Malaysia 'to charge entry fee for vehicles from Thailand'

BANGKOK • Vehicles entering Malaysia from Thailand will be charged a fee of 200 baht (S$8) starting from the middle of this year, with Thailand imposing a similar charge from early next year, the Bangkok Post reported yesterday.

According to Thailand's Transport Deputy Permanent Secretary Somsak Hommuang, cars, vans and buses entering by road from Thailand will be charged about RM20 (S$6.40).

In response, Thailand's Transport Ministry yesterday considered collecting a reciprocal fee from vehicles entering Thailand from Malaysia.

Subsequently, Thailand's Office of Transport and Traffic Policy and Planning (OTP) was assigned the task of hiring a consultant to study and decide which toll collection system was the most suitable.

The OTP has also been asked to study which agency would be responsible for collecting the fee. The options are for this task to be handled by the Land Transport Department or the Customs Department, or outsourcing the job to a private firm, Mr Somsak said. The OTP will submit its report to the Transport Ministry in six months, reported the Bangkok Post.

Collection of the toll will enable an accurate count of the number of foreign vehicles in Thailand, and help determine whether they have overstayed, according to Mr Somsak.

He also expressed confidence that the fee to be charged will not affect the number of vehicles travelling in either direction.

At present, there are nine official checkpoints on the Thai-Malaysian border. These are the Sadao checkpoint in Sadao district, Songkhla; Padang Besar checkpoint in Sadao district, Songkhla; Ban Prakop checkpoint in Nathawi district, Songkhla; Sungai Kolok checkpoint in Sungai Kolok district, Narathiwat; Tak Bai checkpoint in Tak Bai district, Narathiwat; Buketa checkpoint in Wang district, Narathiwat; Betong checkpoint in Betong district, Yala; Wang Prachan checkpoint in Khuan Don district, Satun; and Satun checkpoint in Muang district, Satun.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 26, 2017, with the headline 'Malaysia 'to charge entry fee for vehicles from Thailand''. Print Edition | Subscribe