Malaysia will start collecting the RM20 (S$6.60) road charge from Singaporean motorists from Tuesday, after a series of delays, while its Vehicle Entry Permit (VEP) system that uses an electronic chip is still undergoing tests.
The Ministry of Transport said in a statement that the road charge will be applied on private-registered cars entering via the Causeway and Second Link, and must be paid with Malaysia's Touch 'n Go electronic payment cards.
"The road charge will be collected each time motorists enter Malaysia... The initial collection exercise will only involve foreign private- registered vehicles, excluding foreign-registered motorcycles," Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai said in a statement.
A ministry official told The Straits Times that government and commercial vehicles, including those for public transportation, will be exempted.
Singapore's Transport Ministry said yesterday that if the levy is discriminatory against Singapore-registered vehicles, it will consider matching the road charge.
Datuk Seri Liow said the charge and VEP will be extended from the Johor border to the other 10 road entry points across Malaysia in stages. Malaysia shares its land border with Thailand, Brunei and Indonesia.
Although the system is not yet in place, Malaysia has asked foreign vehicle owners to register their vehicles since last year, with 144,000 having done so as of July.
The road charge will increase the cost of crossing the border for Singaporean vehicles from $13 currently, for a return trip including paying charges at the Singapore checkpoint.
Malaysian cars entering Singapore get 10 free VEP days, before incurring the $35 per day charge.
For Malaysia's VEP, users will be charged a one-time fee of RM10 to install a radio frequency identification (RFID) electronic chip that lasts five years.
Calls by Malaysian politicians for the country to levy a charge on Singaporean cars entering the country gained traction after Singapore raised the VEP from $20 in 2014.
Responding to media queries, a spokesman for Singapore's Transport Ministry said: "We note that Malaysia plans to implement a road charge of RM20 at the Causeway and Second Link checkpoints from Nov 1. If it discriminates against Singapore-registered vehicles, we will match it in some form."