Importing Cosmetics To Malaysia: Your Risk

I thought I want to share with you my recent experience with purchasing cosmetics online. The buying experience was great, but things went downhill as the package reached Malaysian shores. Let me just tell you that I’ve been purchasing cosmetics online, from makeup to skincare, and I’ve never had any problems getting them delivered to my door. Would you think then, cosmetics are actually not allowed into the country if the items are not registered with the Ministry of Health? Nope. I bet your arse most of the stuff that reached me are not registered. Period.


However, in the past week or so, from the 9th to the 16th of June 2015, there’s an international collaborative operation between our customs and the Interpol which made things turn bad. All cosmetics were seized with no appeals given. They’d just confiscate it and destroy it. They won’t even let you have a chance to send it back to sender, to at least get your money back. Why? Oh, because Interpol is involved. Right. Drugs, I understand. But makeup? Makeup for personal use? Only 4 items in that little box, and it’s so dangerous that it can’t be let into the country? WOW. So here’s the gist, in case you innocent beauty buffs who have been lucky all this while didn’t know.


If your package is more than RM500, your package will be screened. Most of the time, they will do an internal appeal and let it delivered to you with no hassle. Sometimes, you’ll get taxed. If your package is less than RM500, there will be a RANDOM selection so if you’re unlucky, it will be screened. So basically, it’s playing roulette. When the customs or the pharmacy bureau decides to be strict, you’re screwed. Most of the time, from experience, nothing happened. So this time, I’ve been unlucky. Unlucky that I have things shipped out at this time, but I also feel it’s very unfair. We as consumers are not aware of this. Packages have been cleared from years of purchasing online. We are like unsuspecting victims and if they decide to prowl on us, we’re dead. You’d think cosmetics are legal. Well, they are, but they need to be registered. You’ll have to check with the Ministry of Health. Yes, really. And the answer I was given is that, if the brand is not sold in Malaysia, very likely, they will not be registered.


I am angry, I feel cheated, and then again, why am I not surprised? I say, if cosmetics that aren’t registered cannot be brought into the country, let it be streamlined. Do not confuse the consumers. If it’s allowed, then it should be set as precedence that the item can be brought in, and be updated in the registry accordingly. Do not be so fickle. I have seen photos of the items I bought on Instagram, posted by Malaysians who ordered them online as well.


Has this ordeal dampened my addiction? Yes. A whole lot. I don’t know if I should be thankful, but immediate reaction is to blame my curiosity for all things new. If I didn’t have this curiosity, then I wouldn’t have bought, then this wouldn’t happen. Then the drama queen in me added that if I didn’t have a hobby (blogging) that feeds the addiction, I’d be safe too. I feel like I’ve been robbed, literally. And lied to┬áby the very people who made me feel safe (from ordering online, from past experience). Who says this is not to happen again? Who says whatever happened to me will not happen to you? Well, I hope it won’t. I have no confidence now. Period. And I’m still boiling. BOILING!