Ministry seeks to crack down on abuse of car-import rules by overseas Vietnamese

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The Ministry of Finance is seeking to collect taxes on 178 used cars imported recently by overseas Vietnamese as part of its efforts to tighten control over such imports amid suspicion of tax evasion.

In a letter it sent recently to related agencies, the ministry suggested that the cars, impounded at local ports and are ineligible for tax waiver, should be slapped with import duties, special consumption tax, and value added tax.

The ministry is seeking the agencies' consent for it and plans to propose it to the government, online newspaper VnMedia reported Thursday.

Customs agencies have kept back the cars, all produced between 2011 and 2013, after their importers failed to prove they were used assets of overseas Vietnamese who return to settle down in Vietnam, and that the people would use them after the import.

The law allows overseas Vietnamese who move permanently to Vietnam to import their used cars without paying import and value-added taxes.

But in recent years the media has reported that people abuse the regulation to bring in cars, especially luxury ones, without paying the taxes and resell them at a profit.

This has prompted the ministry to tighten oversight.

A draft regulation it unveiled earlier this week requires overseas Vietnamese to report to authorities when transferring imported vehicles to other people and pay all the taxes waived earlier.

The taxes will be imposed at the same rate as on new cars.

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The draft also requires the vehicle to be registered abroad in a country where the importer lived or worked for at least six months and used for at least 10,000 kilometers.

All import procedures must be undertaken by the owner instead of agents.

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