Car imports accelerate in Vietnam after two-month crash

By Ngan Anh   March 20, 2018 | 10:21 pm PT
Car imports accelerate in Vietnam after two-month crash
Foreign auto makers managed to obtain documentation required by a new law to reopen car exports into the country. Photo by VnExpress
Foreign manufacturers have started to get their heads around new regulations issued by Vietnam at the start of the year.

Vietnam’s car imports have rebounded this month thanks to efforts made by foreign auto makers to obtain the documents required by a new law to ship their vehicles to the country.

341 cars with less than 9 seats with a value of more than $8 million were imported between March 9-15, according to the General Department of Vietnam Customs. The number is much higher than the 30 vehicles with less than 9 seats imported in the first two months of 2018.

In total, the country imported 388 completely built units (CBUs) worth $10.6 million in the second week of March.

Earlier this month, around 2,000 Honda Motor passenger cars arrived in Vietnam from Thailand. The cars are the first batch of foreign-made autos to undergo the new checks introduced at the start of the year.

Honda has obtained quality certificates from Thai authorities, and the Vietnamese government has apparently accepted the documents.

Ford, Suzuki and Toyota have also been trying to obtain the documentation required by local authorities to import cars from Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia.

Local media quoted a representative of Toyota Vietnam as saying that Toyota cars from Thailand are expected to arrive in Vietnam in June, and another shipment from Indonesia in August.

The Indonesian government is planning to change the vehicle type approval (VTA) certificates it issues in an effort to reopen automotive exports to Vietnam.

"With the VTA adjustment, Indonesian automotive exports are expected to return to the country," the Jakarta Post quoted the Indonesian Trade Ministry's international trade director general, Oke Nuwan, as saying.

“The government will convey the change in the VTA certificate to the Vietnamese government to get an immediate response. Hopefully, there will soon be automotive exports to Vietnam,” said Oke.

A new decree issued by Vietnam designed to protect its own developing automotive industry forced Indonesia to stop exports of completely built-up (CBU) vehicles to the country this month, according to the Jakarta Post.

The decree stipulates that traders are only permitted to import automobiles if they can provide valid vehicle registration certificates issued by authorities from the countries of origin.

Original quality control certificates for each vehicle and letters of authorization regarding recalls of defective vehicles from the manufacturers are also required, along with copies of quality assurance certificates provided by the countries of origin.

The Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade claims the regulation will protect consumers and create fair competition between local auto assemblers and CBU importers.

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