KUALA LUMPUR: The Ministry of International Trade and Industry (Miti) has given the green light for 164 companies to be Open Approved Permit (AP) holders, out of which 36 are new.
These were companies that were selected out of nearly 300 applications to be Open AP companies between May 23 and June 21 in 2016.
Miti said in a statement that it has implemented the new Open AP policy beginning Jan 1 this year, 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 be implemented beginning Jan 1, 2017 was postponed for almost two years due to uncertainties in the domestic automotive market.
“Open AP is an import permit facility given by Miti to qualified Bumiputera companies to import reconditioned vehicles for sales in the domestic market. The companies are subjected to the conditions and rules imposed by Miti,” it said in a statement.
The statement was issued following a report by a local automotive website that the government had approved 38 new AP holders.
It also claimed that the new AP holders have already began talking to established AP holders to "buy" their APs as they are not in the car business and instead, just wanted a fee of RM18,000 to RM22,000 each.
Miti added in the statement that 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 will continuously monitor and audit these 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 AP and blacklisting the companies," it said, adding that the blacklist includes every shareholder and board member of the company from submitting any future application on Open AP.
Miti will also take legal action against the company.
The ministry has blacklisted nine existing companies last year for not complying with the conditions.
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 objectives of the new Open AP policy are to promote the development of new Bumiputera entrepreneurs in the automotive industry, to ensure the policy continues to contribute in the country's socio-economic goals and to create market competitiveness that will benefit consumers in terms of prices and services.
Miti issued 28,316 Open APs last year, a 29% increase from 21,947 in 2017.