KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 16 — Three customs-related bills, namely, the Customs (Amendment) Bill 2020, Excise (Amendment) Bill 2020, and Free Zones (Amendment) Bill 2020 were passed at the Dewan Rakyat today.
Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Abd Rahim Bakri when tabling the amendments for the Customs Act 1967 for the second reading said it aimed to improve, standardise and update the existing provisions by adding new provisions so that tax legislation is more transparent, efficient and in line with the current changes on tax policies.
He said the amendments were also a continued effort in empowering the Customs Department to ensure tax compliance and reduce government tax leakage.
“The amendments also seek to improve certain provisions regarding the power of Customs officers to manage remand detainees as well as to conduct case seizure and investigations more quickly,” he said.
Meanwhile, he said the amendment to the Excise Act 1976 was made following the amendments to the Customs Act 1967.
Amendments for both acts, among others, was to include the provision for the credibility of provocation agents’ statements and admissibility in court.
According to Abd Rahim, with the amendments, the Customs Department would not have to rely solely on information from informers.
Today’s sitting also approved the Free Zones (Amendment) Bill 2020 to amend the Free Zones Act 1990.
Abd Rahim said it includes to provide additional powers for Customs senior officers to conduct enforcement, investigations and checks similar to that of the police under the Criminal Procedure Code.
The Dewan Rakyat sitting continues tomorrow.