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July 31, 2008

Vietnam: Tariffs on luxuries, cars, auto parts to rise
The Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade is considering raising import tariffs on cars, gold and other luxury goods to curb the increasing trade deficit, reported state news agency


According to Industry and Trade Deputy Minister Bui Xuan Khu, the import tariff on completed built unit (CBU) cars may rise from the current 83 percent. Import tariffs on car parts and

components may also increase, he said.

The Government earlier this month approved the Ministry of Industry and Trade's proposal to curb inflation by limiting car imports and granting automatic import licenses.

The move is one of a series of government measures to reduce soaring car imports and contain inflation, which reached a 10-year high of 26.9 per cent in June.

Automatic import licences enable the quantities of imported goods to be monitored, ensuring import restrictions are applied as necessary. The ministry can stop imports once they exceed

a set limit.

The country imported 1,700 CBUs last month, down from 3,300 units in May, according to the General Department of Customs.

Vietnam imported 28,000 CBUs last year, up 223 percent since 2006, while the CBU-import value for 2007 reached a record $523 million, up $208 million over 2006.

In the last few months, the Government has introduced a series of trade restrictions to stop rising car imports.

The Ministry of Finance on April 2 raised the import tariff on CBUs from 60 to 70 percent and then again from 70 to 83 percent just a few days later.

Last month the ministry also raised the tariff on auto parts and components to between 5-10 percent. This was the third tariff hike for auto parts and components since April.

There are over 800,000 automobiles in Vietnam , compared to over 20 million motorbikes, according to the Ministry of Transport.

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