Blitz on sales of ex-diplomat cars
HA NOI (VNS)– Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai has asked ministries of finance and public security to review the sales of former foreign diplomatic cars to non-diplomats in Viet Nam.
Hai also asked ministries to review their management of cars with diplomatic number plates and their use.
The Ministry of Finance must report to the Prime Minister the regulation on temporary importation, exportation, transfer and writing off of automobiles and motorbikes that were initially tax free for the use of people working for diplomatic agencies in Viet Nam. Between 1998 to late August 2009, 4,366 cars were imported into Viet Nam by diplomatic agencies, reported the Ministry of Finance.
Of them, 230 cars had been exported and 1,758 had been transferred or written off. Of the remaining 2,378 cars, some 1,158 were said to have been misused and thus were subject to tax arrears collection.
Under the current regulations, the owners of the 1,158 cars would have to pay tax arrears and fines. Such diplomatic cars were first owned by foreign diplomats who then sold them to Vietnamese people after the diplomats' tenures ended in Viet Nam.
Deputy Minister of Finance Do Hoang Anh Tuan said such cars would also be subject to the special consumption tax and valued-added tax, with the total arrears estimated to be VND40-50 billion (US$1.9-2.3 million).
Under regulations, a foreign diplomat is permitted to temporarily import a car for use during his or her term in Viet Nam without paying taxes or fees.
Police in the northern province of Phu Tho have seized 25 diplomatic cars since April this year and will auction 11 of them. The cars bought by Vietnamese people included luxury brands like Bentley, Audi Q7, Lexus, Porsche, Mercedes Benz, Acura, Infinity and BMW. — VNS