Dealers opposed to 30% import duty on tyres
THE imposition of a 30 per cent import duty on foreign-used tyres is unfair to lower and middle-class vehicle owners who are the main purchasers of foreign-used vehicles and tyres, Visham Babwah, president of the Trinidad and Tobago Automotive Dealers Association, said yesterday.
He said the price-hike would have a big impact.
On Monday, Minister of Finance Larry Howai said in his budget presentation that a proposal will be made by the Ministry of Trade and Industry to the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) for approval for the implementation of the 30 per cent import duty on foreign-used tyres.
Howai said new tyres already attracted a 30 per cent import tax.
However, Babwah said, "I think it is unfair to impose 30 per cent duties on tyres which had no duties on it (before) because they are used tyres. We used to pay only (Value Added Tax) on it and to bring it up to par now with new tyres is unfair because the lower-income persons are the persons who really use a foreign-used tyre. It will create hardships for them."
He said, depending on the size, a tyre would normally sell for $150 to $250. With an additional 30 per cent import duty added, customers will have to pay up to $325 per tyre.
The main users of foreign-used tyres are taxi and maxi drivers, he said.
Babwah said the association did not have a problem with an import duty being implemented, but not 30 per cent.