T&T Automotive Dealers' Assoc. pleased with extension
The Trinidad and Tobago Automotive Dealers' Association (TTADA) said it is pleased with government's decision to postpone the removal of tax breaks on imported private vehicles until the end of the year.
Speaking with Loop News, TTADA president Visham Babwah said they are happy with the measure and said they have submitted several recommendations to the Minister of Trade, Paula Gopee-Scoon, which they hope will be taken into consideration:
‘The executive and members of TTADA are very happy with the news, that the date has been pushed back, as that was the original date that we purchased cars under [as per legislation].'
‘We’re extremely happy and we would like to thank the Prime Minister and the Minister of Trade and Industry who we have been in contact with. We are happy for their timely intervention in this matter. If they had not intervened this would have been very disastrous for car dealers and the customers who paid for their cars.'
'We were also asked by the Prime Minister and Minister of Trade to submit our recommendations for the other changes they wanted to implement which was the reduction of the importation quota and the change the permissible age [of imported vehicles]. We’ve sent suggestions and we hope, as with this, they take our suggestions into consideration.'
Babwah said they hope that the data has shown that the foreign used car industry's quota, being heavily regulated, does not constitute the majority of cars on the road:
'We hope they realise that we are not to blame for all the ills regarding the importation of vehicles. Statistics have shown that used car dealers imported far less than 10,000 cars compared to personal importers. We think they need to take careful consideration of this. We pay all of our taxes and we are heavily regulated, so we hope that they take serious deliberations before taking a decision.'
He said his association would be meeting with the Minister 'very soon' to discuss these matters.
The Ministry of Finance announced today that a planned removal of tax concessions on private car imports would take effect on December 31, instead of October 20 as was previously proposed.
Government also plans to cut the importation of used vehicles by 30 per cent, as well as reducing the age of imported vehicles to three years.