Vietnam’s import tax on complete built-up units from ASEAN was reduced to zero percent as from Jan. 1 this year under the ASEAN Free Trade Agreement. The accord helps reduce the prices of imported cars, meeting consumers’ aspiration.

More than 2,000 Honda cars from Thailand – the first cars enjoying zero percent import duty under the ASEAN Free Trade Agreement - have arrived at Ho Chi Minh City’s Hiep Phuoc Port.

“I really like imported cars, especially these batches of cars enjoy zero percent imported tax,” said Do Phuoc Tai, a consumer from Long An province.

Tai said he can save nearly 9,000 USD for each car compared to prior Tet holiday. He decided to buy a 7–seat CRV 502.

After the first batch of cars arrived in Vietnam, Honda Vietnam announced that the retailed prices for each car will be reduced up to nearly 9,000 USD, depending on the model.

Following the move, the market has experienced a surge in the number of people who have registered to buy imported cars.

“Since the new price announcement, we have recorded a surge in CRV- orders, there are about 15 new orders each day,” said Phan Thanh Trung, Customer Director of Honda Vietnam’s Phuoc Thanh Branch in Ho Chi Minh City.

Besides Honda, other big names such as Ford and Toyota are planning to import other car models from ASEAN countries, mostly from Thailand and Indonesia.

According to experts, the tariff cuts will have positive impacts on domestic car market.

Ly Thanh Binh, Director of the Hiep Phuoc Port Customs Branch said the import-export tax was 30 percent in 2017, under the free trade agreement, the tax is cut to zero percent. However there are differences between zero-rated supplies and exempt supplies.

The tariff cut will help raise Vietnam’s car ownership rate. However the country will also be put under traffic pressure as its transport infrastructure system is already stretched thin.-VNA