New rules for car importers

  • Nation
  • Friday, 16 Dec 2005

PUTRAJAYA: Foreign car importers will now have to pay duties on their vehicles directly to the Customs Department the moment they are brought into the country. 

Previously, importers only had to pay up after the department had checked the prices of the cars, its director-general Datuk Abdul Rahman Abdul Hamid said. 

“On Dec 1, we set up a verification unit where officers are responsible of ensuring that no foreign car is under-declared in value. 

“The importers will pay the duties they estimate to be the value of their cars to the Customs. Then, the unit officers will verify their claims on the spot and look through their declaration forms. If they find that the importers have under-declared, they can either compound or fine them. 

“Previously, the importers only needed to submit the declaration forms to the department. Sometimes, it can take between four and six months for our officers to verify the value of the duties imposed on these cars. By that time, the vehicles could have either been sold or moved elsewhere,” he told reporters here yesterday, 

The department has started a pilot project in Johor Baru. 

The under-declaration of imported cars and Approved Permits for dealerships were in the news after former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad claimed that the problem had caused cheap vehicles to flood the country, affecting sales of Proton cars. 

Dr Mahathir said many importers were under-declaring prices and selling cars at prices lower than the actual value. 

A car importer even had its APs withdrawn after it put the value of its imported vehicles at RM11,000 per unit. 

On another matter, Abdul Rahman said the department seized 3.4kg of ketamine drugs worth RM200,000 from a couple travelling with their year-old child at the KL International Airport on Wednesday night. 

“Our narcotics officers detained the couple while they were checking in for a flight to Taiwan after the man was found to be behaving suspiciously. When we scanned his bags, we found the drugs hidden in a secret compartment,” he said, adding that the couple had been placed under remand.  

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