No more caps but AP criteria tighter now, says deputy minister

Ong stressed that the government still limits the number of APs each company can get even though there is no longer a quota on how many APs are given out annually. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Ong stressed that the government still limits the number of APs each company can get even though there is no longer a quota on how many APs are given out annually. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, March 15 — Contrary to allegations, businesses selected to receive Open Approved Permits (APs) for the import of reconditioned foreign cars are subject to tighter regulations by the Pakatan Harapan government.

Deputy Minister of International Trade and Industry Ong Kian Ming stressed that the government still limits the number of APs each company can get even though there is no longer a quota on how many APs are given out annually.

“Although there are no longer hard caps on the number of APs which can be issued in one year, there are definitely hard caps on the maximum number of APs which a company can obtain.

“For companies which have not obtained APs in the past and which have a paid up capital of RM1 million, the maximum number of APs for passenger cars which can be obtained is 60 per company,” he said in a statement reaffirming the government’s commitment to ensure only “genuine Bumiputera” businessmen who are competitive receive the car import licences.

Ong also pointed out that open APs are mainly given out for the import of luxury imported cars, adding that as such, they “have no effect on the car prices for the mass market”.

He also asserted that recent figures of imported car sales domestically show that such imported reconditioned luxury cars are not as lucrative now.

“The volumes of the cars brought in via Open APs are very small when disaggregated into the various brands.

“The low volumes don’t provide enough economies of scale for them to be assembled in Malaysia,” he said, adding that marquees like Honda, Toyota, Nissan, Mercedes-Benz and BMW have set up local plants.

Ong’s ministry had outlined some of the stringent conditions on AP holders in a statement two days ago and published a full list of all 164 AP holders on its website in an effort to be more transparent.

He clarified that of the 164 holders, 128 were to existing companies. The remaining 36 were new applicants.

He said the public can call its hotline at 03-6208-4970 or to write directly to the Director, Export and Import Control Section, MITI, Level 7, Menara MITI, No.7, Jalan Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah, 50480 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia if they had information on businesses selling their APs.

Earlier this week, national news agency Bernama reported an automotive portal claiming ongoing negotiations between new and established AP holders to trade the AP for fees of about RM18,000 to RM22,000 each.

According to the report, this trade-off was due to the removal of APs.

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