More than 1,000 new vehicles stranded

Birgunj, October 9

Due to delay on the part of Nepali importers in clearing revenue, 1,050 vehicles of various brands imported from India are stranded in Birgunj.

The vehicles, mostly cars of well-known companies such as Hyundai, Maruti Suzuki, Tata, Toyota, Mercedes, are awaiting customs clearance at Birgunj customs, Integrated Check Post yard and Shrirsiya dry port.

Sources have said there are around 700 such vehicles in Birgunj customs alone, while 300 and 50 are stranded in the ICP and the dry port respectively.

“As the revenue on such vehicles is huge, importers and sellers take time, in some cases up to three weeks, to receive the vehicles by completing the necessary process of clearance,” said Birgunj Customs Information Officer Santosh Yadav, adding that the more luxurious a vehicle is the more amount has to be paid in excise duty and customs clearance fees.

Meanwhile, the import of vehicles doesn’t seem to go down despite the government’s decision to hike the revenue for import of vehicles above 1000cc. As per the current provision, 80 per cent customs fees, 60 per cent excise duty and 13 per cent value added tax are levied on the purchase price of vehicles.

As per data, the number of luxurious vehicles imported via Birgunj entry point in the first three months of this fiscal increased significantly from last year. The upcoming festive season in Nepal has been a further fillip for the increase in import of vehicles of late.

According to Ashish Chaudhary, marketing head, at Mangalam Enterprises, the authorised dealer for Maruti Suzuki in Birgunj, they are due to  bring in a total of 1,200 cars between mid-September and mid-October. “Of the target import, around 700 have already been brought,” he said.

The increased import of vehicles has, however, been positive news for the customs points, which have witnessed a significant collection in revenue. Birgunj customs has so far collected 65.87 per cent of its revenue against its target collection of Rs12.01 billion.