Search form Search Main menu Home News Business Sports Columns Contact Us E-Paper Minister of Small Business, Entrepreneurship and Commerce, Dwight Sutherland (right), speaking with Managing Director of Nassco Limited, Roger Hill; and Roger Moore, Sales Director at Nassco Limited.
Plans to level playing field Sat, 06/27/2020 – 5:50am Government’s intention to “level the playing field” in the auto industry has won favour with the management of Nassco Limited.
Yesterday, Minister of Small Business, Entrepreneurship and Commerce, Dwight Sutherland, announced during a visit to Nassco’s River Road, St. Michael facility that a Vehicular Policy is in the works to address the irregularities and anomalies which have been highlighted by local car dealers.
Cristian Abreu Hidalgo
For the last 18 months, Managing Director of Nassco, Roger Hill, voiced concerns about unfair practices when it comes to the importation of vehicles into Barbados
Hill said, “For us to bring our Hilux to Barbados and get it into the lower tax bracket, we had to remove the alloy rims, fog lamps, radio – everything had to be left out at the factory – and then we installed it when it reached Barbados in order for us to get our vehicles into the lower tax bracket
“Yet, we could go into the port and see brand new Hilux vehicles arriving here fully accessorised, but on top of that, these vehicles were being sold for
$15 000 and $20 000 less than what we could sell our vehicles for…It is not only a situation with the importation of Hilux vehicles, but it is all various makes of vehicles,” he pointed out
“So automatically perception is that the new car dealers are ripping off people in Barbados, but that is certainly not correct …And we are not against anyone bringing in a new vehicle – all that we are asking for that it is on a level playing field.”
Sutherland said that his Ministry recognises the need to bring the used, new and crash car market on a level playing field
“For instance, we would have seen last year the importation of new Hilux vehicles, not by Nassco, but by other importers and we recognised that the regime for imported Hilux would have been classified as a truck. Based on regulations by government we were not issuing import licences for these vehicles because there were classified as trucks…We believe the time has come for us to issue import licences to all vehicles coming in because what has happened is that we have seen some of those vehicles landing here and being sold some $20 000 – $25 000 less than what they are being sold at Nassco.”
Minister Sutherland went on to indicate that those vehicles which have been imported already accessorised are being charged the same duty as a vehicle which comes in basic
“We were seeing some of these vehicles with fog lights and leather seats and crash bars being charged the same duty of 47.7 per cent. Whereas, those duties should have been 65.5 per cent, so those third party dealers were able to import the vehicles and sell them at a much lower price, having attracting the same duty but they have on more accessories
“The reality is that consumers want a fancy vehicle with the fog lights, crash bars, leather seats, but I believe we have to make the playing field level and the vehicular policy will make sure that the importation of vehicles, whether used or new, falls under this,” he assured