If you intend to do any of the following in Malaysia, please contact Risk Services at email@example.com(link sends e-mail)or 642-5141:
- Hire a local to work for you as an employee
- Purchase or lease office or research space
- Purchase or lease an automobile
- Establish a long-term (over 90 days) or ongoing project
- Conduct a clinical trial
U.S. GOVERNMENT COMPLIANCE CONSIDERATIONS
Foreign activities may trigger many U.S. laws, including:
- Import Controls
- Export Controls
- Tax Reporting
- Foreign Bank Account Reporting
- Country Embargoes and Targeted Sanctions
- Foreign Corrupt Practices Act
- Anti-Boycott Laws
Import Controls. UC employees must adhere to U.S. import requirements, and may need to enlist the services of a customs broker, especially for shipments arriving by sea and subject to the Importer Security Filing 71730(link is external), also known as ISF 10+2.
Export Controls. Export controls may apply to advanced software and technology, research data, and other sensitive assets. UC’s Export Compliance FAQ contains useful information and can be found here(link is external). Go here(link is external) for the University of California plan for compliance with federal export controls. If you plan on taking or sending potentially export-controlled materials to Malawi, consult the campus Research Administration Compliance Office(link is external) at 642-0120.
Tax Reporting. The University and its employees may be taxed in foreign countries. The United States does not have a tax treaty with Malaysia. For more information about double taxation issues, contact the Controller’s Office at:
- firstname.lastname@example.org(link sends e-mail) or 642-0031 for tax advising and unrelated business income tax coordination, or
- email@example.com(link sends e-mail) or 642-1336 for foreign tax form processing
Foreign Bank Account Reporting. The U.S. Treasury Department requires U.S. citizens with a financial interest in or signatory authority over a financial account in a foreign country, where accounts exceed $10,000 at any point during a calendar year, to report such accounts on a Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts(link is external) (FinCen Report 114(link is external)). Those needing to complete the form should contact the Controller’s Office at firstname.lastname@example.org(link sends e-mail) or 643-9803 for assistance. An IRS 1040 Schedule B form (Part III–Foreign Accounts and Trusts) must be filed by the signatory for any foreign bank account, regardless of the account balance.
Country Embargoes and Targeted Sanctions. In general, collaborations between University personnel and scholars at foreign institutions or organizations do not require export licenses unless they involve export-controlled or -restricted research or involve scholars in sanctioned countries. Before engaging in an international collaboration, the University needs to determine whether export licenses are required and to verify that the foreign collaborator is not blocked or sanctioned. The Office of Foreign Assets Control(link is external)(OFAC) is responsible for enforcing all U.S. embargoes and sanctions. Depending on each country’s embargo or sanction program, activities may be prohibited without specific authorization or license. UC’s International Collaborations(link is external)webpage contains additional information on this topic.
The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) is intended to stop bribery. It prohibits offering to pay, paying, promising to pay, or authorizing the payment of money or anything of value to a foreign official. The term “foreign official” generally includes any employee or contractor of a foreign government, and may include individuals employed by foreign universities. It is also unlawful to make a payment to a third party knowing that all or part of the payment will go to a foreign official. For more information, review the federal government’s Resource Guide to the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. If you need further clarification, contact the UC Berkeley Office of Legal Affairs at 642-7122. Transparency International’s 2018 survey of perceived public sector corruption rated Malaysia at 47 out of 100 (61st out of 180 countries reviewed).
Anti-Boycott Laws. The U.S. Department of Commerce(link is external) is responsible for oversight of laws prohibiting individuals and entities from participating in boycotts not approved or sanctioned by the U.S. government. The Export Administration Act(link is external) requires that requests to participate in such boycotts or to conduct activities in any of the boycotting countries be formally reported to the Department of Commerce and/or IRS.
For other compliance-related issues, refer to UC’s International Compliance(link is external) webpage.
ADDITIONAL CONSIDERATIONS FOR DOING BUSINESS INTERNATIONALLY
Foreign Bank Accounts. Employees wishing to open a foreign bank account should contact the Controller’s Office at email@example.com(link sends e-mail) or 643-9803. Requests to open accounts must be made through the Office of the President’s Banking and Treasury Services Group(link is external) by the Chancellor or the Chancellor’s designee.
