Import license is a permit that allows an importer to bring in a specified quantity of certain goods during a specified period. Import licenses are employed as means of restricting outflow of foreign currency to improve a country's balance of payments position and to protect the domestic industry from foreign competition.
At present as per the Malaysian import trade policy, most imports can be admitted under an open general licensing regime. However, specific import licenses are required for certain controlled items which are intended for import into the country. These items are explosives and firearms, motor vehicles, plants, certain pharmaceuticals, tin ore, soil samples and various foodstuffs. A restrictive import licensing regime is also charged on heavy construction equipment, electrical household appliances, and iron and steel products. Applications for import licenses should indicate the identities of the purchaser and supplier and a general description of the items and market value.
Malaysia has based its customs tariff regime on the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System of goods clarification. Tariff duties are from 2% to 60%, with an average tariff level of 15%.Higher duties are imposed on so called "luxury" items like liquor and cigarettes and items that are deemed to be in direct competition with locally produced goods.
Any imported beef and poultry products must be certified "halal". Items prohibited from being imported include corrosive chemicals and any "indecent or obscene" materials. Items from the former Yugoslavia and Israel are prohibited.
Direct selling companies wanting to operate in Malaysia must comply with certain regulations set by the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry before a license can be granted. The company must have at least 70% local ownership and must be locally incorporated, 80% of the products must consist of local content and any proposed price increases must be approved by the ministry.
Operating licenses are granted for one-, two- and three-year terms, and existing regulations stipulate that paid-up capital, quality assurance standards and marketing plans must be submitted before any such licenses are granted.