Duties on imported vehicles are far too high
May 9, 2002
Letters on the dailygrind
The extremely high duties being charged on cars imported into Guyana puts them out of the reach of the ordinary working Guyanese. The cheapest that you can clear a small family car starts at eight hundred thousand dollars for duty and an added one hundred and seventy thousand dollars for purchase tax, which adds up to a whopping nine hundred and seventy thousand dollars. So before you even start paying the importer for the vehicle, you have to find nine hundred and seventy thousand dollars for the government to allow you to drive the vehicle home.
I visited a Japanese auto dealer's web site at www.japanesevehicles.com and was amazed to see that they were willing to sell you a top of the line Honda Inspire for an amazing low price of only five hundred US dollars, a Toyota land cruiser could be had for twenty two hundred US dollars, just add eleven hundred US dollars more for shipping and amazingly enough you can have that Honda Inspire landed here on our wharves for under two thousand US dollars.
Your dreams are then dashed when the government demands two million five hundred thousand dollars Guyana dollars for you to clear the car.
Guyana Stores Ltd, the official importer of Mazda vehicles into Guyana, sells a pick-up for three million dollars before duty, the government without doing anything but paper work then demands an additional six million dollars for duty and purchase taxes.
In Trinidad, the government charges a flat tax of twenty thousand TT dollars per vehicle and that vehicle is licensed for life.
Would it be too much to ask our government to review the duties that they are demanding for vehicles imported into Guyana. At least consider lowering duties on the smaller sized cars so that our young people can have that dream of owning a vehicle of their own.