All regulatory information for exporting wine to Malaysia, including the regulatory environment, duties and taxes, and permitted additives.
Malaysia is Australia’s eleventh largest trading partner. Australia and Malaysia have close bilateral relations and signed the Malaysia-Australia Free Trade Agreement (MAFTA) in Kuala Lumpur on 22 May 2012. The bilateral relationship is diverse, with active and cooperative relations across a broad range of sectors including trade and investment, education, defence, counter-terrorism, law enforcement, people-smuggling, tourism and aviation.1 Due to the sensitivities surrounding alcohol in Malaysia, wine does not feature in the FTA. Consequently, there will be no changes to Malaysia’s tariff rates for wine.
Malaysia is a country with a Muslim majority. Muslim Malaysians do not consume any alcohol at all so the market for wine is principally made up of Chinese, Indian, foreign expatriates and tourists. This has made alcohol and tobacco easy targets for tax hikes by the Government. Alcohol and tobacco taxes are often referred to as ‘sin taxes’. The increased taxes in 2005 have resulted in a surge in illegal trade of alcohol at cheap prices. Many local brewers have had to absorb the tax rises themselves as the competitive market has made it extremely difficult to pass the cost on to the consumer. Nevertheless, there are opportunities for wine in the market and the trading environment is not difficult to negotiate. It is important to follow the labelling regulations for wine as alcoholic beverages must be clearly identified for the protection of Muslim consumers.
The Food Safety Information System of Malaysia is governed by the Food Safety and Quality Division of the Ministry of Health through the Food Act 1983 and Food Regulations 1985. The Regulations govern food standards, food hygiene, food advertisement, accreditation of laboratories and the food importation process.
The Royal Customs and Excise Department governs customs duty, excise duty and GST under the Customs Act 1967.
Australia and Malaysia are parties to the bilateral Malaysia-Australia FTA (MAFTA) which entered into force on 1 January 2013 as well as three multilateral agreements including the ASEAN–Australia–New Zealand FTA (AANZFTA) effective 1 January 2010, the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) signed 8 March 2018, still awaiting ratification in Malaysia, and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), signed 15 November 2020, not yet in force. Malaysia has excluded wine and spirits from tariff commitments under all of these agreements other than the CPTPP which will see tariffs phased to zero in year 2016.
Austrade’s E-commerce in Malaysia: A guide for Australian business (PDF) contains research indicating market opportunities for Australian businesses looking to access Malaysia’s 20 million online consumers.
Import procedures for the Malaysian market
Duties and taxes for the Malaysian market
Labelling requirement for the Malaysian market
Wine standards for the Malaysian market