Financial Tribune- The government has finally allowed the clearance of imported cars rotting in the customs. It issued a long-awaited directive outlining conditions under which the cars can be released and says the new rules for elevated tariffs are retroactive.
Since auto import rules were suspended in June 2017, the online auto import registration website locally known as Sabtaresh was shut down by authorities along with the mandatory order registry, Donya-e Eqtesad reported.
Law has it that after receiving import permits from the Ministry of Industries importers are required to make an online registration with the Trade Promotion Organization for importing every single vehicle.
The government announced the new auto import rules in January increasing import tariffs for gasoline-fueled and hybrid cars and banned vehicles costing more than $40,000 from entry.
This is while large numbers of cars had already been imported and waiting customs clearance before the government issued the new rules.
For the cars to be released, the government has required importers to pay the much higher tariffs announced in January.
The new rule has increased import tariffs for cars with engine capacity less than1500cc to 55%. Cars with engines of 1501 to 2000cc are subject to 75% tariff. Vehicles with engine capacities of 2001 to 2500cc must pay 95% tariff. Furthermore, tariffs on imported hybrid cars, which previously paid 5% tariff, have been now been raised by 15-65%.
Now importers wanting to get the cars out of the customs must pay the new custom duties.
Another issue is the fate of vehicles priced above $40,000 that are now banned but were imported before the latest restrictions were announced. These vehicles can be cleared from customs only if the customs warehouse receipt has been issued.
Other conditions such as having an official sales office and after-sales services are a given simply because all car importers are required to comply with procedures enshrined in the auto import rules.