Not allowed to buy Sensitive Item from Taobao? There’s a better way to do it!

Online shopping spree is always fun and easy through the clicking at your fingertips without borders across the countries over the world. However, we often overlook the hidden notes when purchasing online from another country into Malaysia due to lacking of information or by just clicking “Yes, I Agree” button without scanning thoroughly on the consignment notes that we have agreed. As a result, we might be facing difficulties when we are shopping from overseas:

  • Not having our goods delivered or delayed;
  • Paying higher shipment charges than it used to be; or
  • In the worse scenario is by not having goods delivered with all the money paid.

All the frustrations caused by these unfortunate events leave bad impressions for online shoppers and sellers especially on the accountability of online market like Taobao.

Here are some tiptoes sharing when comes to purchase online from outside countries to Malaysia in regards of air freight, special air freight and sea freight. Customs is always the first examination entry gate for all the import or export in one country and the same applies in Malaysia.

Have you ever asked yourself that how much do you know about the regulations of import and export goods by way of different freight shipping? Here are some keywords for online shoppers to buy from overseas:

1. What is Sensitive / Prohibited Goods?

Sensitive / Prohibited goods by it is named, are goods prohibited and restricted from entering the country, unless be declared via import permits which is approved by the Royal Malaysian Customs Department. Examples of common Sensitive / Prohibited Goods:

  • Foodstuffs;
  • Drugs / Medication / Supplements;
  • Addictive narcotics and psychotropic items;
  • Harmful to public health;
  • Electrically charged devices and watches with battery encapsulated;
  • Magnetic objects;
  • Liquids and powder based products (e.g. cosmetic);
  • Branded products (e.g. Dior, Chanel, Seiko, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Prada, etc.);
  • Valuable items as gold and platinum;
  • Video cassettes and films;
  • Pornographic or politically sensitive material and media;
  • Dangerous weapons and firearms;
  • Radioactive and explosives items;
  • Gaseous materials;
  • Chemicals and toxic substances;
  • Duplicated currencies and gambling products;
  • Fake weapons and toys

A list of Sensitive / Prohibited Goods can be retrieved at the Royal Malaysian Customs Department’s official website.

2. How to identify if the item is Sensitive / Prohibited Goods?

  • Product information is provided by the Seller
    20170422 Content Photo 1
  • Available purchase couldn’t proceed for further payment
    20170422 Content Photo 2
    After you have decided to proceed for order and immediate payment, you will see the above statement that might stop you from purchasing. This statement indirectly informs you that you must bear all the risk incurred if you insist to continue with the purchase. Think twice or maybe thrice before clicking “Buy Now”.
  • Available purchase do not support international shipping
    20170422 Content Photo 3

It is miserable for one if the above statement appears in front of you whereas the international shipping service is not available for the selected purchases. The funniest part would be when the system tells you to cancel your international shipping. So where do you think you need to ship your purchases if you buy it?

3. How to purchase if the item is Sensitive Goods?

  • The Troublesome Way – declare to seller that you are not local buyer and to remove any necessary sensitive items such as electrical board and battery parts under the regulations.
  • The Expensive Way – cancel the overseas purchase and seek for local purchase.
  • The PROFESSIONAL Way – through appointed legitimate agents like SGshop, especially when you are not familiar with Taobao-buying-procedure or customs clearance. All you need to do is to place order with them, and they will take care of the rest.

Heads Up for all the online shoppers!

  1. Always check the details of item you will be purchased before making any payment;
    20170422 Content Photo 4
  2. If it is involved with Sensitive Goods, check with your appointed agent on how they handle customs clearance;
  3. Amount that you have to pay for such as the handling fees, international shipment fees, local shipment fees and services charges in order to avoid any hidden charges;
  4. Estimated time of arrival for your purchase;
  5. If the delivery fails, buyer is liable for the return shipping costs in such circumstances. Try to ask for refund if necessary;
  6. Bear in minds that quantitative purchase controls is seldom imposed except on a limited range of products in lieu of local securities purpose.

Important Notes:

From reviews of past experiences saying that “Sensitive items can be shipped via special freight”, most buyers often misunderstand the purpose of special freight as everyone would want to get their purchases on hand regardless of any conditions!

Sensitive goods is as well defined as “Prohibited Goods” imported to one country and the “sensitive” phrase is used only to ease your shipment. This doesn’t mean the seller, agent or the postman could 100% guarantee the delivery to you at your doorstep.

In case of detention by the Customs, your purchases might be fined or forfeited and you will get nothing but all the losses that might occur.

We have the old proverb saying, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do”. When you are surfing the internet for online shopping spree, always make sure that you are alerted with the items you are purchasing and the regulations bounded within and not just the credit card on hands, be that for yourselves or for businesses.


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