Success of departure levy depends on how it’s collected, says analyst

The new departure levy will be in addition to the passenger service charge already imposed by airports.

PETALING JAYA: An analyst says the success of the departure levy law recently passed in the Dewan Rakyat depends on the method of collection used by the government.

Phua Lee Kerk, chief strategist at Phillip Mutual Bhd, said the government would incur additional costs if it outsources the collection mechanism.

This, he said, would reduce collection levels.

“The government is trying to address its revenue shortfall. The collection mechanism of the departure levy will determine its success,” he told FMT.

Pong Teng Siew, head of research at Inter-Pacific Securities Sdn Bhd, agreed that the government had introduced the levy to enhance its revenue as well as boost domestic tourism.

The departure levy law was passed on Tuesday, paving the way for the government to collect RM20 for air travel to Asean destinations and RM40 for travel to other destinations beginning June 1.

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

Those who do not pay the levy when leaving the country will be liable to a maximum fine of RM500,000, up to three years in jail, or both, upon conviction.

Failure by operators to register under the act at least 30 days before the commencement of operations will see them subject to a maximum fine of RM100,000, up to a year in jail, or both.