Vietnam ministry to restrict car imports: report

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The Ministry of Industry and Trade plans to tighten control over car imports by setting stricter regulations as a measure to reduce trade deficit, a local new service reported Saturday.

The import of new cars with less than 16 seats accounted for a large part in the country’s trade deficit and these need to be restricted, the VnExpress newswire reported the ministry as saying.

According to the ministry’s proposal, imported cars would only be allowed into the country via five major seaports â€" Cai Lan, Quang Ninh, Hai Phong, Da Nang, Ho Chi Minh City and Ba Ria-Vung Tau. They would also have to pass quality tests by the authorities, which is currently a requirement for only for used cars.

The General Customs Department late last year also asked its local branches nationwide to monitor car imports more closely. Car imports in January fell to only 2,400 units, only half the usual figure. Policy makers, however, feel this is not sufficient, according to VnExpress.

The government has been trying to narrow the country’s trade gap, which was recorded at US$1.9 billion in December last year.

Exports in the first two months reached $8.7 billion, down 2.2 percent from the same period a year earlier. Imports on the other hand rose 35.7 percent to $10.3 billion.

Source: Thanh Nien

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