Customs may propose using Section 44 power to clear over 1,000 abandoned luxury cars at ports

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The Customs Department may consider proposing the use of Section 44 of the interim charter to clear over a thousand of imported luxury cars abandoned by importers at ports and free zones.

Mr Kulis Sirisombat, Director-general of the Customs Department
Mr Kulis Sirisombat, Director-general of the Customs Department

Director-general of the department Mr Kulis Sirisombat admitted of the abandoned luxury at ports and free zones, particularly at Laem Chabang port.

He said the matter is now under consideration and officials are looking through all laws and regulations and will propose to the Finance Ministry.

He said not only these luxury cars would be the burden of importers who have to pay rents for spaces to keep them, it was also burden of customs officials who have to inspect and check as these vehicles carry a high import tax of up to 328%.

If there regular inspection, they might be smuggled out like what had happened in the past, he said.

He said Section 44 might be proposed to speed up the procedure.

It will empower customs officials to restrict the timeframe of abandoned cars, and to tackle importers and warehouse operators giving spaces for these cars to park.

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He said the likely lenient measure might be to lower import tax to attract importers to clear their cars out of the port’s, or a tough measure that will set deadline for importers to clear their cars within 3 or six months, or else they be seized and auctioned off.

A car importer Mr Thanin Prasarnkaew admitted that economic hardship was one reason that forced importers to fail to clear import tax for their cars.

He suggested the best option was to auction off all these cars.

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