Budget travellers, affluent explorers, and wanderlust chasers will now have to fork out a fee when flying out of Malaysia. This comes after the Departure Levy Act 2019 came into effect just last month.
The Departure Levy Act 2019
In essence, any traveller leaving Malaysia will have to pay a departure levy i.e. travel tax ranging from RM8 to RM150. The rates of this new tax will be based on the destination and flight travel class.
According to the Act, anyone departing Malaysia for ASEAN countries will be charged RM8 for flights in the economy class. For non-economy classes, the fee is RM50. The ASEAN countries listed are as follows:
- The Philippines
On the other hand, flying beyond the ASEAN region will obviously incur a higher levy. For the economy class passengers, you will be charged a levy of RM20. For those travelling in the non-economy/premium class, you’ll have to fork out the maximum RM150 fee.
How The Departure Levy Act 2019 Is Imposed
If you’re thinking of skipping out on paying this tax, we’ve got some bad news for you. The implemented departure levy will be included in your ticket price for flights booked from 1st September 2019 onwards.
The rates, as mentioned will be dependent on your travel destination and flight class.
Departure Levy Exemptions
However, there are exceptions to this departure tax. For instance, infants and toddlers aged below 24 months won’t have to pay this departure levy. Similarly, if you leave the country via your own vehicle then you are also exempted from the levy. Case in point, pedestrians and individuals riding in any personal vehicle (including planes) will be exempted from the levy.
So, say you’re driving from Johor Bahru to Singapore, you will have the “luxury” of skipping out on paying the departure levy.
Otherwise, any crew on duty onboard a plane leaving Malaysia will also be exempted from the tax. And in a similar vein, passengers in transit arriving at any international airport in Malaysia will not be stricken with the departure levy — on the condition that their transit does not exceed 12 hours.
Departure Levy Moving Forwards
Safe to say, the tourism industry in Malaysia will still continue to chug on even with the new bill impacting travellers’ pockets. Avid travellers will still plan to travel. And families will also begrudgingly take their children on trips during the school holidays.
That said, it is still rather early to properly gauge the impact of the departure tax on the travel industry. Though, a positive side effect from this implementation could be an increase in domestic travels moving forward.