Malaysian Customs: To Declare or Not to Declare
Image Credit: ASKLEGAL
Most Singaporeans look forward to travelling into Malaysia for a weekend, or longer, of eating, shopping and having fun without breaking the bank. Seeing as Singapore and Malaysia are neighbours, this was easy to do in the past, but things have changed for any intrepid traveller on the hunt for a good time especially if you plan to cross the Malaysian border by air.
In an article, dated 6th October 2022, The News Straits Times reported that according to the Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia (CAAM) all travellers entering or departing Malaysia via air will have to complete a customs declaration form. Fortunately, it only applies to:
- dutiable, prohibited goods
- cash, bearer negotiable instrument and or both that exceeds an equivalent of USD10,000.
The form required is Custom Form No 7 in the 3rd schedule and is mandatory under section 103 of the Custom Act 1967 and Regulation no.55 of the Customs Regulation 2019.
Section 103 states: "Notwithstanding anything in this Act contained, every passenger or other person arriving in or leaving Malaysia shall declare all dutiable or prohibited goods in his possession, either on his person or in any baggage or in any vehicle, to the proper officer of customs."
Regulation no.55 states: "Every traveller or other person arriving in or leaving Malaysia shall declare in Customs Form No.7 in the 3rd Schedule.”
It’s important to note that Custom Form No 7 must be used to make the necessary declaration and should be submitted to the customs department (RMCD) examination checkpoint or any customs duty officer at the airport.
Where do I get the customs form?
The form will be made available at the RMCD counter so you don’t have to fret. You can also obtain Custom Form No 7 online. Bear in mind that any false declaration or failure to declare in the first place will be considered an offence under Malaysian law as it is now a legal requirement. So it’s best to declare everything that falls within the 2 categories.
At present, only those who are bringing in dutiable goods, or prohibited items – which you shouldn’t even pack – and/or currency amounting to USD10,000 or more, are required to fill in Custom Form No 7.
This is why we recommend that you bring less cash and utilise your credit card instead. Not only will it be more convenient and safer for you while travelling from one place to another but it’s evidently less of a hassle when entering into Malaysia.
What items are exempted from custom duties?
The RMCD Travel Guide lists the following as Goods that are exempted from customs duties via air travel:
- Alcoholic beverages such as wine, spirits, beer or malt liquor not exceeding one litre in total;
- Brand new apparel not exceeding three pieces;
- New footwear not exceeding one pair;
- Food preparations that do not exceed RM150 in total;
- New portable electrical or battery-operated appliances for personal care and/or hygiene not exceeding one unit each
If in doubt, you can refer to the prevailing Customs Duties (Exemption) Order for conditions of exemption from duties.
Green/Red Lane Facilities
The Green Lane at the arrival hall is intended for travellers with "nothing to declare" (non-dutiable and non-prohibited goods). Otherwise, travellers must proceed to the Red Lane and declare goods. You will incur penalties or jail time if you are caught with undeclared goods in the green lane.
Now that you know what is expected by Malaysian customs, take note of what and how much you can bring, without having to go through the hassle of filling up declaration forms and going through the dreaded Red Lane. With some proper planning, you can breeze through customs with no issues.
You may also want to consider getting travel insurance with add-ons such as ‘Protection of Personal Belongings’ which could be a wise decision if you choose to pack items under the Malaysian customs list.
Choosing the right travel insurance plan will ensure that you and your personal belongings will always be protected against any injuries, delays, loss or damage. Check out DirectAsia’s travel insurance plans and get the added protection for a care-free trip!