New car imports totaled $1 bln in 2011

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Báo Tuổi Trẻ English - 35 month(s) ago 5 readings

New car imports totaled $1 bln in 2011

The country spent more than $1 billion on importing 55,000 new cars in 2011, despite economic difficulties, estimated the General Statistics Office (GSO).

car For illustration only

The figures were up 2.1 percent in volume and 4.2 percent in value against the previous year.

The last month of the year saw 4,000 units worth $64 million imported, up on the previous month when 3,000 units totaling $52 million were brought into the country.

The GSO said that the car market was quieter than in previous years when there was an usual surge in sales ahead of the Lunar New Year.

Industry insiders said that 2011 has been a tough year because the Government issued a series of measures and increased tax on imported cars in a move to restrict imports and curb the national trade deficit.

They added that the tax hike has added thousands of dollars to the cost of each imported car, leading to the year-end slump.

In June, the General Department of Customs set higher minimum tax brackets for hundreds of imported car models. Tax on both new and used cars rose between 2 and 20 percent compared to the end of 2010.

In the same month, the Ministry of Industry and Trade issued Circular 20 which required automobile importers to fulfill extensive procedures to trade vehicles with under 10 seats.

These restrictive procedures included a letter of attorney from manufacturers, contracts legalized by Vietnamese diplomatic offices overseas and auto maintenance certificates granted by the Ministry of Transport.

Import taxes on used cars have also been raised since August. Under the new regulations, used cars with engines of 1.5 liters or more are subject to the same tax rates as new cars of the same model, which range between 77 percent and 83 percent of their total value.

An additional $5,000-15,000 levy is also imposed on used cars, depending on their engine capacity. Previously, used cars were only subject to a fixed import duty, starting at $3,500 per car.

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