Lebanese cabinet endorses tax cuts on imported cars
Within the context of stimulating economic growth, the Lebanese Cabinet endorsed the reduction in custom duties on new and used imported cars. Duties will be reduced from 24 percent to 20 percent on cars costing up to 20 million Lebanese pounds, from 54 percent to 50 percent on cars in the LP20 million-LP50 million range, and from 104 percent to 50 percent on cars costing more than Lp50 million.
The Cabinet also endorsed a flat customs duty of 10 percent on public transportation vehicles, including trucks, buses, taxis and on vehicles owned by car-rental companies.
Finance Minister Fouad Siniora said the decision would help reduce transport cost and benefits the tourism sector. The decision is also expected to encourage the import of non-diesel burning vehicles to replace the thousands of taxicabs that are currently using diesel.
There are about 1.2 million cars in Lebanon. A 1997 survey revealed that 62.4 percent of families in Lebanon own cars and about 25 percent of automobile owners wanted to buy additional ones.
New car sales dropped by 17 percent to 18,717 cars in 1999, while a total of 12,748 new vehicles were sold in the first 11 months of 2000. — (Lebanon Invest)
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