​Ho Chi Minh City car imports drop to zero as new regulations take effect

Ho Chi Minh City’s seaports went through January without receiving a single automobile shipment, an ode to the immediate impact of a government decree that applies stricter regulations on car imports. While Vietnamese consumers often buy cars during this time of year to celebrate the Lunar New Year, or Tet, which falls in the middle of this month, the supply of imported cars is falling short due to Decree 116, which took effect on January 1. The fiat requires all models of imported vehicles to obtain a Vehicle Type Approval certification issued by authorities in the exporting country. The problem is that most countries that sell cars to Vietnam don’t use such a document and it will take time for exporters to enact measures to meet those requirements. The decree has effectively closed the door for car importers to bring new stock into Vietnam until changes are made. Dinh Ngoc Thang, deputy head of the Ho Chi Minh City customs department, confirmed to Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper that not a single car was imported to the southern metropolis through its seaports last month. This goes against the typical Tet holiday buy-up, Thang said. A Mercedes-Benz is seen at a showroom in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Tuoi Tre Data from the Vietnam Customs also shows that only 80 cars, including a mere six vehicles with nine or less seats, were imported to the Southeast Asian country in the first half of January. To put this into perspective, the country imported… [Read full story]

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