Official Urges Car Owners to Pay Import Tax

The customs department of the Ministry of Finance is warning it will confiscate vehicles and collect fines if import taxes are not paid by owners.

In a statement issued Tuesday, customs director Pen Simon urged owners to “rush” to pay im­port taxes on vehicles that may have been smuggled into Cam­bodia.

Owners who pay their tax, which could range between $300 and $40,000, will be issued a certified window sticker from the customs department. Pen Simon did not announce a deadline.

Sok Sareth, police chief for Banteay Meanchey province, said curbing vehicle smuggling is often difficult because customs officials themselves are either the smugglers or will tip off  the smugglers.

More information sharing between the provincial police and provincial customs authority would help reduce the number of smuggled vehicles, which is about  five to 10 per day in Ban­teay Meanchey, he said.

An economic analyst, who asked not to be named, said smuggling could be curbed if the government lowered the taxes on vehicles. This would take away a large incentive for smugglers.


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