11 Jun 2008

Samoa Government drops import duty on right hand drive vehicles

1:02 pm on 11 June 2008

Samoa's Government has tabled an amendment bill to abolish the import duty on right hand drive vehicles with importers to pay only the excise tax for their cars.

The amended legislation will also allow a 10 percent increase for excise on goods such as beer, hard liquor, tobacco and soft drinks to become effective next month.

Two months ago the Government brought in laws changing the country to driving on the left hand side of the road, and the Prime Minister, Tuila'epa Sailele Malielegaoi, says the move to abolish the import duty will allow more people to own a right hand drive car.

Meanwhile a former government minister, Palusalue Faapo II, who quit the ruling HRPP party over the driving change, has urged the government to consider removing duty on food and agricultural products as well.

He says the cost of imported basic food commodities has increased dramatically, but the government has prioritized vehicles that not everyone can afford.