Com­merce min­istry says car CIF prices to be pub­lished this month

The Myanmar Times - - Business - AYE NYEIN WIN ayenyein­win@mm­times.com

NEW cost in­sur­ance freight (CIF) rates for ve­hi­cle im­ports will be an­nounced soon, the Min­istry of Com­merce has said. Ve­hi­cle im­porters have cau­tiously welcomed the state­ment, say­ing the ear­lier the rate is an­nounced, the eas­ier it is to do busi­ness.

How­ever, some deal­ers voiced scep­ti­cism about the an­nounce­ment.

Since the govern­ment al­lowed mass ve­hi­cle im­ports in 2011, the CIF rate has nor­mally been an­nounced each Novem­ber.

Last year, how­ever, it was put off un­til Fe­bru­ary 2016, arous­ing con­cern among sales cen­tres and im­porters.

“If the govern­ment an­nounces [the CIF] early, sell­ers and cus­tomers can pre­pare for the new rate. For last year, the govern­ment an­nounced only this Fe­bru­ary, so that was when we ap­plied for per­mits,” said U Min Min Maung, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of Wun Yan Kha cen­tre.

CIF price val­ues are used to cal­cu­late the tax levied on car im­ports, de­pend­ing on the model. While some in­dus­try ex­perts see no need for CIF, oth­ers be­lieve it sets an in­dus­try-wide stan­dard that helps equalise prices for all sales cen­tres.

“We still don’t know when the Cus­toms Depart­ment will an­nounce the CIF price. But that price should be set ev­ery year equally for all sales cen­tres, or the same model of car could be sold at dif­fer­ent prices, which could be a source of cor­rup­tion. If we have a fixed rate, all sales cen­tres can agree on a price,” said U Min Min Maung.

Last year’s late an­nounce­ment of the CIF price is blamed in some quar­ters for a slow­down in car im­ports, and con­se­quent dif­fi­cul­ties for sales cen­tres. How­ever, shift­ing govern­ment reg­u­la­tion aimed at mak­ing the im­port of brand new ve­hi­cles more dif­fi­cult has also contributed to a slower mar­ket.

‘That price should be set ev­ery year equally for all sales cen­tres.’ U Min Min Maung Wun Yan Kha sales cen­tre

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