Cambodia'sGrey car market

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rubberbaron
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Re: Cambodia'sGrey car market

Post by rubberbaron » Sun Jan 19, 2020 12:45 pm

One of my rare contributions to the forum. I have some experience in the so-called grey market as I used to import Mercedes Benz used cars back in the 1990s. At that time there was a flat import duty/tax of $2000 per car.
That gradually changed to now 137.5% on a set value the Customs Department publishes and updates each year (see attachment). The article is incorrect in that respect as the term base price indicates something different.
I recently imported a 2017 Audi from Germany using a freight agent with an import license to take care of the paperwork and liaise with the customs department. Germany, because the freight is a lot cheaper than from the U.S. and official dealerships there sell certified used cars, sometimes with a 1-year warranty (which of course is no good here). The agent charged $2000 including trucking the container to Phnom Penh. I used the same agent some time back for a 3-year-old Mercedes ML following all the official procedures.
If one goes this route there is no way to avoid paying import duty/special tax and VAT. The container arrives in Sihanouk and is cleared there. You receive a tax vignette after all taxes and fees have been paid. Without that vignette you can't officially register the car. Before you receive the tag you have to have the car inspected by the Official Inspection service. There are 5 in and around Phnom Penh. I went to the main one. Although I don't live in PP I wanted a PP number as it meant a better sales chance later on.
Of course, that cost extra.
So how these normal left-hand drive cars get smuggled across the border from Thailand/Vietnam/Laos with a minimal tax paid there is quite hazy to me. Transiting goods through Thailand or Vietnam is extremely difficult.
What the article doesn't mention is that cars sold as new here might be show-room models with low mileage, e. g. 100 km or even 1000 km or so on the odometer. Officially they are used cars here. BTW, the customs department counts the model year, not the year of manufacture.
I believe that article is also wrong about the 25% tax revenue collected stemming from official car dealerships. 25% of all tax collection is from import taxes and duties, afaik.
There is no doubt in my mind, that the big used car lots are owned by well-connected big wheels what with the millions of dollars tied up in cars on their lots; how far the corruption extends can only be a matter of speculation. Higher government officials get free cars, and they are tax-free, and that's quite a few.
I also once bought a Toyota Prius here for a price that was only slightly higher for the same model in the U. S. It clearly was a chop-job, so I sold it a year later although I never had a problem with it.
Here is a sample of the Audi and MB schedule until model year 2016 - 19.Image
Last edited by rubberbaron on Sun Jan 19, 2020 12:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
rubberbaron
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Re: Cambodia'sGrey car market

Post by rubberbaron » Sun Jan 19, 2020 12:53 pm

Why doesn't the image show. I used imgur.com
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Spigzy
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Re: Cambodia'sGrey car market

Post by Spigzy » Tue Jan 21, 2020 1:49 pm

rubberbaron wrote:
Sun Jan 19, 2020 12:53 pm
Why doesn't the image show. I used imgur.com
That's a link to the website; you need the image link (when on imgur, right click "Open picture in a new tab" - use that link):

Image
Meum est propositum in taberna mori,
ut sint Guinness proxima morientis ori.
tunc cantabunt letius angelorum chori:
"Sit Deus propitius huic potatori."
Mishmash
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Re: Cambodia'sGrey car market

Post by Mishmash » Tue Jan 21, 2020 8:25 pm

rubberbaron wrote:
Sun Jan 19, 2020 12:45 pm
One of my rare contributions to the forum. I have some experience in the so-called grey market as I used to import Mercedes Benz used cars back in the 1990s. At that time there was a flat import duty/tax of $2000 per car.
That gradually changed to now 137.5% on a set value the Customs Department publishes and updates each year (see attachment). The article is incorrect in that respect as the term base price indicates something different.
I recently imported a 2017 Audi from Germany using a freight agent with an import license to take care of the paperwork and liaise with the customs department. Germany, because the freight is a lot cheaper than from the U.S. and official dealerships there sell certified used cars, sometimes with a 1-year warranty (which of course is no good here). The agent charged $2000 including trucking the container to Phnom Penh. I used the same agent some time back for a 3-year-old Mercedes ML following all the official procedures.
If one goes this route there is no way to avoid paying import duty/special tax and VAT. The container arrives in Sihanouk and is cleared there. You receive a tax vignette after all taxes and fees have been paid. Without that vignette you can't officially register the car. Before you receive the tag you have to have the car inspected by the Official Inspection service. There are 5 in and around Phnom Penh. I went to the main one. Although I don't live in PP I wanted a PP number as it meant a better sales chance later on.
Of course, that cost extra.
So how these normal left-hand drive cars get smuggled across the border from Thailand/Vietnam/Laos with a minimal tax paid there is quite hazy to me. Transiting goods through Thailand or Vietnam is extremely difficult.
What the article doesn't mention is that cars sold as new here might be show-room models with low mileage, e. g. 100 km or even 1000 km or so on the odometer. Officially they are used cars here. BTW, the customs department counts the model year, not the year of manufacture.
I believe that article is also wrong about the 25% tax revenue collected stemming from official car dealerships. 25% of all tax collection is from import taxes and duties, afaik.
There is no doubt in my mind, that the big used car lots are owned by well-connected big wheels what with the millions of dollars tied up in cars on their lots; how far the corruption extends can only be a matter of speculation. Higher government officials get free cars, and they are tax-free, and that's quite a few.
I also once bought a Toyota Prius here for a price that was only slightly higher for the same model in the U. S. It clearly was a chop-job, so I sold it a year later although I never had a problem with it.
Here is a sample of the Audi and MB schedule until model year 2016 - 19.Image
Excellent... A really informative post... You are on the hot list... Who was the import agent? Handy contact to have
rubberbaron
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Re: Cambodia'sGrey car market

Post by rubberbaron » Wed Jan 22, 2020 12:22 pm

Camfreight Services Co. Ltd. Phnom Penh, Ms. Narom.
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Brody
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Re: Cambodia'sGrey car market

Post by Brody » Wed Jan 22, 2020 4:40 pm

rubberbaron wrote:
Sun Jan 19, 2020 12:45 pm
Higher government officials get free cars, and they are tax-free, and that's quite a few.
I'd bet it's damn near 100% of your Bentley's, Rolls', Maserati's, Lambo's, and the like, which are tax-free for those corrupt mongrels.......

Which makes me wonder why they even bother to rate those level of vehicles on the tax bracket.

Kind of funny how the individuals most able to afford such taxes.........don't have to pay them.
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Phnom Poon
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Re: Cambodia'sGrey car market

Post by Phnom Poon » Wed Jan 22, 2020 4:46 pm

wakey wakey
tax is for the little people
same as manners

.

monstra mihi bona!
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Brody
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Re: Cambodia'sGrey car market

Post by Brody » Wed Jan 22, 2020 6:48 pm

Yeah, I know.......it's just that the hypocrisy of it all, knows no bounds.

I'd love to join Spigzy on one of his business dinners with these grease-balls at Topaz or wherever is trendy right now....

....but instead of sucking their assholes, I'd like to throw in a probing question or two about wealth accumulation, land holdings, taxes, luxury vehicle purchases, the villa and opulent mansion housing market, banking, etc, etc, etc.

I'd bet the table would fall silent pretty damn quickly.
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