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Group questions effectiveness of additional cost on car imports
This after automotive firms Toyota Motor Philippines and Isuzu Philippines announced the collection of deposit for the safeguard duties from customers.
AFP/Pornchai Kittiwongsakul

Group questions effectiveness of additional cost on car imports

Louella Desiderio (The Philippine Star) - February 28, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Consumer advocacy group Laban Konsyumer Inc. (LKI) is questioning the effectiveness of the provisional safeguard measures on passenger car (PC) and light commercial vehicle (LCV) imports.

This after automotive firms Toyota Motor Philippines and Isuzu Philippines announced the collection of deposit for the safeguard duties from customers.

In a statement, LKI president Vic Dimagiba expressed concern over how the government would monitor the implementation of the provisional safeguard measure as an effective deterrent to imports.

He said the recent announcement of automotive firms to require a deposit for the provisional safeguard duties from customers buying imported vehicles is not a reasonable and fair application of the law as the consumer is penalized by having to shell out more.

“It is good to buy local products since consumers can help save local jobs. On the other hand, the consumers who choose to buy imported vehicles also deserve to be protected since it is a fundamental right of consumers to choose and decide which kind of vehicle to buy,” Dimagiba said.

Unless the car dealers absorb the safeguard duty or the law is amended to provide that the safeguard duty should not be added to the price of the imported goods, he said the consumers would be at a disadvantage.

In particular, a P78,400 deposit inclusive of value-added tax (VAT) would be collected from customers buying any of the following Toyota PCs starting March: the 86, Yaris, Wigo, Rav4, Rush, Avanza, Camry G, FJ Cruiser, Corolla Altis, Corolla Cross, and Fortuner V and G.

For Toyota LCVs such as the Hilux, Hilux cab and chassis, and Hiace cargo, a deposit amounting to P123,200 inclusive of VAT would be collected.

Meanwhile, IPC will be collecting P78,400 from customers making mu-X purchases, and P123,200 from those opting for the D-MAX by March.

The deposit is being collected as the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) imposed provisional safeguard duties amounting to P70,000 on certain imported PCs and P110,000 on some LCVs brought in from overseas.

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