Not just fliers, Bill shows departure levy to hit all except those in private vehicles

The Departure Levy Bill would not only affect those flying out of the country, but could also cover any other vehicle operators who facilitate such out of state travelling. — Bernama pic
The Departure Levy Bill would not only affect those flying out of the country, but could also cover any other vehicle operators who facilitate such out of state travelling. — Bernama pic

KUALA LUMPUR, April 9 — Anyone leaving Malaysia in the future, except in a privately-owned vehicle, may be charged up to RM40 each time, if Parliament passes the Departure Levy Bill.

Due for a second reading in the Dewan Rakyat today, the much-anticipated Departure Levy Bill would not only affect those flying out of the country, but could also cover any other vehicle operators who facilitate such out of state travelling.

According to Clause 9(1)(a) in the Bill, anyone leaving Malaysia “by any operator” shall be subjected to the departure levy.

The Bill also defines operators as “any person who operates any vehicle to carry any person leaving Malaysia”.

This could mean that train services, cruise ships and chartered vehicles crossing the border may be subject to the charge.

The Bill did not detail the exact levy rate, though the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government introduced the departure levy in Budget 2019, proposing to charge RM20 for those departing for Asean nations and RM40 for other countries.

In November last year, Transport Minister Anthony Loke said that the government was in the midst of studying the levy mechanism, before it is implemented from June next year.

Despite the details in the Bill, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng earlier today insisted that only air travellers leaving the country will be charged the departure levy.

Lim said the tax amount will only be decided at a later period as the government is putting the infrastructure in place first.

As for those performing the haj or umrah pilgrimage, Lim said they can enjoy a one-time exemption from the departure levy, but subsequent travels may be subjected to the tax.

He said the rate will also be announced at a later date after the haj period, this year, which will be on August 9.

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