The importing of vehicles to the country will be suspended for six months due to the present currency fluctuation, Vehicle Importers’ Association of Sri Lanka (VIASL) President Indika Sampath Merenchige said.
“The cost of used and brand new vehicles that are imported from Japan had gone up drastically due to the deprecation of the SL Rupee against the Japanese Yen,” Mr. Merenchige said.
“But if anyone still wants to import vehicles they may do so, although they will be called upon to bear the increased cost, which could be an increase of Rs.300,000 to Rs.400,000, due to the currency fluctuations,” he said.
“Following a meeting between local vehicle importers today a decision was taken to stop the import of vehicles for three to six months until the foreign exchange rates stabilize,” he said.
The vehicles that had already been imported would be sold at the currant market value so as not to cause any inconvenience to the government, he added.
However the increased fifteen percent VAT policy would not affect imported vehicles, he said.
Meanwhile, chairman of the Vehicle Importers’ Association Mahinda Sarathchandra explained that the decision to put a temporary halt to vehicle imports was taken due to the foreign currency rate increase, mainly In relation to the Japanese Yen, US Dollar, Sterling Pound and the Euro.
“About 15,300 motor cars were imported into the country during the past 4 months which is a slight drop in comparison to 2015 which saw 150,628 cars being imported,” he said.