How to import a full container load (FCL)
from China to Malaysia

FCL Eng cover

Are you still wondering about how to import a full container load from China? Thinking of importing a lot of goods? Let us analyse the step by step for you and lead you to have a better communication with China suppliers and the freight forwarding agent like us by using the appropriate “language”. Here, we are using the simplest way to make you to have a clearer picture about importing a FCL.

Table of Contents

Container Size

ContainerSize (CBM)
20 GP29
40 GP58
40 HQ68

Pricing

The most concerned topic is how to calculate the price? If you ask some shipping company, they probably will reply you the price that is for normally document processing fees; otherwise they will send you a quotation and let you see the fees that you don’t understand, and some other custom clearance fees. However, the price doesn’t include what you really want to know like the “door-to-door” fees and the finalized fees. Finally, you will realize that what you have paid is out of your initial budget.

As a businessman, the problems that you really want to concern about are as follow:-

  • Would the container reach me successfully?
  • Is that all of the fees can be listed out in a clearer way, including the taxes?
  • Would a company can behalf on me to settle the problems like import licence and so on?

To settle all of these problems, we are required to understand the whole shipping route first. In this shipping route, it involves two countries, one is China (Export), while another one is Malaysia (Import).

Shipping Route

Loading the container at the factory

Transporting the container to the port

Customs Clearance

Book Vessel and Ship out

For instance, if today I told the China supplier that I want to import a full container load (FCL), they will probably give you the following responses:-

“We don’t have the export permit, you need to settle by yourself.”

This indicated that your trading term is the EXWORK, which means that your supplier will not settle the whole progress, all you need to do is to find the freight forwarding agent by yourself.

“We want to handle the export progress ourselves, we do have to receive your transfer payment from your country like US dollar/ RMB.

“We require to rebate the export tax, the whole process must be in accordance with the law.

If the responses that you get from the supplier like the sentences above, your trading terms may be FOB/CIF/CNF. It means that your suppliers will handle the Export procedures. Now, what you need to do is looking for someone or a freight forwarding agent to help you as to deal with the customs clearance in Malaysia and also the following processes.

However, if the suppliers told you that you must choose FOB/CIF/CNF for their export tax rebate, What should we do?

If you choose FCL(Full Container Load) This is because the suppliers can claim back 16% of export tax rebate directly from their government, which can decrease the cost and you can enjoy the lowest sale price.

But, if you choose LCL (Less than Container Load), which means it is not enough for a whole container, then the situation is different that you do need other methods to deal with it.

Reaching the Malaysia’s Port

Customs Clearance

Delivery to your door step

Do you know how many ports in Malaysia? The most popular ports in Malaysia are Port Kelang (West)Port Kelang (North)Port of Pasir GudangPenang Port.

Taxation

Commonly, most of the cargo ships will be moored at the “Port Kelang”. Most of the shipping company will also recommend doing the customs clearance at the Port Kelang. In customs clearance, there are three main issues need to take consideration:-

  • Import Duty

As China and Malaysia have an agreement, the “Certificate of Origin” or we can call it as “Form E”, can be used in most of the goods to decrease or completely waive your import duty. But, there are still have some goods that cannot be excluded. Thus, we always recommend you to use the appropriate HScode in order to totally pardon the taxation of this part.

Form E must be done prepared during the preceding procedures. If this part will be handled by your supplier, please double-check with them whether they do help you to prepare the Form E. If they cannot do for that, you are requested to ask help from your freight forwarding agent.

The details in Form E cannot be filled in randomly, the information must be matched with your documents during the customs clearance. If not, you do need to pay expensive import duty! Normally, an qualified freight forwarding agent can help you deal with this kind of issues with your suppliers. 

  • Import Licence

For the import licence, this will be more confused. Different goods have a different import licence. For example, importing electronic gadgets, we do require to request the permit from our country’s SIRIM or Suruhanjaya Tenaga (Energy Commission). If your customers are the big supermarket such as Tesco, Giant, and so on, they will request your goods must be under SIRIM approval, otherwise they would not be allowed to display it on the shelves, so you need to apply for the whole process.

How about your customers do not force you to get these import licence approvals?

Then you have more choices to choose to deal with your goods now. There are more than a hundred and thousand of the HScode in customs system. There may be one which is look-alike HScode with your goods, and that HScode not required any import licence, then you can save up your money and time in this part.

Of course, all you need to do understand is the HScode concept and don’t need to search for it high and low. For the searching HScode part, let experts like us handle it for you.

  • SST (Sales and Services Tax)

Since September of 2018, most of the imported goods have at least 5% to 10% SST, which indicated that if the total value of goods in a container is RM 100k, then you may need to pay RM5k to RM10k SST.

  • What is the fact? Your competitors also do so?

The fact is they may decrease their fees to the lowest as possible such as the example above. There is a tremendous amount of  HScode that maybe one of them can help you to reduce 10% to 5%, or reduce 5% to 0%. The expert of freight forwarding agent can help you to do this! Of course, all of these only “possible” to happen, it depends on the situation.

After finishing the process of customs clearance, we will arrange haulage send the container to your doorstep. But, before that, you should let your freight forwarding agent know whether you want “POTONG” or “TUNGGU TURUN”. Therefore, you should understand what is the different between both of these, then making your personnel arrangement earlier in order to avoid the extra expenses.

Conclusion

Throughout all of these operations, you may have a concept of importing a full container. Here has a reminder! If you have no plan for your personnel arrangement, your container stranded at the port, the port will charge the “warehouse fees” every day. This is because you occupy the space of the port. Do you have a clearer mindset now? Doing a big business, importing a FCL from China not a difficult task anymore.