The Royal Malaysian Customs Department (RMCD) is in the midst of launching a new system called the uCustoms – it is meant to be a ubiquitous portal to streamline their operations which are now a mix of manual and automated procedures. Essentially, the process of clearing customs remains the same with the exception that within the RMCD, cases are managed electronically thereby allowing for faster and more accurate processing.
This brings us to the importance of appointing a professional customs broker to take care of your customs clearance needs.
Information regarding complex administrative requirements
Depending on the country of export or the item you are importing, there may be complex administrative prerequisites which might tempt you to hire a headcount just to ensure all the submissions are done correctly and on time.
However, not all organisations can afford to do so. In this case, a better option would be to appoint a licensed broker for customs clearance services.
Companies like Alien Logistics offer a total arrangement of export/import solutions, including logistics, cargo shipping, warehousing and distribution, in addition to clearing customs so you can rest assured that your shipment is well managed from end to end.
Skilled navigation of the customs clearance process
There is a reason why you need a license to clear customs. Customs clearance specialists need to be aware of the import and export restrictions and requirements so that all permissions required by the various authorities are sorted out and the appropriate harmonised code is used.
The laws regarding movement of goods are updated all the time and it is the clearance agent’s duty to be in the know so as to provide advice to their clients.
Professional customs clearance agents like Alien Logistics listen to your business model and will be able to advise you on workable import, export and transhipment strategies to help you balance your stock and cash flow.
Help avoid unnecessary expenses
As the importer on paper, the Customs Department will look to you as the final party for the customs declarations. To avoid potential errors, black-listing, Customs audits, fines and expensive penalties, ensure your submissions are checked and confirmed by an authorised customs agent.
On the positive side, there are cost savings when your items are going into a country for a temporary basis before returning home, for example demo products for an exhibition, a car for travels, or even specialised equipment on loan for scientific experiments (like tracking UFOs in the jungles of Borneo, perhaps?). Declared under temporary import, you can avoid paying taxes for these items going into the country of import and again when it comes back home. One of these methods is to use an ATA Carnet.
Suitable identification of the goods - knowing the HS Code
Every item entering a country is categorised under the Harmonised System Code, also known as the HS Code or a tariff code. The code is broken down into paragraphs and sub-paragraphs and the final code assigned will have its duty, tax and import/export permits assigned to the product.
In the event you are bringing in a product with an ambiguous HS Code, your customs broker can also assist you to have it formally categorised with Customs, so as to standardise its customs clearance treatment every time it enters the country.
Dealing with OGA (Other Government Agencies)
This mandatory procedure can be time-consuming as paperwork submitted for endorsements require a certain level of detail and sequence. Not to mention the time taken to wait in line.
Why does customs clearance sound so complex?
Well, the world is getting smaller and governments have to protect their local economies from negatives ranging from smuggling to pests. So checks and balances have to be put in place.
That is why working with professional customs clearance agents in Malaysia like Alien Logistics is your best bet to hassle-free cross border shipments.
Psst… we’d love to meet you for tea to talk about your customs clearance requirements, just click on the button below
Traditionally, Chinese New Year is one of the biggest festivals in the cultural year as it marks the end of winter (the old year) and the start of better things to come in the new year. It is also one of the key occasions to exchange gifts in business relationships as a sign of appreciation and respect. The value and presentation of the gifts given are important, as it gives “face” value to the other party.
Here are some of the most popular gifts exchanged in Malaysia:
Flowers & plants
The Chinese culture is rich with flower symbolism that permeates both cultural practices and artistic expression. Because flowers and plants have meaning, choosing the right one for the occasion is important. Also do note that the flowers should be sent as a potted plant as cut flowers are generally associated with funerals. Here are some popular plants and what they symbolize:
Tea and/or tea sets
Tea culture is akin to wine culture whereby the face value of the gift given would be directly proportionate to the grade of the tea. It is not the quantity given but the quality of tea which signifies the culture quotient of the giver so it might be prudent to seek advice if the gift is for a client you want to impress and maintain good relations with.
This fun food in all its sticky goodness was created to keep the Kitchen God happy and seal his mouth on his return to the Jade Emperor when reporting on the activities of the household. For businesses, it symbolises wishes for a better year as the Chinese name for this gift sounds like “higher year”
The Chinese take on cloisonné art which is a sophisticated process of decorating metalwork with inlays, painting and sculpture is highly prized amongst connoisseurs. Originally materials used were primarily bronze and porcelain but today it has expanded to include wood, jade, ivory and lacquer. Cloisonné vases, tea pots and plates with symbols of fortune like wild horses, mountain scenes and 9 carp fish swimming present a permanent wish of good fortune given in good taste.
What do you think of this list of Chinese New Year gift ideas for your business partner? Share your thoughts on what worked for you!