The Ceylon Motor Traders Association (CMTA) has taken a proactive stance to address recent rumors surrounding the reinstatement of vehicle imports. With a focus on benefiting the economy, meeting mobility needs of masses, and ensuring government revenue, the CMTA has submitted a comprehensive proposal to the relevant authorities.
The proposal, divided into two key parts, first part emphasizes a gradual and staggered approach to lifting the suspension on vehicle imports. The initial phase would involve the reinstatement of two-wheelers and three-wheelers, followed by commercial vehicles, and finally passenger vehicles.
The second part of the scheme proposes imports to be subject to an increased tax regime of an additional 130%, with quarterly reductions in the additional tax. This systematic approach aims to bring the tax structure back to its current level within a two-year period, with a 15% reduction each quarter. Such a scheme will severely discourage excessive vehicle imports once the ban is lifted.
One of the critical aspects highlighted by the CMTA is the need for regulated and sustainable import practices that safeguard the country’s foreign exchange reserves. The association firmly opposes the importation of old vehicles, as it will have a negative impact on environment, fuel consumption and also significantly increase the need for importation of spares leading to further outflow of forex. Furthermore, the CMTA discourages the importation of vehicles on supplier credit, as it has the potential to facilitate practices of sending out funds through illegal means to suppliers.
The CMTA’s proposal reflects its commitment to working collaboratively with the relevant authorities to implement a thoughtfully designed framework for vehicle imports. With a focus on long-term sustainability and responsible economic growth, the association seeks to bring about positive changes that benefit the entire nation.
Founded in 1919, the Ceylon Motor Traders Association (CMTA) is the only Ceylon Chamber of Commerce affiliated trade body that represents vehicle manufacturers through their locally appointed franchise holders (commonly called ‘agents’).
It is the most senior automotive trade association in the region. The members of the CMTA collectively employ and train thousands of Sri Lankan citizens while bringing in international best practices in engineering and management, developing a talent pool that is trained and employable internationally. CMTA members are all audited by the manufacturers they represent, and the vehicles they import are shipped directly from the factory, designed to meet country specific requirements.