Insight – Malaysia extends nationwide lockdown with stricter restrictions in certain districts

In light of increasing Covid-19 infections, the Malaysian government recently announced an indefinite extension of its nationwide lockdown. This will result in only sectors considered ‘essential’ being allowed to operate at a reduced capacity.

In addition to extending lockdown, the Malaysian government is implementing stricter measures – known as an Enhanced Movement Control Order (EMCO) - for several districts in Greater Kuala Lumpur from Saturday, 3 July 2021. These measures may extend beyond its current end date of Friday, 16 July 2021.

The EMCO will place additional restrictions on movement of people in and out of the affected districts and reduce the number of sectors permitted to operate as ‘essential’.

While airports and ports will be allowed to operate as usual, it is unclear what impact the EMCO will have on operations (i.e. port congestion and clearance delays may eventuate as a result).

Import clearance functions by border officials will continue during this lockdown. Border officials in Malaysia have increased their scrutiny of documentation and compliance with import requirements.

What exporters/importers should do?

To minimise the risk of delays, agriculture and food exporters are encouraged to ensure their products continue to meet importing country requirements by referring to the Manual of Importing Country Requirements website.

Importers of agriculture inputs should contact their suppliers to ascertain the impact of the EMCO on supplies.

It is recommended industry contact the Australian High Commission in Kuala Lumpur about any issues related to the supply of critical agriculture inputs.

For further information and assistance, contact Sanjay Boothalingam, Counsellor (Agriculture) Kuala Lumpur.

The Comprehensive Strategic Partnership

The Australia-Malaysia bilateral relationship has been elevated to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership (CSP). The CSP emphasises the importance of free trade and investment, as well as open economies and business-friendly policies. The CSP affirms our national intentions to further strengthen the Australia-Malaysia partnership on agricultural trade.

Background

Malaysia is an important source of inputs for the Australian agriculture and food processing sectors. Australia is a key supplier for a range of agriculture produce to Malaysia including wheat, sheep-meat, beef, veal and cheese. Australia and Malaysia are working together to minimise disruptions to supply-chains caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.