Malaysian authorities are proposing to introduce charge to pay for new border management program

Malaysia, taxes, charges, passengers, tax

IATA is advocating against a proposed new passenger charge in Malaysia.

The Malaysian government is considering introducing a charge for all international passengers arriving and departing Malaysia to cover the cost of a new border management program.

The vast majority of countries who have already introduced API have not implemented passenger charges

The Advance Passenger Screening System (APSS) will be an interactive API (Advanced Passenger Information) program.

API has already been introduced in 65 other countries and allows authorities to receive passengers’ passport details electronically before international flights land or depart. 

IATA recognizes the benefits API offers in terms of border security and control—but strongly opposes Malaysia’s plans to fund the program with passenger charges.

The vast majority of countries who have already introduced API have not implemented passenger charges, and IATA believes that:

• funding for API is a State responsibility as it is linked to border security and intelligence collection

• the charge would have an adverse effect on Malaysia’s competitiveness and aviation sector

• the existence of a passenger charge makes travel to Malaysia more costly for any visitor, and would be detrimental to the efforts in making Malaysia as a travel destination

• the long-term cumulative collection of a passenger charge would be greater than the costs incurred. 

IATA also highlighted that airlines already contribute to API by collecting, formatting, and sending the data to the authorities, and training staff.

IATA estimates a hypothetical charge of US$8 per journey could lead a reduction in demand of more than 1.3 million passenger journeys, and lower the industry’s contribution to GDP by US$362 million.