Toyota Vellfire Wald-01

It has now been confirmed – the Open Approved Permit (AP) policy for the import of used cars is set to remain in Malaysia, as announced by the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI). Following a comprehensive research, a new set of improvements will be set in place from January 1, 2017 onwards.

In the statement, MITI adds that the improvements to the current system would allow “eligible new bumiputera companies that strictly adhere to the criteria to participate” in the used car business. To ensure compliance, a qualified and independent auditor will be selected to audit the new companies involved.

“The government will (also) launch a programme to use a portion of the open AP fees to enable the public to directly benefit from this new policy. The details of this programme will be announced later,” said MITI.

Findings of the research into the current AP system, covering the analysis of its effects, contributions and implications to the industry, were also revealed.

Toyota Alphard Wald-4

“The research team opined that the current Open AP system gives opportunities to the public to purchase used imported cars at a competitive price. They also found that the distribution and importation of used cars industry contributed significantly to the automotive industry and the country’s socio-economic development,” said MITI in the statement.

It went on to add that the system’s contributions to the supporting business and service sectors such as banking, insurance, shipping and logistics was estimated to be in the region of RM450 million per year. The government also collected about RM2 billion worth of taxes and fees per year, based on the current system.

Furthermore, the study found that the AP system directly provided job opportunities to 3,800 high- and medium-income earners. Meanwhile, it’s said that the policy contributed to 5% out of the 36% bumiputera equity in the automotive sector.

The research was conducted over six months, and involved accounts and opinions of industry players, consumer associations, NGOs and politicians. As mentioned above, the study recommended that the current policy be continued.

Import duties

MITI went on to warn that, “if the system were (to be) discontinued, there would be no more used imported cars allowed into the country and this would deny many people the opportunity to buy such cars. Also, the percentage of bumiputera equity participation in the automotive sector would reduce to 31%.”

The Open AP policy was supposed to be discontinued by December 31, 2015, under NAP 2009. The NAP 2014 announcement, however, mentioned that an in-depth study on the impact of the termination of Open APs would be carried out. The study has now been completed, as described above.

So folks, it’s now certain that the Open AP policy will indeed remain, with improvements to come in 2017. What do you think of this decision?