Press Release from the Ceylon Motor Traders’ Association

The Ceylon Motor Traders Association (CMTA) was recently contacted, and informed that 13 units of Audi A5 motor vehicles have been imported under Customs Declaration number CBMV1 2019 I 4730, which wrongfully declares 2,000 CC petrol engined cars as 1,400 CC. This mis-declaration results in an approximate duty loss to the Government of Sri Lanka of Rs.160,000,000/= and the loss of revenue per vehicle is approximately Rs.12,300,000/=.

The Association along with the Vehicle Importers Association of Sri Lanka (VIASL) brought this anomaly to the notice of the Director General of Sri Lanka Customs on the September 30, 2019 where the issue and anomaly was clearly articulated to all present. The meeting was followed up with a letter dated October 7, 2019, a copy of which is enclosed.

On October 22, 2019 the Association wrote to the Hon. Minister of Finance regarding the said issue with a copy to Secretary to the Treasury and Director General of customs.

Whilst we have not received a response to our letter, the Sri Lanka Customs have visited the local agent for Audi, who have showed them proof, on a Audi computer database that confirms the specification of the vehicles imported were not as declared. The Sri Lanka Customs is questioning the authority of the local agent for Audi motor vehicles to provide this information. The local agent has subsequently reconfirmed the information of 13 such units to Sri Lanka Customs in writing

The CMTA wishes to inform the public to be weary of purchasing the vehicles that are under investigation, because they could be seized by the Customs at any time. The Association also appeals to the Sri Lanka Customs and the Ministry of Finance, to take the stronger action possible on the importer of these vehicles, and also on the customs officers who released these vehicles fraudulently or carelessly.

The Ceylon Motor Traders Association, established in 1920, represents all the international automotive manufactures, through their local agents in Sri Lanka.