Used-car import ban takes effect Dec 10

Imports of second-hand vehicles will no longer be allowed after Dec 9 this year as authorities step up curbs on fraud, irregularities, corruption and pollution, according to the Commerce Ministry.

Currently, people can bring in used cars from abroad but they have to apply for import permits from the ministry first.

The ministerial order on the ban, published in the Royal Gazette on June 13, takes effect 180 days later, or on Dec 10.

The change aims to address evasion of control measures, fraud and document forgery. Other reasons are to simplify procedures, mitigate dirt pollution and improve road safety.

Adul Chotinisakorn, director-general of the ministry’s Foreign Trade Department, told Thai media on Tuesday the ministry’s announcement classifying used vehicles as prohibited goods whose imports must be approved first would take effect soon.

For imports of other types of second-hand vehicles, the ministry will transfer the approving mandate to other related agencies.

He said people seeking to briung in used vehicles from abroad must import them by Dec 9. “If all papers are in order, the department will take no more than 25 days to make the decisions.”

He said an importer had to obtain a permit before bringing the vehicle into the country and the permit would be good only until Dec 9.

Currently, second-hand vehicles are goods subjected to the ministry’s import control, a senior ministerial official said in late February.

Of the personal car category, 95% are luxury ones and only 100 sought permission to import them.

The ministry estimates at least 1,000 second-hand cars are smuggled or imported as parts to be reassembled in the country each year. Besides, the vehicles usually involve criminal activities such as drugs and money-laundering.


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