New Open AP Policy implemented from Jan 1 — MITI

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KUALA LUMPUR (March 13): The International Trade and Industry Ministry (MITI) said the New Open Approved Permit (AP) Policy has been implemented with effect from Jan 1.

Under the new policy, there is no limit to the overall number of APs to be released throughout the year and companies may apply for additional APs based on their sales performance.

“At the moment, most of the new companies are still not fully in operation as they need to fulfil some technical requirements and be prepared for business operational matters,” MITI said in a statement today.

An Open AP is an import permit facility given by MITI to qualified Bumiputera companies to import reconditioned vehicles for sale in the domestic market. The companies are subjected to the conditions and rules imposed by the Ministry.

MITI said the implementation of the new policy is in line with the Government's decision on Dec 23, 2015 to continue the policy with some improvements including providing the opportunity to new Bumiputera entrepreneurs to participate in the industry.

“The new policy which should have been implemented beginning Jan 1, 2017 was postponed for almost two years due to uncertainties in the domestic automotive market,” it said.

MITI said the objectives of the new policy are to promote the development of new Bumiputera entrepreneurs in the automotive industry, ensure the policy continues to contribute to the country’s socio-economic goals, and create market competitiveness that will benefit the consumers especially in terms of the prices and services.

MITI said nearly 300 applications were received by MITI when an offer for application to become an Open AP company was made from May 23, 2016 to June 21, 2016.

The offer which was made through a media statement dated May 13, 2016 was published in MITI’s portal and the mass media.

“After an evaluation process, including an audit by a qualified independent auditor, the number of companies that qualified was 164, of which 128 are existing companies and 36 are new.

“The conditions that need to be fulfilled, among others are, the company must be 100% owned by Bumiputeras including the key management posts, it has at least two years of experience in selling and distributing motor vehicles, and it must have a strong financial position,” said MITI.

The Ministry said it will continuously monitor and audit the Open AP companies.

“Under the new policy, if there is a breach of any of the conditions, MITI will take decisive measures, including withdrawing or suspending the allocated and approved APs, blacklisting the companies (including every shareholder and board member of the company) from submitting any future application for Open AP, and taking a legal action against the company.

“In 2018, MITI had blacklisted nine existing companies for offences (for) not complying with the conditions,” the Ministry said.