Malaysia Institutes Up To RM150 Departure Tax Effective September 1, 2019

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Malaysia instituted a tourism tax back in September 1, 2017 (read more here) that hotels are required to collect from their guests.

Malaysia Airlines

Now, the Malaysia is starting to collect a RM8 to RM150 departure tax for passengers flying out from the country effective September 1, 2019.

Here’s an excerpt from the Malay Mail (access their piece here):

Anyone who flies out from Malaysia will have to pay tax in the form of a departure levy ranging from RM8 to RM150 from this September 1, the government has announced.

In a ministerial order gazetted by the Federal Government on July 31, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng set out the departure levy rates depending on the destination abroad and whether the flight is economy class.

Malaysia Departure Tax

Lim had then said the proposal was intended to encourage domestic tourism, also noting that the proposed rates then of RM20 for Asean destinations and RM40 for non-Asean destinations was consistent with rates charged by others such as Thailand (US$20), Hong Kong (US$15) and Japan (US$10).

The tax in USD:

  • ASEAN: Economy RM8 ($2) – Non-Economy RM50 ($12)
  • NON-ASEAN: Economy RM20 ($5) – Non-Economy RM150 ($36)

Here’s the gazette from the Malaysian government:

Download (PDF, 418KB)

Conclusion

These taxes don’t apply for passengers in transit (less than 12 hours between flights). It, however, does make starting or stopping in Malaysia more expensive for those that fly in premium cabins.

Many countries have started to tax air travel in premium cabins heavily (looking at the UK). These amounts collected by Malaysia are not elevated, but they are nevertheless taxes for the passengers in question.

Malaysia argues that they collect these to encourage more domestic tourism.

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