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December 8, 2007

Govt to remove irrelevant import licensing

The government, in consultation with the industry, will progressively remove import licensing on manufactured products that are no longer relevant, said International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Rafidah Aziz.

She said her ministry was undertaking a review on import licensing imposed on imports in line with Malaysia's commitment under Asean Free Trade Agreement (AFTA) and World Trade Organization (WTO) to remove impediments to trade and facilitate trade.

As an initial step, she said, Malaysia would remove import licensing on 29 tariff lines relating to machineries and equipments involving products such as pile drivers, extractors, stamping machines, shovels, excavators, bulldozers and scrappers, beginning January next year.

Starting from January 2009, import licensing on six tariff lines involving graders, levellers, roadrollers, track-laying bulldozers and front-end shovel loaders would be removed, she said.
Import licensing for these products stood at 19,141 or 98 percent of total licenses issued for machineries and equipments in 2006.

In her address at the Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) annual dinner here today, Rafidah said while import licensing was allowed for monitoring purposes as well as for product safety, security and health reason, the Malaysian business community could not rely on import licensing as a mechanism to protect the industry.

"Industries should prepare themselves to operate in an unprotected environment," she said.
She said emphasis will be accorded to the adoption of mandatory product standards to ensure only quality products are sold in the market.

"Malaysian business community should be prepared to adopt mandatory standard as this would be applied to both imported and locally produced products," she said.
Rafidah said the industry was encouraged to provide feedbacks on regular basis to her ministry on their readiness to adopt appropriate standards such as the mandatory standard.
"The government is ready to assist industry in implementing and subscribing to the mandatory standard so that companies can have that competitive edge," she said. (BERNAMA)

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