Real Estate Agreements. Only employees with delegated authority to sign contracts on behalf of The Regents may enter into agreements, leases, or other contracts. Foreign affiliates or operations must submit to the Real Estate Services Office(link sends e-mail)property management agreements, personal property leases, or contracts with a term longer than one year or in an amount greater than $25,000 per year. The campus then seeks approval from the University president or designee. For more information, consult the Guidelines for the Establishment and Operation of Foreign Affiliate Organizations and Foreign Operations(link is external).
MAYLASIA IS ENFORCING STRICTER PROTOCOLS UNDER THE CONDITIONAL MOVEMENT CONTROL ORDER (CMCO) IN MOST LOCALITIES THROUGH DECEMBER 6 DUE TO INCREASING CORONAVIRUS DISEASE (COVID-19) ACTIVITY. THE USE OF FACEMASKS REMAINS COMPULSORY IN CROWDED PUBLIC PLACES. MOST FOREIGNERS REMAIN BANNED FROM ENTERING MAYLASIA; EXEMPTIONS ARE IN PLACE FOR RESIDENT DIPLOMATS, FOREIGN SPOUSES AND DEPENDENTS OF MAYLAYSIAN CITIZENS, LONG-TERM PASS HOLDERS, AND EXPATRIATE EMPLOYEES WORKING IN ESSENTIAL INDUSTRIES AND THEIR DEPENDENTS, AMONG OTHERS. ARRIVING EXPATRIATE EMPLOYEES MUST PRESENT AN APPROVAL LETTER FROM AUTORITIES. TRAVELERS MUST TEST FOR COVID-19 UPON ARRIVAL. THOSE TESTING POSITIVE WILL UNDERGO TREATMENT AT MEDICAL FACILITIES, WHILE THOSE TESTING NEGATIVE WILL QUARANTINE FOR 14 DAYS AT DESIGNATED LOCATIONS. TRAVELERS MUST ALSO DOWNLOAD THE MYSEJAHTERA CONTACT TRACING APPLICATION. FOREIGNERS MAY TRANIST AT MAYLASIAN AIRPORTS AS LONG AS THEY DO NOT PASS THROUGH IMMIGRATION POINTS. MAYLAYSIAN NATIONALS REMAIN BANNED FROM TRAVELING ABROAD WITH LIMITED EXCEPTIONS. EMERGENCY REPATRIATION OF CITIZENS MAY OCCUR ON A CASE BY CASE BASIS.
Note: this page contains basic risk information. For more details, please contact the Risk Services Office at firstname.lastname@example.org(link sends e-mail).
If you are traveling to Malaysia on University-related business, please sign up for the University’s travel insurance program by going here(link is external). For more information on the travel insurance program, please go here.
Because everyone’s health is unique, we suggest seeking the advice of a medical professional before traveling internationally. Members of the campus community interested in protecting their health while abroad may schedule an appointment with the University Health Services International Travel Clinic(link is external).
Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. Furthermore, some laws are also prosecutable in the United States, regardless of local law.
Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately.
- Penalties for possessing, using, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Malaysia are more severe than those in the United States, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines, or death. Malaysian law provides for a mandatory death penalty for convicted drug traffickers.
- It is illegal to take pictures of certain buildings.
- Driving under the influence could land you immediately in jail.
- Certain white-collar crimes are punishable by caning.
- You may be prosecuted and sentenced to heavy fines, expulsion and/or imprisonment if you collect local flora or fauna without authorization from the Malaysian government.
- It is illegal to distribute religious literature of another faith to Malaysian Muslims. Special religious authorities and local police occasionally conduct raids on popular nightspots and hotels to deter activities among local Muslims that contravene religious customs, including drinking alcohol and adultery.
Customs: Malaysian authorities enforce strict regulations concerning the import or export of items such as firearms, narcotics, medication, business equipment, currency, books, cultural property or any material which might be considered obscene or harmful to the public interest. Contact the Malaysian Embassy, or one of Malaysia’s consulates in the United States for specific information regarding customs requirements.
LGBTI Travelers: Malaysia’s penal code criminalizes homosexual acts, termed “carnal intercourse against the order of nature,” leading to punishment of up to 20 years in prison and/or whipping. Several states in Malaysia have instated Islamic Sharia laws, applying to male and female Muslims, criminalizing same-sex activity with up to three years imprisonment and whipping. Transgender individuals have been arrested and charged with "indecent behavior,” and received fines and prison sentences of up to three months. LGBTI individuals may face discrimination or even violence especially in more conservative rural areas.