H1 car imports slow down to a crawl in Vietnam

By Minh Thuy   July 12, 2018 | 02:56 pm GMT+7
H1 car imports slow down to a crawl in Vietnam
Long lines of cars on Hanoi roads during rush hour are the new norm in the capital as more people ditch motorbikes for the four wheeler. Photo by VnExpress/Ngoc Thanh

Tough regulations have slowed down car imports, advancing the government’s aim of a more level playing field between importers and local assemblers.

More than 126,000 autos were sold in Vietnam in the first half of the year, 106,600 of them locally assembled and over 19,000 imported ones.

The Vietnam Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (VAMA) says that sales of locally assembled cars increased 10 percent over the same period last year, while that of imported cars plunged 49 percent.

As a whole, sales were down 2 percent over H1 in 2017, VAMA said.

It noted that the decline in sales of imported cars was mainly because of a government decree that took effect this year, setting tough conditions for car imports.

The decree stipulates that traders will only be 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 be required, along with copies of quality assurance certificates provided by the countries of origin.

The regulation also requires importers to have one car from each batch shipped to Vietnam to go through emissions and safety tests.

The decree was met with strong opposition from importers who said that it cost them more time and money, but the Ministry of Industry and Trade countered it by saying the new rules would protect consumers and facilitate fair competition.

However, in March this year, the government removed the condition for local testing of autos, and June auto imports saw a 45.6 percent surge dominated by Thailand.

 
 
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