BY Daniel Lim
With the consent of His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, the Ministry of Finance and Economy (MoFE) is holding roadshows across the nation to disseminate information on the newly implemented Exit and Entry Charges Order, 2020, which will be enforced on August 1.
On Thursday, the first roadshow was held at the Kuala Belait Convention Hall, where mukim penghulus and village heads from the Belait District were briefed on the Order which provides the Controller of Customs and Excise from the Royal Customs and Excise Department the power to charge anyone leaving or entering Brunei Darussalam through the land control posts or checkpoints.
Also present were Legislative Council members Penghulu of Mukim Liang Yang Berhormat Haji Abdul Hamid bin Haji Mumin and Acting Penghulu of Mukim Labi Yang Berhormat Hanapi bin Mohd Siput.
The briefings were delivered by Permanent Secretary (Performance and Corporate) at the MoFE Suraya binti Haji Jaidin; and Acting Controller of Customs and Excise at the Royal Customs and Excise Department Haji Muhsin bin Haji Ahmad.
In an interview, Haji Muhsin said the new charges, known as ‘Caj Perkhidmatan’ (CaP), will affect all control posts across the nation.
“This includes the Sungai Tujoh Control Post, the Kuala Lurah Control Post, the Labu Control Post, the Ujong Jalan Control and Inspection Complex in Temburong,” he said.
“Along with travel documentation valid for three months, and clearance from the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), people who intend to leave or enter Brunei Darussalam will be able to start registering on the Exit and Entry System (EES) ahead of its implementation on August 1,” he said.
ABOVE & BELOW: A panel holds briefing on the new system during the roadshow at Kuala Belait on Thursday; and attendees take a closer look at the new system. PHOTOS: DANIEL LIM
“While the EES is similar to the Vehicle Entry-Exit System (VES) previously implemented by our department, information on the number of passengers in the vehicle – including their personal information such as dates of birth and so on – is one of the many additional entries that registrants will need to take note of.
“With this new system, all drivers, passengers and even pedestrians crossing the border are required to have their details filled in the registration form which is available online through the EES, which will then calculate the amount required to be paid as part of the CaP.
“These charges are currently levied at BND3 per person for each one-way trip, which means that return trips will be double the price, at BND6 per person.” Regarding the methods of payment, Haji Muhsin said, “At the moment, there are three: online by credit or debit card, e-banking and by cash at bank counters nationwide through the code issued with each application through the EES.
“On the implementation of the system, which will replace the previous VES, registration can be made anytime.
Once all the credentials and payments are made, the system will issue a QR code similar to VES that will be used at the control post to leave and enter the country.”
When asked how the QR code would affect people entering the country multiple times, Haji Muhsin said, “The registration can be made multiple times, as the QR codes generated from the system do not have an expiration date.
Other than system errors, there will be no refunds for those who wish to cancel their trips across the border.
The generated QR code can still be used though, as long as all the credentials, along with the information and number of passengers in the vehicle, remain the same.
The Royal Customs and Excise Department will also hopefully prepare counters at control posts across the nation, to assist those experiencing registration and application difficulties with the system.
I hope that members of the public will continue to cooperate with the Royal Customs and Excise Department under the Ministry of Finance and Economy, in understanding the ever-changing current situation.
We have plans to ensure that the system will be conducted as smoothly as possible. We are continuously developing the system, to suit the current requirements and situation, as well as from the feedback that we are receiving,” he said.
-- Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin