Release Date: 27 July 2006
Release ID: 568
PENANG: Freight forwarders and multinational companies (MNCs) staged a protest against the RM5 processing fee imposed by the Free Commercial Zone (FCZ) authority at the Bayan Lepas cargo complex.
Malaysia Airlines System Bhd, which is the FCZ authority, stands to collect some RM8mil a year with the new move which took effect at midnight yesterday.
OPPOSITION TO CHARGES: Some of the over 100 freight forwarders and multinational firms holding a brief protest against the processing fee outside the Bayan Lepas cargo complex in Penang yesterday.
The Penang Freight Forwarders Association (PFFA) and the Air Freight Forwarders Association of Malaysia (AFFAM) said in a joint statement:
“The move to impose a fee for each import and export transaction will cost end-users some RM40mil a year,” it said, adding that some MNCs had indicated they might refuse to use the airport for cargo shipment.
Previously, no processing fee was imposed, and the submission of documents done manually in the past must now be submitted electronically before the release and delivery of shipments.
Any person who contravenes any provision of the regulations is liable to be fined up to a maximum of RM1,000 or jailed up to six months or both.
The protest yesterday at 5pm was held outside the cargo complex in Bayan Lepas.
The PFFA and AFFAM said the action taken by MAS was unilateral, without adequate consultation with the associations, trade organisations and end-users.
“Instead of facilitating trade with the establishment of the FCZ, the authority is in fact hampering trade,” the statement said.
The statement was released after a meeting jointly chaired by PFFA president Joachim Loo and AFFAM chairman Walter Culas.
The PFFA and AFFAM said it was the first time that the Finance Ministry had appointed a company as FCZ authority though it was provided for under Section 3 of the Free Zones Act 1990.
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