Departure Levy Bill tabled for first reading

The proposed departure levy on air travellers is aimed at encouraging the development of domestic tourism.

KUALA LUMPUR: A bill to introduce a departure levy was tabled for first reading in the Dewan Rakyat today by Deputy Finance Minister Amiruddin Hamzah.

Under the departure levy, anyone who leaves the country will be charged RM20 if they are heading to Asean member states and RM40 if they are heading to other countries.

During the tabling of Budget 2019, Putrajaya had proposed a departure levy on all air travellers leaving the country beginning June 1 this year to encourage the development of domestic tourism.

This is in addition to the RM73 passenger service charge already imposed by airports.

The Departure Levy Bill tabled today states that the levy shall be due when the person leaves Malaysia, and that the minister may fix the rate of the levy to be charged. It also states that the minister may vary or amend the rate of the levy.

The rate will then be presented in the Dewan Rakyat.

The bill proposes that anyone who does not pay the levy upon leaving Malaysia will have committed an offence and, upon conviction, be liable to a maximum fine of RM500,000, up to three years in jail, or both.

It also states that anyone who in any way assaults, obstructs, hinders, threatens or molests a customs officer in the discharge of his functions under the act, or who fails to give reasonable facilities or assistance to any customs officer, will be liable to a maximum three years in jail, a fine of up to RM500,000, or both.

Operators carrying passengers are responsible for registering under the act no less than 30 days before the commencement of operations.

Foreign operators, meanwhile, are to appoint an agent to act on their behalf.

Failure by either to do so will subject the operators to a maximum RM100,000 fine, up to one year’s jail, or both.