Mistakes You Don’t Want To Make: Malaysia GST Refund for Tourists


Malaysia’s haze season is back

5 months into operation, Malaysia’s Tourist Refund Scheme is still as hazy as our current weather.

I just claimed VAT refund in Thailand. So, I was very interested to find out whether our refund scheme works as smoothly as Thailand. Click here is you missed my earlier post.

D was in town over the weekend, and bought a pair of shoes from Columbia. I only realized that it is part of the World of Sports retail umbrella, after our purchase.

We asked not once, but twice on how to claim the GST refund. Staff were confident that only receipt from the shop is required. They also took the trouble in taking down D’s details: full name, nationality, passport number, address and contact number, in key in their system. I specifically asked whether there is any refund form that shop will provide. I was told that the form will be filled by Customs Officer at airport; only receipt is required.

That’s too easy to be true, no?


Alarm bell rang in mind, so I looked up information on the internet. Dang!  In hindsight, I should have looked it up before our purchase, rather than after.

D got a bargain deal on the shoe. He enjoyed RM 200 instant cash rebate, and also benefited from weakening Ringgit. So, he was pretty cool about the whole incident. Good to have additional savings, but he is fine without it as well.


KLIA2’s GST Custom Refund Verification Counter

 So, we went to KLIA2’s GST Custom Refund Verification counter, expected to be a futile attempt. And we were right. Two tourists were in the same predicament, and were clearly upset. I overhead one of them complaining, that they were given different documents (or was it receipts?) by different shops.

So, I hope this post will be able to shed some light on the requirements, and have tourists leaving with a fond memory of our country. First impressions count, but last impressions count more.

 GST Refund Approval

You must present the following at the GST Customs Refund Verification Counter at the airport:

  1. Valid international passport (not Malaysian)
  2. Official GST Refund Form issued by an Approved Outlet*
  3. Goods purchased
  4. Tax invoice for goods
  5. Boarding pass / Confirmed flight ticket

Eligibility Rules

  1. Minimum purchase of RM 300 (inclusive of GST) at the same Approved Outlet*
  2. Neither a citizen nor a permanent resident, and hold a valid international passport
  3. Not a member of cabin / flight crew of the aircraft he/she is departing out of Malaysia
  4. The claim must be made within 3 months from the date of departure
  5. Allowed to claim within 2 months of Royal Malaysian Customs Department (RMCD)’s verification/endorsement
  6. Depart from one of Malaysia’s 8 main international airports
  7. The goods must be carried out of Malaysia as hand-carry or check-in luggage

* Approved Outlets

IRIS Global Blue TRS Malaysia Sdn. Bhd is the Approved Refund Agent by RMCD to to implement Tourist Refund Scheme. Merchants have to be registered / affiliated with Global Blue.

You will also be able to find more info on Tourist Refund Scheme here and here.

Update March 2017:

Requirement for Tourist Refund process

Saw this notice at Plaza Low Yat- it states that original passport is required, and tourist information is required on the Full Tax Invoice/Receipt – such as name, passport no, country of residence.


Travel opens up a whole new world, which is cliche but true. I am a strong advocate for independent and solo travel. I was born and raised in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia but now live in Bangkok, Thailand, resulted from a chance encounter in 2009 with my why-are-you-Thai bf. I am now split between two countries. One country for my bf, another for the family, for the occasional weekend together.