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Old Oct 19th 2017, 2:21 am   #1
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Default Stopped in customs

I was recently stopped in customs at Penang airport. I brought an ice cube maker machine, and also some replacement water filters. I guess this showed up on the xray machine, so they asked me to open my suitcase.

They asked for the price of the water filters and I showed them a receipt (in CNY) showing value around RM 80. I said the ice cuber maker was around RM 300, but it is used, not new. They noticed some marks on it and acknowledged it was used. Then they asked me to pay RM 50 in taxes.

I asked if there are any limits for when you have to pay taxes, and they replied that it's no limit, but should only be on new products.

So, any experience with customs. How often do you get stopped? And how do they calculate the taxes if you need to pay?

Would showing your MM2H visa help ?
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Old Oct 19th 2017, 5:44 am   #2
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Default Re: Stopped in customs

Are you sure you asked the right question, there is certainly no limit on how much they can tax you if you bring in a lot of items. But there is a limited amount that you can bring in to Malaysia duty free. These limits are:
Free import :
- 200 cigarettes or 225 grams of tobacco;
- max. 1 liter of wine, spirits or malt liquor;
- max. 3 pieces of new wearing apparel;
- one pair of new footwear;
- one unit of each portable electrical or battery operated appliance for personal care and hygiene;
- a total max. of MYR 75.- of dutiable food preparations;
- all other goods, incl. gifts and souvenirs up to a total value of max. MYR 400.- (except goods from Langkawi and Labuan, up to a total value of max. MYR 500.-).
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Old Oct 19th 2017, 6:20 am   #3
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Default Re: Stopped in customs

Quote:
Originally Posted by NeonHippy View Post
Are you sure you asked the right question, there is certainly no limit on how much they can tax you if you bring in a lot of items. But there is a limited amount that you can bring in to Malaysia duty free. These limits are:
Free import :
- 200 cigarettes or 225 grams of tobacco;
- max. 1 liter of wine, spirits or malt liquor;
- max. 3 pieces of new wearing apparel;
- one pair of new footwear;
- one unit of each portable electrical or battery operated appliance for personal care and hygiene;
- a total max. of MYR 75.- of dutiable food preparations;
- all other goods, incl. gifts and souvenirs up to a total value of max. MYR 400.- (except goods from Langkawi and Labuan, up to a total value of max. MYR 500.-).
So all your goods can be valued up to MYR 400 (outside the above mentioned). What is tax/duty rate for the second pair of footwear etc?

How often is this enforced, how often are you getting stopped and asked to pay?

Also, is it not correct what they told me that used items are not subject tax/duty?
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Old Oct 19th 2017, 10:09 am   #4
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Default Re: Stopped in customs

I have noticed that the customs officers will observe the routing ticket attached to my cases. If these show a single hop from somewhere in Malaysia I am waved straight through. But if the ticket shows a routing of, for example, KL then Penang I am always directed to put my cases through the x-ray scanner. I have yet to arrive from Europe without some form of challenge to open a case. Usually with some good cause 😁 but apart from one warning never to bring pig intestines in again (we make our own sausages) I have yet to pay any duty.
If you bring in 10 shirts still in their wrapper they are clearly new and potentially saleable so of course you are likely to be charged duty. But unwrap them, put them though a laundry cycle and who is to say when you bought them. Second pair of new shoes, I'd probably have them on my feet.

As for how much duty is payable, probably as much as they think they can sting you for. I have not seen any tarrifs posted other than 30 percent on alcohol.
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Old Oct 19th 2017, 2:13 pm   #5
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Default Re: Stopped in customs

Quote:
Originally Posted by stepen View Post
I was recently stopped in customs at Penang airport. I brought an ice cube maker machine, and also some replacement water filters. I guess this showed up on the xray machine, so they asked me to open my suitcase.

They asked for the price of the water filters and I showed them a receipt (in CNY) showing value around RM 80. I said the ice cuber maker was around RM 300, but it is used, not new. They noticed some marks on it and acknowledged it was used. Then they asked me to pay RM 50 in taxes.

I asked if there are any limits for when you have to pay taxes, and they replied that it's no limit, but should only be on new products.

So, any experience with customs. How often do you get stopped? And how do they calculate the taxes if you need to pay?

Would showing your MM2H visa help ?
Got stopped by customs in July at Penang and had loads of stuff confiscated (food treats for friends) - no fine, though but I do wonder what happened to the foie gras
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Old Oct 23rd 2017, 10:10 am   #6
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Default Re: Stopped in customs

How odd. I've been in and out of Penang airport for years, flying domestic, regional and international and I've never had to open my case on arrival in Penang, only push it through the XRay machine at the exit at Penang.

I travel with about 20,000 RM worth of computer equipment on my winter/spring route in and out of Penang, but its all in transit as I take home what I bring with me.

