Money and duty free for Malaysia
Currency and Money
Ringgit (MYR; symbol RM) = 100 sen. Notes are in denominations of RM100, 50, 10, 5 and 1. Coins are in denominations of 50, 20, 10, 5 and 1 sen. The Ringgit is often referred to as the Malaysian Dollar.
Mastercard, Visa and American Express are widely accepted at large hotels and restaurants. However, Malaysia is still a cash economy, so carry cash with you.
ATMs are widely available and most accept major credit cards.
Travellers' cheque are no longer popular; avoid if you can.
Most states: Mon-Fri 0900 – 1630.
The states of Kelantan and Terengganu: Sun-Thu 0930 – 1600.
Local currency (Ringgit MYR): must not exceed the value equivalent of US$10,000 per person, otherwise you must obtain a written permission from the Exchange Control Department, Bank Negara Malaysia, Jalan Dato' Onn, 50480 Kuala Lumpur before your trip.
Foreign currency: technically there are no restrictions, but you must declare if the foreign currency or currencies you carry are worth more than US$10,000.
Malaysia is a commercial hub in Southeast Asia, so you can expect the money changers to offer and accept a wide range of currencies, from US dollars to Chinese yuan.
Malaysia duty free
The following goods may be imported into Malaysia without incurring customs duty:
• 200 cigarettes or 225g of tobacco.
• 1L of alcoholic drinks.
• Food up to the value of RM150.
• 3 pieces of new clothing and 1 new pair of shoes.
• 1 new portable electronic item for personal care.
• Other goods up to the value of RM500 for land or sea travellers and up to the value of RM1000 for air travellers.
Illicit drugs, counterfeit currency, indecent publications (books, films, paintings etc), anything considered prejudicial to the interest of Malaysia, piranha fish, turtle eggs, cocoa pods, daggers or flick knives, articles resembling syringes (eg pens or pencils), and poisonous chemicals.
Also prohibited unless accompanied by an import licence are animals, fish, meat, plants, eggs in their shells, explosives and fireworks, arms and ammunition, imitation arms, soil, rice, coral and pharmaceutical products.
The penalty for drug trafficking is death by hanging.
Illicit drugs, turtle eggs and rattan from the Malaysian peninsula.
Also prohibited unless accompanied by an export licence are animals, birds, poultry, meat, cockles, plants, over 3kg of vegetables, palm kernels and seeds, military clothing and equipment, arms and ammunition, antiquities, sugar, rice, coral, live prawns/shrimp/fish, and collections of cultural value (eg of zoological or archaeological interest).