TTADA seeks clarity on hybrid-car tax waiver

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

TT Automotive Dealers Association president Visham Babwah. FILE PHOTO –

The TT Automotive Dealers Association is calling for clarity on the time period in which taxes would be removed on hybrid electric passenger cars, after the Finance Minister Colm Imbert announced that customs duty, motor vehicle tax and value added tax (VAT) would be waived on private passenger hybrid cars.

President of the association Visham Babwah said the association is “weary” that the minister’s announcement did not come with an expiry date.

“The Finance Minister can discontinue this exemption without any notice to citizens and car dealers which could have a serious negative impact on importers causing great financial loss.”

However, Babwah still commended the minister on the changes made to the policies for hybrid electric vehicles.

“This exemption will assist the lower and middle income citizens to purchase a more fuel efficient vehicle and give them the opportunity to contribute to emission reduction.”

In a tweet, Finance Minister Colm Imbert said that all taxes would be waived on hybrid cars with an engine size up to 1,599 cc and an electric motor output up to 105 kilowatts (kw) from Wednesday.

Critics noted that the requirements for the tax exemptions limited the types of vehicles that could be brought in as many vehicles on the local market would exceed the required level for the exemption.

But the minister in another tweet listed electric motor vehicles that met the requirements which included the Hyundai Ioniq (32kw), the Kia Niro (32 kw), Toyota Aqua (59 kw), Honda Vezel (22 kw) and the Nissan Elantra (32kw).