Malaysia is a core market for many eCommerce businesses in Singapore, and it’s no wonder why. Located just across the border, it is home to 32.7 million people, and with over 82% internet penetration, it is one of the most advanced eCommerce markets in Southeast Asia. But shipping parcels to Malaysia still requires a certain amount of paperwork. Here’s what you need to know. 

Snapshot of Malaysia’s eCommerce market

Malaysia’s domestic eCommerce market is growing quickly. Projected to generate 6.4 billion USD (8.7 billion SGD) in revenue this year, it is expected to grow at a CAGR of more than 15% to reach 11.3 billion USD (15.3 billion SGD) in 2025. At the same time, Malaysians are keen cross-border shoppers, and the market where they order the second highest volume of goods from, behind China, is Singapore.

The most popular eCommerce categories are travel, consumer electronics, and fashion, and the average annual basket spend is 2004 MYR (652 SGD). Over half (52%) of online transactions occur on smartphones, followed by desktops (42%), and tablets (6%). While smartphone penetration in Malaysia (57%) isn’t as high as it is in Singapore (78%), mobile commerce is growing faster than eCommerce as a whole and is expected to reach 8.9 billion USD (12.1 billion SGD) by 2023.  

At the moment, Malaysia’s top three eCommerce sites by traffic are all marketplaces: Shopee, Lazada and PG Mall. 

Why you need to keep local customs and events in mind

If you’re considering offering parcel delivery to Malaysia, be sure to keep local customs and events in mind. First of all, depending on the area within Malaysia that you’re shipping to, either Friday and Saturday or Saturday and Sunday are considered non-working days, so you’ll want to build this into your shipping window and keep customers informed about potential delivery delays. 

The big shopping events are also slightly different in Malaysia. There’s the Malaysia Super Sale (March 1-31), Malaysia Mega Sale Carnival (June 15-August 31) and Malaysia Year-End Sale (November 1-December 31), so you may want to tailor your offers and marketing to these periods, although international events, such as 9.9, 10.10, 11.11 (Singles’ Day), 12.12 and Black Friday, are growing in popularity. 

What you need to know about shipping internationally from Singapore to Malaysia

Import duties and taxes

Depending on the value of each order, you may or may not need to pay import duties and taxes on the goods you ship to Malaysia. The de minimis threshold in Malaysia is 500 MYR (162 SGD) and is inclusive of the prices of your goods, your shipping fee, and any insurance costs. However, this only applies to goods that are delivered via air freight. 

If your order is over the de minimis threshold, or if you’re using sea freight or truck freight, then you’ll need to pay a sales and service tax (SST) of between 5-10% and import duties. These will vary depending on the goods involved. For instance, finished leather goods incur import duties of up to 25% and 10% SST, while shoes incur import duties of 20% and either 5% or 10% SST.  You can check out the duty and tax required for different products here.

Other items are prohibited from being imported at all, or must first receive approval from a government agency. These include some cosmetics and electronics, alcohol and pharmaceuticals, just to name a few.

Clearing customs

To clear customs for import into Malaysia, you or your shipping partner will generally need to provide the following:

Distribution and last mile 

Once your parcel arrives at a transport hub, it can be sorted and sent out for last-mile delivery. However, if the destination is in East Malaysia, such as Sabah or Sarawak, an additional domestic flight will be needed before your parcel can be sorted and delivered.

How to access discounted international shipping with Shippit

Whether you’re looking for the best international rates or fast shipping to Malaysia, Shippit has got you covered. As a multi-carrier platform, we negotiate the cheapest shipping to Malaysia on your behalf and we ship internationally with Aramex Janio and DHL. , Our lowest international rates with 3-5 day standard international shipping start from just 3.82 SGD for 0.5 kgs.

Instead of trying to negotiate the lowest DHL shipping rates, Aramex shipping rates, or Janio shipping rates on your own, you can save time with Shippit and focus on what you do best growing your business. And once you’re ready to look beyond Malaysia, you can rest assured that we offer cheap international shipping from Singapore to many other countries around the world.