SHARLENE RAMPERSAD

From October 20th, all tax concessions from the importation of foreign used and new cars will be removed.

This, from Finance Minister Colm Imbert, who presented his 2020/2021 budget in the Parliament on Monday.

Imbert said every year, US$400Million is spent on the importation of 25,000 cars.

“We are rationalizing the new and used markets for the importation of new and used vehicles, with close to one million vehicles, there are simply too many cars on the road in Trinidad today,” Imbert said.

He said about two-thirds of the imports are private vehicles.

“To correct this unsustainable situation and suppress demand, as opposed to an outright prohibition, we propose to remove all tax concessions on the importation of private motor cars. All private motor cars will now attract customs duty, motor vehicle tax and value-added tax, with the lowest rate on duties and tax being imposed on hybrid cars, electric cars, CNG cars and small engine cars below 1500 CCs to encourage their use,” he said.

The Finance Minister said concessions will remain in place for commercial, industrial and public transport vehicles.

Imbert said come January 2021, the age for import of foreign used vehicles will be reduced to three years and the quota for the number of foreign used vehicles imported will be reduced by 30 per cent.

He said a quota system will also be put in place for new vehicles.