Sri Lankans warned against buying mis-declared Audi A5s

ECONOMYNEXT – The Ceylon Motor Traders Association, representing Sri Lankan agents of international automotive manufactures, has warned against buying Audi A5 cars it says were imported with mis-declared engine size, with 160 million rupees duty loss to government.

The Ceylon Motor Traders’ Association (CMTA) called for action against the importer of these vehicles and customs officers who released them.

The CMTA said Customs were questioning the authority of the local agent for Audi motor vehicles to provide information on the cars’ engine size.

A statement said the association was recently contacted and informed that 13 Audi A5 cars have been imported with their 2,000 CC petrol engines declared as 1,400 CC.

“This mis-declaration results in an approximate duty loss to the Government of Sri Lanka of 160 million rupees and the loss of revenue per vehicle is approximately 12.3 million rupees,” the statement said.

“The association along with the Vehicle Importers Association of Sri Lanka (VIASL) brought this anomaly to the notice of the Director General of Sri Lanka Customs on the September 30, 2019 where the issue and anomaly was clearly articulated to all present.”

The association also wrote to the Minister of Finance regarding the issue with a copy to Secretary to the Treasury and Director General of customs.

“Whilst we have not received a response to our letter, the Sri Lanka Customs have visited the local agent for Audi, who have showed them proof, on a Audi computer database that confirms the specification of the vehicles imported were not as declared,” the CMTA said.

“The Sri Lanka Customs is questioning the authority of the local agent for Audi motor vehicles to provide this information. The local agent has subsequently reconfirmed the information of 13 such units to Sri Lanka Customs in writing.

“The CMTA wishes to inform the public to be wary of purchasing the vehicles that are under investigation, because they could be seized by the Customs at any time.”

The Association said it also “appeals to the Sri Lanka Customs and the Ministry of Finance, to take the stronger action possible on the importer of the vehicles, and also on the customs officers who released them fraudulently or carelessly.”
(COLOMBO, 18 November 2019)