Ministry of Transport Malaysia

Maritime Division

What is DSL?

DSL is an abbreviation for Domestic Shipping License. Under the Cabotage Policy which was implemented on 1st January 1980, ships, other than those excluded under Section 65L of the Merchant Shipping Ordinance 1952, which carry passengers or goods:-

  • from any port or place in Malaysia to another port or place in Malaysia;
  • from any port or place in Malaysia to any place in the exclusive economic zone or vice versa;

or involved in the towing or pushing of any ship engaged in domestic shipping shall have a valid DSL.

What are the conditions to obtain an DSL?

Conditions to be fulfilled by applicants are as follows:-

  • For an individual or sole-proprietor, must be a Malaysian citizen.
  • For an organization/corporation:-
    • The corporation is incorporated in Malaysia;
    • The majority of the directors of the corporation are Malaysian citizens;
    • The majority of the shareholding including the voting shares of the corporation is held by Malaysian citizens free from any trust or obligation in favour of non-Malaysians.

​How many ports are there under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Transport?

Malaysia has a total of 105 landing facilities ranging from major ports to landing jetties. Ports in the country are categorized broadly into major and minor ports and the Federal Ports are under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Transport while the State Ports in Sabah and Sarawak are under the respective State Government. These are further categorized as major and minor ports:

  • Major Federal Ports
    1. Port Klang
    2. Port of Tanjung Pelepas
    3. Penang Port
    4. Johor Port
    5. Kuantan Port
    6. Kemaman Port
    7. Bintulu Port
  • ​Minor Federal Ports

    The remaining landing facilities and jetties including ports which come under the purview of the Marine Department are classified as minor ports. Some of these include Labuan Port, Port Dickson Port and Kerteh Port.​​