BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN – The government has pushed back the enforcement of entry and exit fees for land border crossings to October 1, 2020.

The Ministry of Finance and Economy (MoFE) earlier this month announced that the Exit and Entry Charges Order 2020 would take effect on August 1, 2020.

His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah has given his consent to postpone the new regulations, MoFE said in a statement on Thursday.

Motorists will be required to pay toll charges at Rasau Bridge in the Belait district until the new rules kick in.

The new $3 charges per journey will apply to all land border arrivals and departing passengers, except occupants of government-owned vehicles that are used for official purposes, emergency vehicles, hearses or vehicles used for funerals.

Diplomats, consular officers, children aged two and below as well as civil servants who are on official duties will also be exempted from the levy.

No reason was given on the two-month postponement of introducing the entry and exit fees.

MoFE previously said the new charges were meant to standardise payments that are imposed on anyone leaving or entering Brunei via air and sea.

According to Malaysian reports, residents of Sarawak’s Limbang and Miri had lamented that the fees are “exorbitant” as they need to bypass the sultanate as part of their work commute to Lawas.

Limbang is geographically placed between two parts of Brunei, with commuters required to pass through multiple land checkpoints to Miri and Lawas.

Brunei is a lucrative market for Malaysia as the latter reported $1.16 billion in tourism receipts from Bruneians last year.

Since March, Brunei’s borders remain closed for non-essential travel despite registering zero new coronavirus cases for 84 days.

Members of the public who have received government clearance to enter or leave Brunei via land checkpoints may register and submit their applications to the Royal Customs and Excise Department through the Exit and Entry System (EES) prior to their travel.

Enquiries on the entry and exit levy can be directed to the Royal Customs and Excise Department at 2382361 or 8323741 during office hours, or e-mail info@customs.gov.bn.