RSP lawmaker Gautam proposes 20-year ban on sale, registration of vehicles imported under customs duty exemption

Published On: April 11, 2024 06:00 PM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, April 11: Rastriya Swatantra Party (RSP) Member of Parliament (MP) Sobita Gautam has proposed not to allow the sale and registration of vehicles imported under customs duty exemption for 20 years.

She proposed including such a provision in the Customs Act Amendment Bill.

She proposed that a provision be made to pay the full customs duty if someone sells, transfers or changes the ownership of the vehicle imported under a customs duty discount.

The amendment proposed by MP Gautam reads, "Buses and transport vehicles imported under customs exemption, if sold, transferred, or changed ownership before reaching 20 years of age, shall be subject to full customs duty as per the prevailing law."

Section 24 of the proposed bill outlines provisions related to facilitating industries established in special economic zones, including a one-time discount on customs duty for limited vehicles.It is stated in Section 24 (1) of the bill, "One bus imported in the name of the industry for transporting its workers and employees and two transport vehicles for transporting goods will be charged a one-time customs duty of only 1 percent, with the remainder of the duty exempted."

There is a provision that the vehicles bought under customs exemption cannot be sold in any way for 10 years. MP Gautam's amendment proposal seeks to extend this period to 20 years, with full duty charges imposed if any such action is taken before the specified duration.

Punya Bikram Khadka, the information officer at the Department of Customs, explains that there exists a current provision allowing discounts on vehicles designated for transporting agricultural products. This provision entails a tax exemption system for vehicles engaged in transporting milk, other agricultural products, ambulances, and similar items, all based on the recommendations provided by the relevant local authorities.

Educational institutions receive exemptions on customs duty for up to two buses, the quantity depending on the student enrollment.

For Nepali projects undertaken with foreign contractors, vehicles are exempted from customs duty if stipulated to be returned upon project completion or transferred to the relevant authority of Nepal.

Khadka also highlighted a provision for vehicle discounts when registering a company in the tourism and hotel industry. In such cases, customs duty is waived upon vehicle import. However, the imported vehicles cannot be sold, registered, or its ownership transferred for a specific duration due to the customs duty exemption. Information Officer Khadka clarified, "Except in the event of the relevant right holder's demise, there is a regulation specifying that sales, registration, and rights transfer cannot occur for either seven or ten years, as outlined in the legislation.”

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