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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Here are a few of the questions we regularly get asked. Click the question or scroll down for the answers.

1. How do I decide whether Malaysia represents a good market for my company?

2. What do I need to know about traveling to Malaysia?

3. How do I find out Malaysian tariffs for my product?

4. How do I get a list of Malaysian companies that might be interested in what my company has to offer or that might be able to represent my company?

5. What are other good resources I can use for understanding business opportunities in Malaysia?

6. How do I conduct due diligence on a prospective Malaysian business partner?

7. I fear I might have received fraudulent information on a business opportunity or be victim of a scam. What do I do?

1. How do I decide whether Malaysia represents a good market for my company?

Contact your local U.S. Export Assistance Center (http://export.gov/eac/index.asp) and ask for an initial consultation on market penetration strategy.

2. What do I need to know about traveling to Malaysia?

Malaysia is a relatively easy destination for business travel. English is the principal language of business and is spoken widely, particularly in larger cities. Airport, road, telecommunications, and meeting facilities are very good. No advance visa is required to enter the country. When you arrive at the airport, you will receive an automatic visa valid for 90 days from your date of entry.

Information from the Government of Malaysia:

U.S. Government information for U.S. citizens:

3. How do I find out Malaysian tariffs for my product?

Malaysian tariffs are managed by the Royal Malaysian Customs Department (http://customs.gov.my/index.php/en). They offer an online tariff tool at http://tariff.customs.gov.my/. To obtain accurate tariff information, there is a drop-down menu for tariff type that adjusts tariffs based on existing free trade agreements and other preferential systems. The United States does not currently have a preferential tariff agreement with Malaysia. U.S. exporters should choose the default, which is PDK (Perintah Duti Kastam, or Statutory Custom Duty), and the search works best using your product’s Harmonized Tariff System (HS) commodity code.

4. How do I get a list of Malaysian companies that might be interested in what my company has to offer or that might be able to represent my company?

U.S. Commercial Service Malaysia has a range of services to find buyers, from our simple contact list or international partner search through to a more focused and deal-oriented Gold Key Service. Check out our [linkto:Business Matchmaking Services] and then contact your local U.S. Export Assistance Center in the U.S. to get started.

5. What are other good resources I can use for understanding business opportunities in Malaysia?

Check out the other resources section of our embassy’s key business links (http://malaysia.usembassy.gov/key-business-links.html) as well as the excellent list of economic data and reports (http://malaysia.usembassy.gov/economic-data.html).

6. How do I conduct due diligence on a prospective Malaysian business partner?

U.S. Commercial Service Malaysia can conduct an International Company Profile for a modest fee. An ICP typically includes a detailed credit report on a prospective overseas sales representative or partner, a listing of the company's key officers and senior management, banking and other financial information about the company, market information including sales and profit figures, and potential liabilities. We will also provide you with an opinion as to the viability and reliability of the company or individual you have selected as well as an opinion on the relative strength of that company's industry sector in your target market.

To order an International Company Profile, contact a U.S. Export Assistance Center near you.

7. I fear I might have received fraudulent information on a business opportunity or be victim of a scam. What do I do?

We have seen a growing number of fraudulent business offers originating in Malaysia. Frequently these take the form of fraudulent unsolicited government tenders or government tender awards. We also see fraudulent offers of loans or other financing.

These types of scams may include an up-front fee of some sort to take advantage of the offer, and may solicit banking or other information from you. We have seen telephone numbers routed through a legitimate or fake business operating as a front. U.S. business people have been lured to Malaysia to finalize these deals in person as part of the effort to make the scam seem real. Our consular section receives regular reports of non-business scams related to marriage and dating (http://malaysia.usembassy.gov/scams.html).

We caution you against sending any funds up front to take advantage of a loan, government contract, or other business opportunity. You may contact us or your local U.S. Export Assistance Center if you fear you have been targeted by fraudulent business activity.

If you have already engaged in ongoing communication on with someone that you now suspect is trying to lure you into a scam, we advise the following:

  • Stop all communications. Do not pick up their calls, do not read their emails. Every chance they have to communicate with you is a chance for them to convince you of their lie, and what makes you vulnerable is that you will want them to convince you. Faxed registration papers can be forged. Scammers will pretend to be other business people, bankers, lawyers, Malaysian officials, and even embassy officials. They may have someone call using the name of a legitimate business giving a recommendation.
  • Embassy staff will only have an @trade.gov or @state.gov email address. If someone calls saying they are from the Embassy, get their name, tell them you will call back, hang up, and dial the Embassy’s main number at (03) 2168-5000 to ask for the person.
  • Don’t use the name of any Embassy staff person in dealing with them, as in the past scammers have used this information to impersonate U.S. Embassy staff.
  • If you have traveled here and are staying in a hotel that was recommended by the business contact or if you have already shared your whereabouts with them, we recommend you change your hotel. They could be expecting you to be traveling with a large amount of cash, which would make you and your hotel room a physical target.
  • If you wish to seek law enforcement action against these criminals, note that successful prosecution of these cases has unfortunately been minimal, which is one of the reasons why these scammers operate in Malaysia. Only the Malaysian authorities can take any action in Malaysia.
  • If you are in Malaysia and decide to seek law enforcement action, or if you would like to talk to the American Citizen Services officer in person here at the U.S. Embassy, American citizens can walk in any morning from 9AM-11AM.
  • If any suspected criminal activity takes place once you return to the U.S., please contact the nearest Malaysian embassy or consulate to file a police report at their facilities in person. You can locate the closest Malaysian embassy/consulate to your U.S. address at: http://www.kln.gov.my.
  • Please note that the police report will allow the police to arrest suspected individuals, and in some cases freeze associated bank accounts. In our experience, successful criminal prosecution in Malaysia requires the physical presence of the victim, i.e. you, in Malaysia.

If in the future you wish to verify the legitimacy of a potential foreign business partner, you can work with your local U.S. Export Assistance Center to have Commercial Service staff at an embassy or consulate conduct an International Company Profile. There is a modest fee for that service.