I suppose one advantage is that I don't carry new equipment in original packaging (too bulky), so presumably if stopped, could reasonably argue that it isn't new.
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Old Oct 25th 2017, 4:23 am   #7
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Default Re: Stopped in customs

Hmmm interesting. But how did RM 80 of goods produce RM 50 tax? Or did I misinterpret that?

Would be good to have the link to Customs about those amounts, Neon. I will go have a search later.

I will be coming back through Penang end November with a large electrical item in my suitcase paid AUD 70. About RM 220. Let's see what happens.

I've travelled back with food before and no problems so far.... famous last words. Suitcase full of aussie avocados. Not stopped but the avocados were a bit knackered on arrival.
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Old Oct 25th 2017, 4:37 am   #8
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Default Re: Stopped in customs

Hi BB,
here is the link you are seeking. http://www.customs.gov.my/en/tp
Neon
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Old Oct 25th 2017, 4:38 am   #9
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Default Re: Stopped in customs

Thanks for your feedback. I guess as long as you don't have stuff that shows up strangely on the x-ray machine the probability to get stopped is not big.

Was planning to bring some dried and vacuum packed lamb for christmas. Not sure if that would cause big issues? Fresh meat or vegetables is normally not popular to travel with, however what about dried/preserved meat that is vacuum packed? Guess they would take it if stopped, but as long as we don't get in more trouble then maybe can take the risk.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bakedbean View Post
Hmmm interesting. But how did RM 80 of goods produce RM 50 tax? Or did I misinterpret that?
That was my question as well. It seemed totally random how they came up with RM50. Also, I'm not quite sure if they added a little bit for the ice-cube maker (that was used). I also had a small travel espresso maker (the small type that you put on the stove to boil the water) that I often travel with. I had it for 20+ years and it looks very old, they asked how much it was, and just said I had it for 20 years.
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Old Oct 25th 2017, 4:43 am   #10
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Default Re: Stopped in customs

Quote:
Originally Posted by NeonHippy View Post
Hi BB,
here is the link you are seeking. http://www.customs.gov.my/en/tp
Neon
Re-reading this page, it seems that the duty is 30% except on certain goods (tyres, alcohol, cigarettes etc) which have their own set duty tariffs.
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Old Oct 25th 2017, 4:50 am   #11
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Default Re: Stopped in customs

Quote:
Originally Posted by stepen View Post
Was planning to bring some dried and vacuum packed lamb for christmas. Not sure if that would cause big issues? Fresh meat or vegetables is normally not popular to travel with, however what about dried/preserved meat that is vacuum packed? Guess they would take it if stopped, but as long as we don't get in more trouble then maybe can take the risk.
Behind the x-ray machine at Penang customs there is a large poster depicting banned items. Featuring quite prominently is a large chunk of fresh meat. I'm not too sure how dried meat would be viewed but vacuum packing it will not help as you will have to open the pack to access the meat for consumption. Unless that is you intend to cook it sous vide.
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Old Oct 25th 2017, 7:03 am   #12
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Default Re: Stopped in customs

Quote:
Originally Posted by NeonHippy View Post
Hi BB,
here is the link you are seeking. http://www.customs.gov.my/en/tp
Neon
Cheers neon. I have saved it ready to wave about
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Old Nov 1st 2017, 10:14 am   #13
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Default Re: Stopped in customs

Wow, this means I have been quite lucky so far. When I made the final move to KL, I had probably RM 30,000 worth of computer and electronic equipment (camera, SSDs, HDDs, laptops, video cards which I didn't want to take any risk on with the movers and a number of blu-rays with opera) on my person and luggage and didn't have any questions from customs at all. If they had asked me to open them, they would have found them to have been obviously used. I usually will have a fair amount of electronic and computer equipment whenever I travel but this was obviously was on the exceptional side.

I and most people I know usually travel with several thousand ringgit worth of electronic equipment (laptop, camera etc) so they must be concentrating mostly on other stuff.
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Old Nov 2nd 2017, 7:39 pm   #14
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Default Re: Stopped in customs

Please excuse the terrible English in the above post. It is not a good idea to try and type a comment on the phone with one hand and while on a train.
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Old Nov 9th 2017, 5:44 am   #15
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Default Re: Stopped in customs

Quote:
Originally Posted by physdude View Post
Wow, this means I have been quite lucky so far. When I made the final move to KL, I had probably RM 30,000 worth of computer and electronic equipment (camera, SSDs, HDDs, laptops, video cards which I didn't want to take any risk on with the movers and a number of blu-rays with opera) on my person and luggage and didn't have any questions from customs at all. If they had asked me to open them, they would have found them to have been obviously used. I usually will have a fair amount of electronic and computer equipment whenever I travel but this was obviously was on the exceptional side.

I and most people I know usually travel with several thousand ringgit worth of electronic equipment (laptop, camera etc) so they must be concentrating mostly on other stuff.
I went through customs in Penang last Saturday with a suitcase full of hard drives, DVDs, media player, computer equipment, cables etc, went through xray without an issue, so think you are correct that customs must be concentrating on other stuff.
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