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.
Summary (Click on the subject you are looking for):
- 1.1 Customs process
- 1.2 Taxes exemption
- 1.3 Vehicle importation
- 1.4 What duties and taxes will I pay for my personal effects?
- 3.1 Moving insurance
- 3.2 Moving with your pet to Malaysia
- 3.3 Packing service
- 3.4 Warehousing service
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.
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
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).
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.
*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.
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…
Customs contact in Thailand
Customs contact in Malaysia
Our customs broker inform you
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
*The carrier will charge based on the most important weight between the volumetric weight and the actual weight.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
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.
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.
Please take note that we also have a service specialized in commercial moving for companies, associations and government agencies.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Here are some precious contacts that you must know if you are to live in Malaysia.
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.