malaysia thanks to a good road network in Southern Thailand.

Thanks to an efficient road network, Thailand can easily be linked to India in a few days. Road freight can be profitable as you will benefit from a quite direct delivery from the truck, without a sometimes expensive warehousing. More, during the transport, you can locate your goods and follow the trip precisely. Last but not least, you can communicate with the driver, which is a very good contact to have.

Remark SIAM: The trucking solution will be obviously the best option if your both new houses are located near the border.

Main routes

There is a road which links Thailand to the Western Part of Malaysia. The Eastern part of Malaysia can’t be linked to Thailand by land.

Phet Kasem Road or Thailand Route 4 is one of the major highways in Thailand. It starts from Bangkok (but you can catch it the continuation of other roads from the North of Thailand) to the border with Malaysia in the south of Thailand. From there, the AH2 continues the path, going to Kuala Lumpur.

Transit time

From Bangkok and via the above-mentioned road, you can count 3 or 4 days to see your goods arrive at your place in Kuala Lumpur.

*Of course, the transit time will be shorter if you live in Southern Thailand.

**Note that this transit time doesn’t include customs inspection (if any)

Road freight rates

Many sizes exist for moving trucks, between 1 (consolidated with other customers) and 50 cubic meters storage capacity. Your choice will have big consequences on the final price of your freight. Yet, road freight should be less expensive than sea freight and air freight if you live in the south of Thailand and move to Malaysia.

Why choose us?

Thanks to our experience and the work done with argents for years, SIAM Relocation is now a reference in road freight transportation. Our experts are dealing all the time with customs, they don’t hold any more secrets for them. Please contact our moving consultant and they will work to find out the best solution to your needs.


rail freight icon

Rail freight will be the best solution for you, in the case that:

  • Your home is located near Thai train station
  • You are not very hurry to receive your go belongings




Because rail freight is less affected than other transportation modes by weather conditions such as fog or rain, it is the most dependable mode.

Generally, its organization gives it punctuality and facilitates the scheduling of your move. Railway freight is more certain, uniform and regular as compared to other modes of transport.

Main Train Stations in Malaysia

Here are the main train stations in Malaysia: KL Sentral in Kuala Lumpur, Kepong Sentral and Johor Bahru Sentral.

Transit time

Bangkok – Kuala Lumpur transit time is about 24-30 hours in train but one thing you should know (maybe you already experienced it) is that in Thailand, trains are cheap but not very punctual. They are often very late, even when they deal with merchandise transportation.

Rail freight rates

Compared to other freight modes, rail freight can appear to be very cheap BUT… When you sum all the costs up, it can be surprising. For instance, for a Bangkok – Kuala Lumpur, it is quite likely you’re your shipment has to change train a few times during the transport so parcel manipulation when changing trains will have a high cost. More, you will have to check the proximity of your place of delivery to a train station served by your railway. So the final trucking will be to add in the list of costs, etc.

Why choose us?

Rail freight transportation has no secret anymore for SIAM Relocation thanks to its experience. Please feel free to contact our moving consultants. They will work to find out the best solution to your needs.

international move Kuala lumpur

3. Additional moving services

As we worked with our clients through the time, we decided to improve our services in order to adapt them to their needs. That’s why we created specific offers and packages.

3.1 Moving insurance

Remark SIAM: Our insurance program is charged 3% of your declared value.

During international moving, there is always a risk of delay, loss, damage or even theft. Thus, we propose that you anticipate the problem before it happens.

An insurance (“cargo insurance”, “freight insurance” or “maritime insurance”) usually covers damages caused by a bad weather or an inadequate storage for instance. Obviously, the covered risks will vary according to the insurance you choose to subscribe to. Some will cover piracy and others don’t.

If you want to subscribe to an insurance, you can go to a specialist insurance broker, a general insurance company, your bank or us, Siam Relocation.

*Our consultants do all they can to provide you with the best service.

Info SIAM: You want further information about our Insurance program? Feel free to contact our SIAM moving consultant or check our dedicated page: Moving Insurance

3.2 Moving with your pet to Malaysia

Before you leave Thailand with your pet, you need to follow a procedure to make sure the import will go well. First, go to the Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport three days before your flight departure. Every animal leaving the country needs to be inspected by a Thailand’s government vet. At the Airport, find the Custom and Animal Quarantine Office and you will be taken in charge by an officer. Your animal must be up to date with its vaccinations.

At this point, several documents are needed:

  • A rabies certificate, with english contact details of who made it. The pet must also have undergone a blood serology test to check for rabies antibody levels at least 30 days afterthe rabies vaccination. The test result must be at least 0.5 IU/mL.
  • A copy of your valid passport
  • Your flight details
  • Your pet’s micro-chip number if your animal has one

*Afterwards, you will have to fill an export request form.

The vet will hand you over documents you require for your travel and charge you 50 Baht for each animal.

The day of your travel, you must not forget to take with you your original pet health certificate, the one made by the Government’s vet and the export permit.

*Until this, we described what is needed on the Thai part. But Malaysia also has its requisites.

After checking that your pet can be brought into Malaysia here, you will complete an Application Form A to obtain your import permit. With this application, you will need to attach your pet’s current vaccination record and pay a few RM as import fee. Once submitted to the State Veterinary Departments or the Department of Veterinary Services, your application form should be processed within no more than two days.

Once you obtain the import permit, your pet may be put under quarantine if the DVS thinks is required. If this happens, you will be charged a quarantine fee (for dogs, it is RM10/dog/day).

