WINDHOEK - Cabinet has approved the proposal by the Ministry of Finance to auction impounded illicit second-hand vehicles diverted into the country from foreign markets without proper customs clearance.
Many of the vehicles that were impounded, the ministry said, are those that were declared at the Port of Walvis Bay and destined for neighbouring countries such as Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Zimbabwe but did not exit the country.
Ministry of Finance spokesperson Tonateni Shidhudhu yesterday said that there are currently 763 such vehicles and of that number, 132 have been abandoned to the state after their owners failed to declare them to customs.
“We only made a distinction because the 763 have owners whilst the 132 are now in the hands of the government to be disposed to any buyers at an auction,” Shidhudhu said, adding that 763 will be handed back to the owners upon payment of duties and taxes.
“But if they fail to pay the duties and taxes, those vehicles will also be disposed,” he stresses.
He explained that these vehicles were diverted into the local market and were registered with Namibia Traffic Information System (Natis) using falsified customs documents, which he said is a direct contravention of the Customs and Excise Act.
Since 2014, the Ministry of Finance, Directorate of Customs and Excises has been battling cases of in-transit vehicles being illegally diverted and registered with Natis.
This illegal activities, according to the ministry were triggered mostly by the imposed restriction by government on the importation of second hand motor vehicles older than five and eight years in 2003 from outside of the Southern Customs Union (Sacu) common custom area.
Additionally, in 2012 according to the ministry there was a presidential decree in Angola, which prohibited the importation of passenger vehicles and commercial trucks older than two and five years respectively.
The approval by Cabinet means the relaxation of the enforcement of the Government Gazettes (Government No.3334 of December 2004 and Gazette No.5293 of September 2013).
The ministry said the disposal of the vehicles will generate much needed revenues through the imposition of custom duties, taxes and penalties.
It will also culminate in the clearance out of customs State warehouse at the regions where there are currently taking up plenty of storage.
Additionally, it will also bring an end to the public dissatisfaction with lack of action from customs on the matter.
2019-08-29 07:21:44 | 4 months ago