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International Moving to Malaysia from USA

Malaysia is a country with a long history of expats moving to it. With a history of settlement by many foreigners, both from Asia and Europe, modern Malaysia is an exciting, cosmopolitan island nation.

The official language is Malay, but as there are many dialects and languages in the country, English is widely spoken and acceptable to use everywhere. You will probably be able to get along, especially as most things use the same Latin alphabet used in English, but you should never be surprised to see things written in Arabic or Chinese anywhere in the country.

What’s on this page?

01 | International Household Moving to Malaysia
02 | International Car Shipping to Malaysia
03 | Malaysian Customs and Regulations
04 | Moving to Malaysia Checklist
05 | International Shipping Options

A move to Malaysia will be an exciting life changer. The culture will be very different, and some challenges will accompany your move. SDC International Shipping is here to help you relocate.

As an international moving company to Malaysia, relocating customers there is an area of our expertise. We also move many Malaysian returning citizens who have spent several years in the United States and are now reuniting with their families.

International Household Moving to Malaysia

If you have decided to move from the United States to Malaysia, you will want to bring many of your American household items and personal goods and effects. You have chosen Malaysia because it is an exciting country where you want to live, but many American things are not readily available there, and you will want to bring or send them in your shipment.

In general, we recommend that clients take most of their American furniture with them when they move to Malaysia. Furniture is easily available in most of Malaysia, but it will be of far lesser quality than what you already own, it is hard to duplicate the quality of American furniture.

Also, getting furniture in Malaysia typically takes some time, so you might have to wait as long as it takes for your shipment to arrive. Sending your existing furniture to your new Malaysian home is a good idea.

Many homes in Malaysia are spacious and can accommodate everything you are sending from the United States. SDC International Shipping is an expert in international household moving to Malaysia.

Knowing how to properly prepare to move your household items to Malaysia is essential. Your belongings will be protected against damage while shipping. The legs of most tables are disassembled, and the legs of beds will be carefully removed by our movers and wrapped for protection.

Until your shipment arrives at its destination, it will be handled several times, possibly transferred from moving vans to containers and back; it might be on several boats depending upon your final destination and undergo customs clearance.

There are many opportunities for your things to be damaged, which is why we work so hard to protect them with bubble wrap, carton pads, plastic wrap, and cloth pads as necessary for each item.

There are many opportunities for your things to be damaged, which is why we work so hard to protect them with bubble wrap, carton pads, plastic wrap, and cloth pads as necessary for each item.

Do you like bicycles? Malaysia is still developing its cycling culture, and good bikes are hard to find. You should bring several bikes and consider adding a few spare parts. To import the bikes tax-free into Malaysia, they will have to be in your possession for six months, but the tax is only 6%, so go ahead and buy new bikes. New bikes in Malaysia will cost far more than in the USA if you can find them.

Many people want to save money by packing themselves. We recommend using SDC International Shipping’s movers to do this for you. If you want to ensure your shipment, professionals must do packing (you can still ensure against a total loss). Most importantly, our movers provide you with new shipping materials appropriate for international shipping. If you pack yourself, make sure to buy only new cartons that are approved for shipping. Remember that your things will be on a ship for at least a month and the used boxes from the superstore won’t suffice. Do not crate fragile items yourself, leave this to us.

Other popular destination countries in Asia:

International Car Shipping to Malaysia

Sending an automobile to Malaysia is not permitted, as they drive on the left-hand side of the road, and automobiles must have the steering column on the right. As there is no tax holiday for motor vehicles, there is no advantage to importing a car to Malaysia.

Malaysia also does not allow for the import of motorcycles from the United States.

Malaysian Customs and Regulations

If you are moving to Malaysia with a long-term residency visa or as a returning citizen, you are entitled to import used household goods and personal effects. They should have been in your personal use and be at least six months old when shipped. Items that are newer than this are subject to the Malaysian sales and services tax (SST) which is similar to American sales taxes and currently is 6%.

So many clients choose to send some new things that they will want in Malaysia as this tax is not very high. Some specific items carry additional import tax. You can check the official Malaysian customs website for more information. If you are sending any electrical items, they need to be itemized, including model name and number and serial number where appropriate. You can bring computers, but only up to three, which can’t be sold for at least a year.

SDC International Shipping’s logistics team will work with you to make sure that you have all of the necessary documents, including your passports, shipping documents, the shipping list prepared by our movers, along with the Borang Kastam 1 form.

Please note that Malaysia has many restrictions on the import, including foodstuffs, “politically sensitive” materials, communications equipment, and any literature on communism or pornography. There is a death penalty for illicit drugs. We recommend not taking any old recorded materials.

Moving to Malaysia Checklist

SDC International Shipping is ready to start your relocation to Malaysia. In the meantime, start preparing:

  • Immigration visa. If you have a work permit your employer will need to participate.
  • We recommend that you renew your American passports before traveling, as it is far easier to do this in the states than it is abroad.
  • Documents for the family including birth certificates, passport, marriage or divorce certificates, licenses, medical records. There is no need to translate medical records.
  • Set up medical insurance in Malaysia.
  • Immunization records. Consult the CDC recommendations for Malaysia. Of note is Japanese Encephalitis which most Americans aren’t immunized against.
  • Make copies of school records, diplomas, any professional accreditations or recognitions that you have received.
  • Check and double-check that you have a way to access your American bank account when you will be in Malaysia. You might have to set up some technological measures to enable this. Get a copy of your credit report.

International Shipping Options

Almost every shipment that SDC International Shipping sends to Malaysia goes to Port Klang, located in Kelang, close to Kuala Lumpur. Most of our clients ship to destinations in the Malaysian Peninsula and are delivered by trucks straight from the port after clearing customs. Other popular destinations like Palembang require an additional sea journey.

Moving your cargo to its destination will be coordinated with our logistics team. 20’ containers with 1100 cubic feet of storage space are the most common, appropriate for a 3 bedroom household. If you are sending more, a 40’ container with 2200 cubic feet of storage space is available.

If you are sending less, we can also offer less than full container load shipments, starting from 100 cubic feet for the door-to-door service.

As sea shipping times to Malaysia are 5-9 weeks, many clients choose to send a portion of their things that they need more immediately using air cargo, which usually arrives in about a week from most locations in the USA.

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