Car Importation Policy to Be Issued by Year End

The government will issue a general car importation policy within the year to put an end to the current confusion in the industry, Commerce Minister U Than Myint told The Myanmar Times.

At present, there are several policies related to car importation. This has created confusion among the “legitimate vehicle importers” and the government will seek to clarify the policy, he said.

In Yangon, for example, licenses for importing cars are still suspended. This suspension has lasted over a year.

Yangon Chief Minister U Phyo Min Thein said that the government will move on to sort out the license issues after upgrading the Yangon Bus Service (YBS).

The Yangon regional government has upgraded public buses under the new YBS. The YBS will be reaching its six-month marker in July but the Yangon chief minister is still unable to deliver a clear, defined policy concerning Yangon license permits needed for car importation.

Under the present administration, the practice in the past was to show parking recommendation letter proving that the importers have enough space to park at their home.

But on April 2016, the Yangon regional government had suspended parking recommendation letters for those with Yangon licenses.

“For Yangon licenses, the central government can’t make a decision.

“The issue is a matter for the regional government and they instructed that they would not allow importation for now.

“If the regional government said that it is ready to allow importation, we are ready to give permission,” said minister U Than Myint.

But traffic congestion has not decreased that much since the suspension of car importation in the commercial capital because cars bearing license plates from other states and regions have begun operating on Yangon’s roads. It turned out that many of these cars from other states are owned by Yangon residents.

“As far as I know, car importing has decreased a little because some are afraid that we will not allow these newly imported vehicles to run other states, especially in Yangon,” said U Than Myint.

The number of cars in Myanmar is rather low compared with other ASEAN countries. But most of the cars are want to run in Yangon.

“In other regions, there are only a few importers who want to import cars. This speaks a lot about the economic situation of our country. We hope to come up with a systematic policy by the end of 2017,” he added.

After one year of suspension, brand new car showrooms are not willing to wait any longer because they are left with the cars to sell.

Rumours came out that the ministry would allow individual importation with Yangon license to some showrooms, but not for all. The ministry denied the rumours.

“We only allow the importers to buy with the slip and this policy can’t increase the number of cars.

“This is because the slip only replaces the old vehicle,” said a deputy director general from trade department under Ministry of Commerce.

But so far there is no discussion between Yangon’s regional government and the Ministry of Commerce regarding car imports in the city.

 

Source: The Myanmar Times

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