May 24, 2018 / 14:07

Automobile makers expect long-term policies

The government should maintain long-term and stable policies for the automobile industry to help enterprises assure about their investment in the country.

The proposal was made as an inter-sector auto inspection team recently worked with 17 auto importers and locally-assembled manufacturers to remove difficulties and hindrance during the implementation of the government’s Decree No. 116/2017/ND-CP, which took effect from January 1 this year. 
Vietnam spent $80 million importing 2,500 automobiles in April
Vietnam spent $80 million importing 2,500 automobiles in April
Decree No. 116 requires traders to provide more relevant certificates and to undergo more tests than before. Specifically, traders are only permitted to import automobiles if they can provide valid vehicle registration certificates issued by authorities from the countries of origin, and they are supposed to have one vehicle from each batch shipped to Vietnam undergone emissions and safety tests. 
In addition, enterprises also recommended that roadmap for the application of new policies should be long enough to help enterprises prepare for meeting the new regulations.
As for the imports of completely-built automobiles, enterprises can be granted vehicle type approval (VTA) certification as required in the new decree when importing from Thailand and Indonesia. However, with vehicles imported from Japan, they cannot obtain it as the Japanese Government doesn’t grant such certification for exported vehicles. The enterprises therefore suggested the government to allow them using the test report from the vehicle manufacturer.
When importing cars from Europe, the auto businesses petitioned the government to accept certificates of technical safety and environmental protection, provided by the European manufacturers, instead. Europe applies Euro 6 emission standards, whereas Vietnam applies just Euro 4, thus the vehicles are guaranteed to meet Vietnamese standards.
In addition, businesses importing cars said that the inspection and testing procedures for each batch of imported vehicles is time consuming and costly, causing an imbalance between locally produced cars and imported ones.
Therefore, they proposed the government consider reducing the number of samples tested from each batch of cars produced.
Regarding locally-assembled production, the auto businesses expected the Government to continue recognizing the certificate of components issued in accordance with European Economic Commission without testing or certification in Vietnam.
The investment in new trial roads is time-consuming and costly, they said, because now all automakers have invested in the test track.
Based on the recommendations of the enterprises, the inter-sector auto inspection team has directly answered 74 out of 85 queries, the remaining issues will be reported to the government to consider and remove on a case-by-case basis.
According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the country imported completely-built automobiles and components for assembly totaling nearly US$1.2 billion in the first four months of this year, falling 32.2 percent on-year. 
Specifically, the country imported over 6,700 completely-built automobiles worth $198 million, posting respective decreases of 79.8 percent and 69.8 percent.
In April alone, the country spent $80 million importing 2,500 automobiles. 
Early this year, few automobiles, especially cars, were imported to Vietnam because traders were not well-prepared to comply with the Decree No116.
Last year, Vietnam spent over $5.3 billion importing 94,000 completely-built automobiles and components for assembly. Meanwhile, its total automobile sales were 272,750 units, according to the Vietnam Automobile Manufacturers Association. 
Total vehicle sales in Vietnam will increase to over 284,400 units this year, global research company BMI Research forecast recently, explaining that passenger car demand will be driven by reduction in tax rates on vehicles with engine sizes of 2.0 liters or less, and the elimination of tariffs on completely-built units from ASEAN member countries in January.