JIS News

Minister without Portfolio in the Office of the Prime Minister with responsibility for Information and Telecommunications, Hon. Daryl Vaz, has clarified that the reduction of the Special Consumption Tax (SCT) on motor vehicle imports will only apply to new and used vehicles already in the island.
The Minister had announced the motor vehicle stimulus package for automotive dealers during last week’s post-Cabinet press briefing at Jamaica House, where he informed that SCT on imports would be reduced by as much as 35 per cent, effective September 10.
Speaking with JIS News yesterday (Sept. 15), Minister Vaz said this reduction in SCT does not apply to vehicles imported after the introduction of the new rates on the specified date.
“It may have been misinterpreted as vehicles that would have been able to get the same reductions – that is not so. So the applicable duties on all cars coming in after last week Thursday would continue with the regular duty regime,” he stated.
He noted that figures show that there are about 4,000 vehicles currently in the island “and as such, what we need to do is try and get these vehicles sold so that the dealers can restock themselves with 2010 vehicles, which are due out in a short time.”
The Minister reiterated that public sector employees, who qualify for the Government’s 20 per cent concession on vehicle imports, will also benefit from the removal of the 3000 (gas) and 3. 2 (diesel) CC rating limitation.
“That will be removed until March next year, based again on the vehicles that are here currently in stock and the U-drive (cars) that service the tourism industry, which only paid 30 per cent duty, the rate will be reduced to 15 per cent and again that will be applicable to vehicles that are in the island,” he said.
Minister Vaz reiterated that the decision to reduce the rates was prompted by a 60 per cent decline in the sale of new and used cars. He said this affected Government’s revenues, resulting in a fall-off of about $1.6 billion.
“Basically, what we are hoping is to clear the stock that is there, which we would not have gotten the revenue as quickly as we will get it now…hopefully, it will allow people to be able to purchase cars quicker than they would have normally, due to this window of opportunity,” he stated.
The new rates will remain in effect until March 31, 2010, at which time they will be revised.

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