Dominican Republic auto dealers slam Customs’ ‘lack of clear rules’
Santo Domingo.- The Customs Agency’s “lack of clear rules” on vehicle imports could force hundreds of auto dealers into bankruptcy and the ensuing loss of thousands of jobs, the National Auto Dealers Association (ANADIVE) warned Wednesday.
ANADIVE president Cesar de los Santos slammed the head of the Customs Agency and “collateral officials” for what he affirms is their failure to do their job and meet with them to discuss the sector’s situation.
He cited as example that people can import a wrecked vehicle which costs US$3,000, while they have to pay US$8,000 for the same vehicle but “whole,” creating unfair competition which in his view is up to Customs to control.
He said they had reached a deal with previous Customs director the late Miguel Cocco to control imports of “salvage” and “drowned” vehicles, but haven’t to get the current director to continue the practice.
For ANADIVE vice president Marcos Reyes Mora, president Danilo Medina’s administration “has to listen to our complaints” because it would also benefit people who need to buy a vehicle, noting that the limit of 5-year date of manufacture hurts the middle class which can’t afford a new one.
“Medina should meet with us, we aren’t opponents of the government, we can’t live in a country where rules are made by others. We have a five-year limit to import used cars, that isn’t done anywhere in the world,” Reyes said, and for that reason, “a Dominican abroad can’t send their vehicle back home.” He said the 2000 models should be allowed.
He said it’s difficult to meet with current Customs director Francisco Fernandez or collateral officials, “who only creates commissions which then become diluted.”
The business leader added that as days go by, its members go bankrupt, “which means less revenue for the government.”
ANADIVE secretary Luis Taveras also slammed Customs for what he affirms is the lack of clear rules, “without which no business can be profitable.”
He said Fernandez had pledged to solve the problems hindering vehicle imports, “but it’s now been 12 months.”
He said ANADIVE demands registering “salvage” vehicles, and that talks with Customs have become stagnant. “The government shouldn’t target our sector”
Interviewed on Hoy Mismo Channel 9, the ANADIVE executives also criticized the representatives of the vehicles manufacturers (ACOFAV), which de los Santos blames for “knocking down our proposed legislation.”
Taveras said they would even consider picketing Customs to obtain clear rules, whereas de los Santos noted that “this country belongs to all of us.”
Reyes said ANADIVE’s 1,100 associates provide more than 5,000 permanent jobs “an incalculable number of indirect ones,” and noted that “the government knows about revenue, we know about vehicles.”