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1. How soon should an MSC Malaysia status company apply for duty free importation of IT/Multimedia equipment(s)?
It is advisable to submit your duty free importation application to MDeC at least one month before the equipment(s) is imported.
2. What are the criteria to be eligible for duty free importation?
Subject to the provisions under the Customs Act 1967 and the Sales Tax Act 1972, and such conditions as may be imposed by the Minister of Finance, the import by MSC Malaysia Status entities of multimedia equipment and components for direct use in the operation of their MSC Malaysia qualifying activities are exempted from import duties and sales tax.
The exemption criteria to be met for such multimedia equipment and components are as follows:
  • i) Multimedia / ICT equipment;
  • ii) Equipment is not available locally (i.e. not locally manufactured, however locally manufactured Multimedia / ICT equipment purchased by MSC Malaysia Status entity may be eligible for sales tax exemption);
  • iii) Equipment is not for trading;
  • iv) Equipment is “directly used” for MSC Malaysia qualifying activities; and
  • v) The MSC Malaysia Status entity complies with the relocation requirement in its Conditions of Grant of MSC Malaysia Status

Please take note that the final decision resides with the Ministry of Finance.

Other conditions:
i) Multimedia / ICT equipment must be imported directly from the country where the equipment will be imported from.
ii) The Minister of Finance’s exemption does not cover importation of Multimedia / ICT equipment via land from Singapore.

3. How do we apply for duty free importation of IT / Multimedia equipment(s)?

Effective 1st April 2010, all duty free importation applications are to be submitted online via our e-Dfi (Electronic Duty Free Importation), which is a web-based system. First time e-Dfi user is required to contact the MSC Malaysia e-Xpats Centre Helpdesk at expatctr@mdec.com.my or 03 8315 3106 to initiate the registration and roll-out process. Once the e-Dfi System Roll-Out process has been completed, applicant can next submit their application online via e-Dfi.

For more information regarding the procedure, please refer to our guideline and procedure which can be downloaded by clicking this link http://expats.com.my/expats2009/duty_dl.html

4. How long does the overall process normally take?
After the application has been successfully submitted online, MDeC will accept the application via e-Dfi and will issue an Acknowledgment Letter within two (2) working days.. Your duty free importation application will next be tabled in a special approval committee meeting, known as Jawatankuasa Pengecualian Cukai Peralatan Multimedia (JPCPM) Meeting, which normally convenes twice a month for decision. Once the decision is made, the Ministry of Finance will issue an official letter to your company which MDeC will collect on behalf. Normally the whole process, from company’s submission to Ministry of Finance decision, takes 2 to 3 working weeks.
5. What is MDeC Acknowledgment Letter?
The Acknowledgment Letter is a letter that states that your duty free importation application has been received by MDeC and pending Committee Members’ review and Ministry of Finance approval. In urgent cases, i.e. when the shipment has arrived at the port in Malaysia, you may use the Acknowledgment Letter coupled with your Bank Guarantee to clear the equipments first prior to obtaining the Ministry of Finance decision.
6. Who are the Committee Members of the Jawatankuasa Pengecualian Cukai Peralatan Multimedia (JPCPM)?

The JPCPM Committee Members consist of representatives from:

  • Multimedia Development Corporation (MDeC)
  • Ministry of Finance
  • Royal Malaysian Customs
  • Malaysian Industrial Development Authority (MIDA)
  • Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC)
7. What do we do if we have submitted our duty free importation application, but the equipments have already arrived at Malaysia port?
Scenario 1 – If your company has submitted duty free importation application(s) to MDeC but pending decision from the Ministry of Finance, your company may utilize MDeC Acknowledgment Letter coupled with a Bank Guarantee to clear the equipments from Customs. The Bank Guarantee can be applied through your current arrangement with your financial institution.

Scenario 2 – If the Ministry of Finance has approved your duty free importation application and has issued the Approval Letter, please forward the original copy of the Approval Letter to the Customs Station to clear the equipments from Customs.

8. Can I first clear the shipment by paying the import duty and/or sales tax first and subsequently reclaim our payment by submitting our duty free importation application to MDeC?
No. If you have paid the duties, i.e. clearing the shipment by not using MDeC Acknowledgment Letter together with your Bank Guarantee, and wish to reclaim the paid amount by submitting duty free importation application to us, please take note that the shipment is no longer eligible for duty free importation. In order to enjoy the duty free importation incentive, you must first submit your duty free importation application to us, obtain MDeC Acknowledgment Letter, and clear the equipments using the Acknowledgment Letter with your Bank Guarantee if you wish to do so prior to obtaining the Ministry of Finance decision.
9. My duty free importation application has been approved by Ministry of Finance, but I have earlier used a Bank Guarantee (with MDeC Acknowledgment Letter) to clear the equipments from Customs. Can I claim back the Bank Guarantee?
Yes, once you have received the official Approval Letter from Ministry of Finance, you can reclaim the Bank Guarantee which has been submitted earlier by forwarding the original copy of Approval Letter to the Customs Station. We advise that you first check through the list of equipments approved by Ministry of Finance since there are possibilities that some equipments may not be approved for duty exemption. In this case, your company will have to bear the sales/import duties of the equipments which are not approved for exemption.
10. Are we also exempted from import permits (SIRIM or MCMC) through the duty free importation privilege?
No. Any communication apparatus capable of being used for telecommunication, or their motherboards and apparatus to be attached or connected to Public Network or System or licensed network must obtain approval fromSIRIM QAS International Sdn Bhd. The approval must first be acquired prior to the clearance of equipment from Customs. Enquiries regarding this matter can be made to SIRIM QAS International Sdn Bhd at 603 5544 6400. Apparatus Assignment’ is also required for persons or organizations that need to use and/or operate telecommunication apparatus in a specific frequency, eg. broadcast or cellular stations. Enquiries regarding this matter can be made to the Malaysia Communication and Multimedia Commission at 603 8688 8000.