Commerce ministry says car CIF prices to be published this month
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