Exhorbitant Customs charges on imported vehicles
Editor: Greetings to one and all at the beginning of another year, 2022. It is my prayer that we would have a very productive year. Of course we know that there would be challenges, but with the help of the Lord we will overcome the many challenges.
As production and employment increases and as persons and businesses seek to advance themselves, a motor vehicle becomes a necessity. They serve both private and public needs. However, the cost to clear a vehicle at the Customs is far too high to put it mildly. The cost of parts and other items is also very expensive to clear. It is killing the working class, businesses and other public servants.
How in God’s name you are telling the Customs charges some 172% of the total cost of the vehicle plus the shipping. Imagine paying approximately EC$20, 000.00 to import a vehicle, when it arrives the person has to pay approximately EC$35,000.00 at the Customs to clear the vehicle. This to me is far too high and is bordering on ripping off poor people who are trying to be independent and advance themselves.
I pity a civil servant or any public worker who takes a mortgage and later on a car loan of that magnitude or even smaller. I tell you, those individuals would be struggling financially to make ends meet and to pay the bills.
The strange thing is that such persons are seen as having money and so they are not categorized as poor when in fact they may be struggling much more than those who have not. Added to all the above is the regular rise in fuel. Indeed I tell you just now we might have to resort to riding donkeys, for the cost of purchasing a good dependable vehicle is high and the cost of maintenance is also high.
I, therefore urge the Minister of Finance to seriously consider reducing the charges at Customs for it is very difficult for both private and public vehicles to operate. The cost of purchasing, fuels and maintenance parts are killing vehicle owners. Thank you.