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Expect tiered departure levy after August

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The cabinet is expected to finalise details on the departure levy for air travellers, which will include a tiered structure.

A government official with knowledge of the matter confirmed that the new tax will be implemented after Hari Raya Aidiladha in August, and that the tiered structure will see economy class travellers paying the lowest rates.

However, the exact rates for the departure levy have yet to be determined, contrary to news reports.

"The rates have yet to be finalised. We are waiting for a cabinet decision," said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The official also confirmed that the government is considering concessions for air travel involving religious pilgrimages.

According to a report by The Malaysian Insight, the new tiered departure levy will be RM50 for those travelling to Asean destinations on first or business class, and RM8 for economy class.

The report also claimed that travellers to other destinations on first or business class will be charged RM150, while economy class travellers will be taxed RM20.

Parliament recently passed the Departure Levy Bill 2019, which will be confined to air travel only.

Previously, AirAsia boss Tony Fernandes had warned that imposing an "exit tax" would negatively impact tourist arrivals.

Fernandes said tourists are already paying the passenger service charge or airport tax of between RM35 to RM73 for international flights, plus the RM10 hotel tax charged to international tourists.

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