60% vehicle shipments cleared from port
By YOHAN PERERA
Apr 23, 2012

Nearly 60 percent of the vehicle consignments that were stuck in the port since the recesnt increase in taxes, have now been cleared by the owners, the Sri Lanka Vehicle Importers Association said yesterday

The associationís President Yoga Perera told the Daily Mirror that most of the importers had cleared their consignments after the assurance given to them by President Mahinda Rajapaksa that laws would be relaxed. President Rajapaksa agreed to relax the law and allow importation of commercial vehicles that are up to four years old and other vehicles which are up to two years old.

Mr. Perera said consignments were cleared as most of the importers did not have to pay extra duties as a result of this relaxation. Besides he said the extra fees which the importers had to pay for delayed clearance was another reason for the clearance. Approximately 85 percent of vehicle consignments that have been imported prior to the recent tax revision are stuck in the port as the importers could not afford to pay the increased duties.

Under the recent revision of taxes the import duty on cars went up from 120-291% to 200-350%; on threewheelers, it has gone up from 5161% to 100%, and on motorbikes, from 61% to 100% . The increase had resulted in the price of 1000cc vehicles such as Toyota Delta going up by approximately by Rs. 1 - Rs 1.2 million. Vehicles with 1500cc engine capacity such as Corolla and Toyota Premio soared by Rs. 1.8 million and the price of high end vehicles such as Montero and Prado by an amount ranging from Rs. 3 to Rs 3.5 million. In addition he said the price of other vehicles such as Maruti and even three wheelers would go up in price.

However, according to the Vehicles Importers Association the duties which the importers have to pay would be less with the governmentís decision to allow importation of old vehicles as they would cost less.

Source: Daily Mirror - Sri Lanka