Ministry Puts Stranglehold on New Pick-Up and Van Imports

The Ministry of Com­merce has tight­ened their rules and regulations for importing commercial vehicles, spe­cifically pick-ups and vans with engines under 660 cc and weighing less than a ton.

In June 2016, the Minis­try of Commerce restrict­ed Myanmar distributors from importing a range of commercial vehicles three times per month to only one per month. The list included mini-light trucks, light trucks, mini buses, city buses, pick-ups and vans.

Starting August 4, im­porters and distributors will have to apply for a “Import Declaration Form” to import new pick-ups and vans. Appli­cations take a minimum of 45 days.

Why would anyone put a stranglehold on vehicle import in a country so desperate for improved public transportation and vehicles that can pass emission standards?

U Yan Myo Aung, Vice- Chairman of Myanmar Automobile Manufactur­ers and Distributors As­sociation (MAMDA), told Myanmar Business Today that its to encourage local manufacturing while reducing traffic in Yangon city.

“The rule is designed to impact small-scale dis­tributors who when de­nied an already limited supply, will have to to raise prices and sell less pick-ups and vans, and are thus disincentivized from importing more. Larger operations like Mazda and BMW will be unaffected,” U Yan Myo Aung said.

The authorities further surmise that by cutting off imports, they will reduce traffic jams in Yangon city. While this attempt is worthwhile, restricting the free flow of new vehi­cle imports won’t address the thousands of unregu­lated Japanese Proboxes cruising idly down Yan­gon streets


Source: Myanmar Business Today

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