New self-assessment system for car imports to apply from 2018 onwards

Customs will practice a new car importing system under which import valuations for cars will change this year. As such, car importers should ensure they are clear about the new system, said U Soe Tun, chair of Myanmar Automobile Manufacturers and Distributors Association (MAMDA).

Up until 2017, imported car prices were based on the Cost, Insurance and Freight (CIF) price set by the Ministry of Commerce before the cars were purchased. As such, importers were able to calculate the amount of taxes due before importing the vehicle. That system will change this year in accordance with regulation set by the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

From this year onwards, the Customs Department will be imposing taxes based on the original price of the vehicles only after the vehicles have arrived in Myanmar, U Soe Tun said at a meeting held by the MAMDA and the Customs Department with car import businesses to explain the new system.

“The importer must now declare the original price of the vehicle and calculate the amount of taxes they should pay under this self-assessment system. In fact, many countries have been practicing this system since 1995 in accordance with the WTO. Myanmar is starting now as the government has also agreed to the terms set by the WTO. We should try to practice this new system to catch up with other countries,” said U Tin Maung Tun, assistant director from the Customs Department.

“In my opinion, problems may arise as we transition from the old system to the new one. Some may under declare the price of the cars to obtain lower taxes. As such, importers must be honest in declaring the original prices of the cars,” said U Soe Tun.

He added that Customs will be checking documents such as invoices so that taxes can efficiently and clearly imposed. “My advice is for importers to cooperate with the government and declare the real price,” he said.

The new system will apply to car imports made from January 1, 2018 onwards. ‘’As far as I know, no one has applied for the individual importing license under the new system since January 1 up to now. This could be because of the new car importing policy under which only left-hand-drive vehicle imports will be allowed. In addition, only car models made in certain years can be imported under the new policy. So importers are waiting the time because they don’t know how is the situation will become,” said U Soe Tun.

Meanwhile, the Yangon Regional Government is considering issuing Yangon licenses for individual importing by April 2018 after it suspended the practice for the past two years to control traffic congestion.

Source : Myanmar Times

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