Speaking purely from our own experience, it is not possible to avoid the service of an agent, but it is possible to cut down on the price by half or more if you don’t mind doing most of the leg work yourself. Here are the steps to how we cleared our vehicle from Port Klang, Northport in one day.
Prior to going to the Northport Customs Office, while waiting for the arrival of our vessel, we bought International Circulation Permit (ICP) and compulsory Malaysian motor insurance from Automotive Association of Malaysia (AAM). Following is a breakdown of fees in Malaysian Ringgit (MYR):
- ICP fee – 150 (Can get it for free from Ministry of Transport Malaysia but we decided to pay AAM to do this for us)
- Motor Insurance for 2 months – 118.4
- Insurance broker fee – 150
If you send all relevant documents to AAM in advance via e-mail, then you can pick up ICP and insurance before heading to the port. Later on, you can send the Carnet stamped by customs to AAM via e-mail.
1. Get IID form at Northport Customs Office Document Dept.
Go to Northport Customs Office at: North Port Klang Customs office, Lengkung Sultan Hishamuddin, Kawasan 20, 42000 Pelabuhan Klang, Selangor, +60 3-3176 1016 to get blank International Import Document (IID) from Documentation Centre on the ground floor.
2. Pay Harbour services fee at Harbour Services
Take IID to Harbour Services at: Crown House, 217, Persiaran Raja Muda Musa, Pandamaran, 41100 Port Klang, Selangor (It is next to the Crystal Crown Hotel). They will hopefully help you to fill in the form, if not refer to our already filled out form below. Present your B/L and passport (they will take a copy). Pay Harbour Services fee 200MYR in cash. Keep the receipt safe as you will need it later.
3. Get Carnet pre-stamped at Northport Customs Office Import Dept.
Head back to Customs Office, the Import Department on the 1st Floor. Present: Carnet, ICP, passport and a signed short letter (stating your intention to import vehicle using ATA Carnet that includes VIN, Carnet No., period of travel), name exit border crossing. Then get Carnet pre-stamped from the boss. After vehicle inspection he will give you the final stamp of clearance.
4. Locate vehicle at VTC/harbour
At this stage we elicited the unplanned services of a Chinese-and-English-speaking local agent Marco Yeoh of New Era Express Sdn Bhd. (Here you can decide either take a car of your own or use an agent to get around the huge port area for finding your vehicle, examination and commuting to Customs Office). Marco took us to Vehicle Transit Centre (VTC)/harbour at: Northport Vehicle Transit Centre, North Port, 42000 Port Klang, Selangor. At the gate we surrendered our passports for visitors’ badge. Drove around to locate our car as preparation for vehicle inspection. Take outside/inside photos of vehicle and VIN. N.B. If you have a photo of your vehicle in a clean state it is better to present that than the actual inside, which for us was a mess.
5. Arrange vehicle inspection with Puspakom examination officer
Show Carnet, IID to inspection officer (located in harbour area: Puspakom Sdn. Bhd. Jalan Parang, Pelabuhan Utara, Selangor, North Port, 42000 Port Klang, Selangor, +60 3-3176 0144) incl. photos of car (outside/inside, taken in port) and VIN (Vehicle Identification No. / chassis no.) on car. Luckily, she decided to not inspect personally, which would potentially lead to an additional inspection of personal items and lead to additional cost.
6. Get Carnet stamped at Northport Customs Office Import Dept.
The agent then took us back to Customs Office to get Carnet stamped, after showing signature on Carnet from examination officer. They will keep copies and take off import slip of Carnet.
7. Pay port fee at “North Port One Stop Centre” or Document Centre
Pay for port fee with IID at “North Port One Stop Centre”. If vessel arrived only recently (in our case less than 24h) there might be waiting time of 3-4 hours until port fees are calculated. Alternatively, try your luck at Documentation Centre back in Customs Office. They mainly deal with containers but can also process RoRo after some negotiation. Important: As of 07/2019 only cashless payment accepted and no chance to obtain required account for foreign travellers according to Customs Office. This is the point where you might not be able to avoid using the agent’s service to transfer port fee (in our case 325MYR for 3.1t / 28qm Land Cruiser).
8. Clear vehicle at VTC/harbour
The final stage is to go back to VTC/harbour to hand in signed IID and stamped Carnet for them to check we had the right paperwork for the release of vehicle. This took some time for us mainly because our vehicle only arrived the night before and they had not registered everything yet.
9. Vehicle release
Get vehicle. Blast air-con if you have some. And enjoy Malaysia!
Bear in mind:
- Friday lunch & prayer break 12:15 – 14:45
- Hard to get grab/taxi away from Customs Office (not impossible but long waiting time). Might want to rent a car for the day if you’re not using an agent.
- There is also nothing around the Customs Office area so bringing own food/snacks is recommended for a long day of rushing around, especially if you don’t have your own car.
- At the end, stage 8, the two of us split up (one went to Customs Office while the other waited at the port next to the vehicle) at the recommendation of Marco because he feared the port guys would leave before their official working hours, especially when there is little work on that day. But for us it was a busy day, so they were working tirelessly at 7-8pm when we left them.
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