Forest City, the first artificial island to get duty-free status

The Forest City, a mega development on four man-made islands in Iskandar Malaysia, has been accorded duty-free area status since March 6.

This is the first artificial island granted the status in Malaysia compared with the natural islands – Labuan, Langkawi and Tioman.

It is also dubbed South-East Asia’ largest mixed-use green development. The objective of a duty-free area is to encourage trade and tourism in Malaysia.

Labuan, Langkawi and Tioman were declared duty-free islands on Sept 1, 1956, Jan 1, 1987, and, Sept 1, 2002 respectively.

The three duty-free islands have been placed under different Customs Acts but it has yet to be established which Act the Forest City would be governed.

A check on the Customs Department’s website showed that all goods at a duty-free island are duty-exempt except petroleum and petroleum-manufactured products.

However, all types of motorised transportation are dutiable at Tioman. For Langkawi, cement, marble, rubber and anchovies brought to the island from outside Malaysia will be dutied.

According to chief executive officer of Country Garden Holdings Co Ltd, Mo Bin, the first duty-free shopping mall will be ready by year-end at the Fisherman's Wharf on Island 1 of Forest City. The developer said the mall would have a wide range of leading international brands and products.

Potential buyers are talking about buying condominiums and high-rise coastal residences offered at the island. – Bernama