by SHAHEERA AZNAM SHAH/ pic by ARIF KARTONO
THE new liberalised permit for transshipment goods at Malaysian ports is expected to be gazetted in the first quarter of next year (1Q20).
Transport Minister Anthony Loke said the more lenient regulation is expected to reduce the number of items, which require an approved permit (AP) transiting at the local ports from 74 to 20 items.
“Prior to this, all cargo transshipments require the permit, even if the goods are just being transited at our ports…and we previously had 74 categories on the gazetted list.
“Recently, the Cabinet has decided to remove the permits for 54 categories in that list which are mostly commodity items such as cocoa, coconut and water.
“The Cabinet has agreed to loosen the regulation and we are waiting for approvals from the respective industries and agencies as certain items are placed under different bodies,” he told reporters at a press conference in Pasir Gudang, Johor yesterday.
Loke said the move is made as part of the government’s efforts to stimulate the country’s transshipment activities and assist Malaysian ports to be able to operate competitively.
“The liberalised regulation will help to encourage the transshipment activities in the country and establish our ports as competitive industry players.
“We are trying to make our ports more competitive, but in order to attract shipping liners, we must increase the efficiency by cutting down paperwork and processes to enable a faster turnaround time.
“However, we would still need to restrain certain goods. Now, only controlled and dangerous goods such as weaponry and firecrackers would require the AP,” he said.
Loke said the remaining 20 goods which are still being regulated are mainly those involve the aspects of security and disease control such as toxic wastes, radioactive materials and bullet-proof suits.
Earlier, in April this year, the government removed the requirement from vehicles that transited from Malaysian ports.
The container volume for transshipment at Malaysian ports rose 12.35% year-on-year in the 3Q19 from 1.9 million TEUs to 2.2 million TEUs.
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