Sugar import in Malaysia

The demand for sugar and sugar products in Malaysia have increased in recent years. However, sugar is not produced domestically in Malaysia at the same scale to match its current demand. Only a small percentage of the sugar used in Malaysia is produced domestically from sugar cane plantations.  As such, the import of sugar and sugar products has become a booming industry in the country. However, this increased traffic in the sector has caused concerns for the government.

Laws regarding sugar imports in Malaysia

While Malaysia’s sugar consumption has seen an upward trend in the past few years, this has not sat well with the government. This is due to the public health crisis Malaysia is currently facing due to obesity. Which is caused by the overconsumption of sugar and sugary products. Moreover, the country has also seen a rise in type 2 diabetes. Which has caused a strain on the public healthcare system. In order to curb this issue, the government of Malaysia began to implement laws regarding the import of sugar to the country.

This law is colloquially dubbed “the sugar tax”. It declares if a business is to import sugar and sugar products to Malaysia, they will need a license certifying them to do so. This license is known as the “Import License For Controlled Commercial Products”. This license also outlines and imposes limits on the types and amount of sugar products to be imported. Moreover, products with a certain percentage of sugar are banned in Malaysia altogether.

To apply for this license, one will have to file an application to the KPDNKK of Malaysia (Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs). This process will be elaborated later on in the article.

Process towards obtaining a license for importing sugar in Malaysia.

If your business needs sugar importation in Malaysia, you are required to file for an import permit first. This permit can be applied for online using the ePermit system of the KPDNHEP of Malaysia.

Step 1: Online registration

If you are first time applicant, you will need to register online first.

Step 2: Making a new application

When you receive the approval for your registration, you can file for a new permit here. You will need to select the sugar import/export permit (AP) as your choice.

Step 3: Preparing the documents

Next, you will need to prepare the following documents in order to submit the application:

  • Forms 9, 24 and 49- this is for the company profile.
  • The company’s SSM registration certificate.
  • A catalog of all the company’s products (this is not applicable for the import of refined and or raw sugar)
  • The company’s memorandum and Articles of Association.
  • For partnerships and private companies: Forms A, B and D

For limited liability companies: You will need to upload a blank document indicating this

IF in the case your company has changed its name: Form 13

Step 4: Individual procedures for the application split by product categories

Now, you will have to follow the individual procedure detailed for what category of sugar products you want to import.

Category 1- “Sugar Other Imports”

This requires the selection of the sections HS 1701 and HS 1702

You will also need the following supporting documents for the applications:

  • The invoice and the sales contract of the products purchased
  • If in the case of importing organic products, the letter of confirmation that the product is organic.
  • A letter of Sealing Confirmation from the Customs Engineering Services Division’s Sealing Unit

Category 2- Raw Sugar Import

This requires the selection of the sections HS 1701

You will also need the following supporting documents for the applications:

  • The invoices or sales contract of the products purchased
  • A report on the import of raw sugar
  • Do Note: the import of raw sugar is only permissible by sugar manufacturers who are local.

Step 5: Submitting the documents

Once you have uploaded all the documents listed above, you may submit the application. You will then be given notice within 14 working days if your application is successful. If it is, you will be given a certificate of license to show to the customs officers.

It should be noted that your company should be officially registered with the SSM of Malaysia first. Otherwise you will not be able to submit the application. Another point to note is the language being used. As Malaysia’s official language is Bahasa Malaysia, some aspects of the application may not be available in English. As such, it is useful to have knowledge of the local language. Especially in the case of communicating with the customs officers.

Related Article:

Main exports Imports products in Malaysia

Requirement of Export Import License in Malaysia for business

Import from Malaysia to India


Company Registration Expert Since 2012