How will Malaysian Covid lockdown affect recyclable material imports?

Port Kelang Malaysia
Port Klang Malaysia

Malaysia’s Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has announced a Covid lockdown in six Malaysian states that begins on 13 January and lasts at least until 26 January.

The aim of the Covid lockdown is to reduce the infection rate of the disease in these states that have been hit particularly hard.


States included are Penang, Selangor, Federal Territories (Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and Labuan), Melaka, Johor and Sabah.

Malaysia’s main port, Port Klang is located in Selangor and as a result numerous recycling facilities and mills are located in this state in particular.

While the Malaysian Government will introduce roadblocks to prevent cross-state movement of people, trade and distribution will be allowed.

Just five commercial groups are allowed to operate during the lockdown. These are: manufacturing, construction, services, trade and distribution and plantations and commodities.

In a more detailed document on permitted industries, the Malaysian Ministry of International Trade and Industry said that packaging and printing manufacturing was permitted to continue, as well as warehousing and logistics.

Malaysia’s port services including cargo loading and unloading, and commodity storage and exchange were also permitted to continue.

This would suggest that exports of paper and cardboard from the UK should be fine for ongoing export. However, exports of plastics from the UK to non-OECD members like Malaysia are currently illegal until new measures are put in place for prior notification.

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