DoC begins study on import of Tesla EV


The Department of Commerce (DoC) has started a study on the import of Tesla cars in Nepal.

After receiving information about the Tesla electric vehicles being imported through an under-invoiced statement, the department has started investigation into the issue. “Recently we got information regarding the import of Tesla Model X and Tesla Model 3 cars through under-invoiced documents. Hence, we have started an internal study on this case,” mentioned Shishir Ghimire, information officer at the DoC.

He further said that the department is collecting documents and other information related to the issue.

On January 29, Shreema Distributors had imported two units of Tesla Model X from South China EXIM Ltd, Hong Kong. However, it has been revealed that the company imported those cars without presenting the authorised distributor certificate from Tesla which was required for import.

The budget for the current fiscal year had introduced a policy whereby anyone could import a vehicle of any brand by paying 30 per cent extra duty, however, Shreema managed to import the aforementioned vehicles before the policy was endorsed.

After a revision in the budget, the excise duty on electric vehicles is based on the rated motor power of the vehicle and not on the battery size or power. Shreema Distributors managed to get the vehicle registered at the Department of Transport Management (DoTM) with ‘help’ from the Supreme Court after a legal battle.

Similarly, ARETE International imported three units of Tesla Model 3 Long Range AWD on November 24 from South China EXIM Ltd by paying 30 per cent extra duty. However, it has been revealed that ARETE had submitted fake information to reduce the custom taxes.

The Tesla Model 3 Long Range AWD is powered by two motors — 147KW at the front wheel and 211KW at the rear wheel. So, the total rated power of the vehicle is 358KW. However, ARETE International only paid for rated power worth 147KW, as per the certificate provided by the DoTM.

As ARETE declared the vehicle’s power to be only 147KW on the papers that it submitted to the government, only 15 per cent excise duty was applicable during its import. However, if the total 358KW power had been declared then the company would have been liable to pay 60 per cent excise duty as per existing law.

Meanwhile, till date there is no after-sales service for Tesla Model 3 vehicle in Nepal. Customers will have to likely send their vehicles to Hong Kong or China for repair or maintenance purposes.

Currently, the price of Tesla Model 3 starts at Rs 6.3 million based on the performance.

The Himalayan Times tried to contact both the companies to get an insight into the issue, however, Shreema could not be contacted and ARETE did not respond.