Malaysia to impose departure tax of between $2.65 and $50 on airline travellers from Sept 1

Cabin crew, children aged below two years as well as airline passengers transiting in Malaysia and leaving the country within 12 hours will be exempted from the levy.
Cabin crew, children aged below two years as well as airline passengers transiting in Malaysia and leaving the country within 12 hours will be exempted from the levy.PHOTO: REUTERS

KUALA LUMPUR - From September, all travellers flying out of Malaysia will have to pay a departure tax of between RM8 and RM150 (S$2.65 and S$50), Malaysian media reported on Friday (Aug 2).

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 July 31. 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. Passengers flying on all other airline classes to the region will have to pay RM50.

The 10 countries in Asean include 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 will be charged RM150.

Cabin crew, infants and toddlers aged below 24 months or two years 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.

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 Bill proposes hefty punishments for those who avoid paying the levy.

 

Anyone who has 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.

Furthermore, any person who assaults, obstructs or threatens a Customs officer in the discharge of his function, or fails to give reasonable assistance to any Customs officer will be liable to a maximum three-year jail term, a fine not exceeding RM500,000, or both, if found guilty.