Malaysia to impose air departure tax from Sept 1

The Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang. The levy imposed on travellers will depend on the destination and the class of airline flights. Cabin crew on duty will be among certain groups exempted.
The Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang. The levy imposed on travellers will depend on the destination and the class of airline flights. Cabin crew on duty will be among certain groups exempted.PHOTO: REUTERS

KUALA LUMPUR • From next month, all travellers flying out of Malaysia will have to pay an air departure tax of between RM8 (S$2.65) and RM150, the Malaysian media reported yesterday.

The Malay Mail Online website reported that the departure levy rates were set out by Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng in a ministerial order gazetted by the Malaysian government on Wednesday.

A separate order, also dated July 31, said the departure levy will be imposed from Sept 1.

The levy imposed on travellers will depend on the destination and the class of airline flights.

Passengers travelling to countries in Asean and flying economy class will face a departure levy of RM8. Those flying on all other airline classes to the region will have to pay RM50.

Besides Malaysia, the other nine countries in Asean are Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, the Philippines, Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia and Brunei.

Passengers travelling out of Malaysia to non-Asean countries on economy flights will have to pay a departure levy of RM20, while those travelling on non-economy flights to such destinations will be charged RM150.

Infants and toddlers aged below 24 months as well as airline passengers transiting in Malaysia and leaving the country within 12 hours will be exempted from the levy, according to a separate order issued by Mr Lim. Cabin crew on duty will also be exempted.

The Departure Levy Bill 2019 was passed by Parliament on April 10 and is aimed at encouraging the development of domestic tourism. It was to have been implemented on June 1 this year, but was later deferred to Sept 1.

The Star previously reported that the legislation proposes hefty punishments for those who avoid paying the levy. Anyone with the intention to evade or assist another to avoid paying the fee will be liable to a fine not exceeding RM1 million, a five-year jail sentence, or both.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 03, 2019, with the headline 'Malaysia to impose air departure tax from Sept 1'. Print Edition | Subscribe