The Government has hiked import taxes on used cars for the second time in three months following a circular released by the Prime Minister.

Cars of nine seats or fewer and an engine of less than 1,000cc will see import tariffs rise by 800 USD to 5,000 USD as from June 26.

Meanwhile, used cars with a cylinder capacity of between 1,000-1,500cc will see taxes lifted to 10,000 USD.

The previous hike in April saw the tariffs lifted significantly to 4,200 USD and 9,600 USD respectively.

According to the Ministry of Finance, the latest adjustment will narrow the gap between import tax on used cars and brand new cars especially in the compact car division.

In March, Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai asked the Ministry of Finance to review the import tax on used cars in a bid to restrain importers from disguising brand new vehicles as old ones in order to avoid higher tax rates.

According to recent regulations, in order to be defined as second hand, used cars must have been registered in a foreign country for at least six months before being exported to Vietnam and they must have a minimum mileage of 10,000 km.

Vietnam imported 4,000 cars worth 60 million USD in May, bringing the total car imports in the first five months of the year to 14,000 units, worth 247 million USD, according to the General Office of Statistics.

The January-May imports represented a year-on-year increase of 13 percent in import volume and 3.5 percent in value, the office said.

Car importers and traders said the April 1 cut in registration fees had encouraged buyers, along with the loosened credits for automobiles.

According to the Ministry of Finance, Vietnam imported 27,000 cars in 2012, down 50 percent year-on-year.-VNA