Import tariffs on textiles and other items already produced in Malaysia are applied in order to protect domestic industries. Rates vary from 0% to 300% and imports are also subject to a 10% sales tax and excise taxes. However, the average duty rate is less than 8.1%. In 2000, the government reduced duties on 136 categories of food products from 5–20% to 2–12%. Imported luxury goods have the highest rates. Items imported for industrial development, including machinery and raw materials imported for processing and re-export, are usually duty-free. Exports are generally free of control, except that licenses and export duties apply to exports of petroleum (25%), rubber, tin, palm oil, timber, and pepper.
As a member of the ASEAN free trade area, Malaysia is a part of the Common Effective Preferential Tariff Scheme (CEPT), which aims to liberalize trade in the region. By 2003, all tariffs on manufactured goods will be reduced to 0–5% between member countries, including Singapore, Brunei, Thailand, Philippines, and Indonesia. Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar, and Cambodia are scheduled to join the CEPT by 2008. Malaysia has bilateral trade agreements with 59 countries as well. There are several free zones and a free port at Port Klang.