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VIAL, Sri Lanka Customs hold joint media conference

Sri Lanka Customs Additional Director General Revenue and Services M. Puviharan said that they have prepared a schedule that will start with used vehicle importation and will be starting on Japanese vehicles as most of the vehicles were imported from Japan.

"We have already prepared a total of 148 models and accordingly we have fixed the value. The values that we have decided are based on the Free On Board (FOB) value for which we add the insurance and freight costs and then arrive at the final valuation and duty and taxes will be calculated based on these figures,"he said at a joint media conference with Vehicle Importers Association of Lanka (VIAL) and Sri Lanka Customs at Customs House.

At the media conference they announced the part implementation of a standardized vehicle valuation system online for imported brand new and reconditioned vehicles.

He said that the base values were arrived at using a list of values that VIAL forwarded and which was accordingly studied by a Customs subcommittee which approved the new valuations.

"This is part of Sri Lanka Customs' e-Customs initiative that looks to convert their entire system to a computerized, paperless system" Addition Director General said.

Puviharan said that the base values were arrived at using a list of values that VIAL forwarded and which was accordingly studied by a Customs subcommittee which approved the new valuations. Director General of Sri Lanka Customs Jagath Wijeweera said that the most important aspect of this new system would be the maintenance of transparency within the department and to avoid the public criticism that the department has had to face in the past.

"I needed to iron out this situation and that is why quite amicably we decide to come to a sort of plateau with the vehicle importers.

This is a win-win situation for both of us and according to the GAT solutions we have to accept the transaction values," Wijeweera said.

It is a very serious thing where we have also agreed to accept the international transaction value of a vehicle but if we accept it as is the Government will lose revenue, he added.

VIAL Co-President K. Deekiriwewa said, there may be a benefit to the end consumer, but it would be at the vehicle importers' discretion alone whether this benefit is passed on. Deekiriwewa said that depends on the seller and if the seller wants to pass that benefit to the consumer, it is optional. We don't want to make unreasonable profits.

If the duty is reasonable and things take place in a smooth manner and if there are no additional costs such as demur-rages and other things, then we can pass on that benefit to the end consumer, Deekiriwewa said.

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