Sri Lanka lifts vehicle importer license fee, each vehicle to be charged

ECONOMYNEXT – SrI Lanka has scrapped an annual 1.5 million rupee license fee from vehicle importers but a fee will be charged from each vehicle cleared as it is cleared from customs, in changes proposed to the country’s Finance Act.

The Motor Vehicle Importers License Fee, introduced in 2015 as part of a series of arbitrary and retrospective taxes that clouded the business environment and helped discourage investment is proposed to be scrapped as part of amendments to be proposed to the country’s Finance Act.

The license fee was seen by critics as a crony-Mercantilist move to limit competition and give privileges to brand new vehicle importers.

The license fee will be scrapped with effect from January 01, 2016.

Also with effect from January 01, 2016, importers are charged a Vehicle Entitlement Levy. Unassembled vehicles are exempt.

The tax is collected at the time an import letter of credit is opened. After the amendment is enacted the tax shall be paid when the vehicles is cleared. A ‘Vehicle entitlement Certificate’ will be issued by customs.

Three-wheelers, tractors and motorcycles will be charge 2,000 rupees, motor cars, cabs and cargo vans 15,000, carriages for disabled persons, whether or not motorized will be charged 10,000 rupees.

Critics the new tax and especially the paper work, went against the promise made by the current administration to reduce the total number of nuisance and other taxes and simplify the tax system and put Sri Lanka on the path to be an advanced nation.

Sri Lanka already charges import duty, excise tax, port levy taxes from imports. (Colombo/Aug16/2018)





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