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PROJECT - Remanufacturing Woes: Dialogues with Regulators [CURRENT]

Proposed by: Rentwise Sdn Bhd

Supported by: Renewcell (M) Sdn Bhd

Key contact at CircularBASS:

Lijin Chin 


Remanufacturing as a whole has not grown significantly in Malaysia and remanufacturers have had a tough time growing bigger and competing with new products.


A key barrier contributing to this is the regulatory environment faced by remanufacturers; from unclear definitions, to import restrictions and regulations on the sale and recovery of cores, to name a few. Yet, engagement with regulators have been piecemeal and case-to-case basis.


Companies spend undue amounts of time and effort fighting these unfavourable situations while regulators become increasingly hesitant to depart from blanket actions and status quo without a common voice from industry to address their concerns about remanufacturing.


There is a real need to engage with regulators consistently together to tip the favours towards a thriving and profitable remanufacturing ecosystem. 


  • SDG 12: Sustainable Consumption and Production

  • Circular Economy Principle: Keep Products in Use

  • 12 Malaysia Plan Game Changer: Circular Economy

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Industrial Engineer

We want to be introduced to remanufacturers


Remanufacturing is "The process of transforming a used product to as good as new condition by rebuilding its component parts back to its functionality performance specifications and also by replacing unbuildable parts with brand new components and carries an acceptable warranty period as to a brand new (similar) product manufactured by the Original Equipment Manufacturers." (Ministry of International Trade and Industry, 2022)

Different industries may to use slightly different terms to describe remanufacturing such as 'Rebuild', 'Overhaul,  'Reset' and 'Recharge'.  Either way, they look at bringing the product to 'as good as new' levels with a matching warranty. This differs from repair which is the process merely fixing some specific breakdown of a product, and refurbishment which is to refinish and sanitise the product. 

In a circular economy context, remanufacturing contributes to recover residual values from products and keep products in use at its highest value for as long as possible. Thus, making the most use of all the material, energy, water and labour inputs already committed to the product over more lifecycles and reducing the need for more resources to serve more people. 

Remanufacturing has been highlighted as a critical step towards achieving climate targets and economic growth. Based on a study by USAID (2015),  remanufacturing in Malaysia

  • has the potential to avoid 62,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions annually

  • has the potential to save 37,000 tonnes of waste disposal annually 

  • could generate RM 8 billion annually for the economy

  • provide products are 40% cheaper than newly manufactured products

In the 12th Malaysia Plan, remanufacturing has been identified as a priority area for boosting productivity growth by scaling up green practices under Theme 1: Restoring Growth Momentum. A National Policy on Remanufacturing is to be implemented within the 12MP period with five focus sectors, namely: aerospace, automotive, electronics, information technology, marine and M&E.  Despite these encouraging steps, implementation of the policy on the ground is still far from smooth and there is a real need to engage regulators consistently to tip the favours towards a thriving remanufacturing ecosystem. 


United States Agency for International Development (USAID) 2015.Remanufacturing in Malaysia An assessment of the current and future remanufacturing industry. Available at:

Ngu, H. J., Lee, M. D. and Osman, M. S.H. (2020) Review on current challenges and future opportunities in Malaysia sustainable manufacturing: Remanufacturing industries. Journal of Cleaner Production, 273, Available at: Accessed on 2 January 2022. 

Interested to be part of our ecosystem?

Don't just learn about the circular economy. See the action. Be part of the action. 

Find out more about joining us at the Circular Business Association to accelerate business transition into the circular economy and solve the climate crisis. 

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