KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian manufacturers exporting to the US will have to ensure usage of licensed IT softwares in their business operations following the newly imposed Unfair Competition Act (UCA) in Washington and Louisiana states.
The two states have passed the bill in July last year, making it a violation for any business to carry out manufacturing and commercial activities using stolen or misappropriated IT infrastructure in its entire supply chain.
Open Computing Alliance regional representative Michael Mudd said that Malaysian companies that obey Malaysian law would already be compliant with the UCA.
“All they need is to get an audit certification from their external auditors to confirm that the software used is paid for. For this, I would imagine incremental cost to be low,” he said at a seminar at MATRADE Hall.
“I believe that Malaysia has an early bird advantage of about six to 12 months to comply with the UCA, in advance of larger economies,” he said, saying that China, for one, will need more time to shift to the compliance mainly because of the scale of its economy.
He added that smaller companies can act quicker because of faster decision-making and use its compliance as a competitive advantage.
Although the new civil law is still in a communicative period rather than enforcement already, Mudd said that it would be an inevitable as it is gaining traction across the US.
“The fact that the Attorneys General (representing 39 states and territories) wrote a letter to the US Federal Trade Commission asking for to enforce similar law across the country is indicative of (the law) moving forward very fast,” he said.
The US is the fourth largest trading partner and export market for Malaysia, accounting for RM51.19bil worth of Malaysian exports from January to October last year.
In 2010, the total trade between both countries were RM117.21bil or 10% of Malaysia's total trade volume.