At arrival in Malaysia, you will submit the following documents (written in English) to the DVS officer :

  • The original import permit
  • The original vet health certificate from Thailand
  • The original vaccination certificate
  • The complete customs form No1 using tariff code 0106 for importation (code for pets)

Remark SIAM: Here is a list of the banned dog breeds in Malaysia : Pit Bull Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, American Pit Bull, American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, American Bulldog, Neapolitan Mastiff, Dogo Argentino, Japanese Tosa, Akita and Fila Braziliero.

Remark SIAM: Here is a list of the restricted breed of dogs for which you have to make a special application : Rottweiller, Doberman, Bull Mastiff,  German Shepard, Alsatian, Belgian Shepard, East European Shepard, Bull Terrier and Perro de Presa Canario (Canary Dog).

Info SIAM: For further information, please contact the Department of Veterinary Services (email :

3.3 Packing service

Remark SIAM: Packing your goods is a basic need for any shipment. It conditions the process safety.

Many materials can be used to pack. We will try to put it in a nutshell here:

First, cardboard packing boxes. They are practical because they can be fold before being used and so are easy to keep. Most of the time, for moving abroad, very solid cardboard boxes are used but you should be careful not to choose non-corrugated cardboard or any type of cardboard that does not look solid enough to you.

Bubble wrap is used to take care of fragile items like glass or any good that you want to treat carefully. It is a good option to avoid damages.

To pack big volumes with a lot of resistance, wooden boxes are often chosen. They have a good duration in time and resist the humidity better than cardboard.

We, at SIAM Relocation, offer you to take care of all your packaging needs. Our technical team can pack whatever you need to pack. If some objects have particular dimensions, ask us and we will take care of them for you.

Info SIAM: You want further information about our packing service, feel free to contact our SIAM Moving consultant or check our dedicated page: Packing service

3.4 Warehousing service

SIAM Relocation proposes a warehousing service to anticipate your setbacks or emergencies. For instance, if you leave Thailand before your goods do, a warehouse would be of great help to you.

SIAM Plus: Our warehouses are equipped with alarm systems and a 24/7 guard presence so that our customers don’t have any worries regarding their belongings.

3.5 Office moves

Please take note that we also have a service specialized in commercial moving for companies, associations and government agencies.

4. Our moving packages

Because our customers have different needs and because it is our job to provide them the best adapted service we can, we created three moving packages : from the simple package to the complete package.

packages international move thailand

SIAM Plus: Please note that this information is for guidance only. It is based on our most up-to-date knowledge and experience. Your Siam moving consultant will analyse and determine the most suitable moving solution, adapting our offer to your needs.

5. Life in Malaysia

5.1 Visa & Business


To live and work in Malaysia, you need a visa. Generally, it is not that difficult to obtain a visa in Malaysia, unless your job is a job that could easily be done by a Malaysian.

If you are an expat living in Malaysia for over three years and earning a salary of at least RM 15,000 per month, you are eligible to apply for a Residence Pass which allows you to stay and work in Malaysia. This works even better when you have particular skills needed in Malaysia. With this visa, your spouse is permitted to work.

*Nevertheless, beyond a 10 year period, it is hard to get a Permanent Residency visa in Malaysia.

Remark SIAM: You can learn more about Malaysian visas on the official website: Malaysian Visa Online  


Interesting fact : more than half of the expats who live in Malaysia state that their job has become more satisfying and fulfilling after relocating. Malaysia is a place full of challenges and where eyou can truly develop your skills range.

In Malaysia, sectors like science, tourism, commerce and medical tourism are beginning to seriously develop, increasing expat employment opportunities.

5.2 Living in Malaysia


Listening to expats, Malaysia is a great place to live in. Despite the cultural differences, expats say they have quickly grown a social life as active as it was in their origin country.

Malay is the official language of the country, but English is widely spoken and understood. Business is usually made in English.

*Foreigners living in Malaysia get health and medical benefits more than local.

Cost of life

Globally, consumer prices are 45% lower in cities like Delhi than in Bangkok. Yet some regions in India are cheaper than other to live in and Delhi is part of the most expensive with Mumbai.

Compared to Western countries, living costs are very low in Malaysia, although they keep increasing because of the arrival of many expats and the development of the country.

Globally, consumer prices are 20% lower in Kuala Lumpur than in Bangkok whereas salaries are 43% higher in average.

Warning SIAM: According to the website Numbeo which is the reference to help to compare the cost of life in different place, here is the comparison between Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur

  • Consumer Prices in Kuala Lumpur are 19.99% lower than in Bangkok
  • Consumer Prices Including Rent in Kuala Lumpur are 24.17% lower than in Bangkok
  • Rent Prices in Kuala Lumpur are 33.73% lower than in Bangkok
  • Restaurant Prices in Kuala Lumpur are 17.33% lower than in Bangkok
  • Groceries Prices in Kuala Lumpur are 21.30% lower than in Bangkok
  • Local Purchasing Power in Kuala Lumpur is 88.77% higher than in Bangkok

For further information, please check directly the official link: Numbeo – Bangkok Vs Kuala Lumpur


For foreigners of all origins, the remuneration is an average of 3.7 million THB a year which is huge.

People usually work 8 hours per day, 6 days a week in Malaysia but more and more employers allow their employees to do 5 days weeks.

5.3 Local contacts

Here are some precious contacts that you must know if you are to live in Malaysia.

Firefighter: 994

Ambulance helpline: 999

Police Emergency: 999

Here are the best real estate companies in Malaysia. They can be of a great help to guide you through your relocation.

Knight Frank Malaysia

RE/MAX Malaysia

IQI Realty

+60 03-2289 9688

+60 03-6150 8088

+60 03-7450 6655

email on website

email on website

Here are some visa agencies to help you with your administrative procedure.

Malaysia Biz Advisory


+60 03-2181 2882

+1 877 457 7691

Email on the website