The new customs duties which have been imposed on brand new Japanese vehicles will undoubtedly deter importers and consumers from purchasing these vehicles, the Vehicle Importers Association of Lanka conferred.

Speaking to The Nation, President of the Association, Indika Sampath Merenchige cited that based on the extraordinary gazette, buyers will now need to pay for the freight charges which are calculated based on the manufacturers’ value of imported vehicle.
“It will undoubtedly deter importers from bringing down vehicles such as Toyota Aqua which will see a price hike between Rs.700,000 – Rs.800,000, Prius by Rs.1.2 million and Premio by Rs.1 million,” he said.

The government has announced the new Customs regulations on imported vehicles through an Extraordinary Gazette Notification No.1933/16 of 22.09.2015. According to the gazette, customs would use a predetermined value in order to apply relevant customs duties.

Meanwhile Minister Ravi Karunanayake addressing a media briefing last week cited that the import duty on vehicles imposed in this year’s budget proposals will be applicable to all vehicles that reach Sri Lankan shores after the presentation of the budget.

The Finance Minister reiterated that the disclosure was in line with the policy of the government to inform traders and importers to avoid criticism made by many over the years that they were not given prior warning.

“We decided to make this announcement as we were subjected to heavy criticism last year and we did not ask anyone not to send any vehicles to Sri Lanka till the budget is presented,” he said