The trinidad Guardian / Government is estimated to generate at least $60 million a year through the new environmental tax imposed on each imported tyre, as an average of 3 million tyres are imported into the country annually.

This was the estimation given by one of the country’s largest tyre distributors Dave Ramlogan, of Tyre Clinic Marketing Company Limited in Couva, yesterday.

On Monday during the 2018 Budget presentation, Finance Minister Colm Imbert announced that on December 1 an environmental tax of $20 per tyre on all imported tyres, new and used, into T&T will be implemented. The tax will cover the cost of properly disposing used tyres.

“New tyres are sometimes wrongly described as used tyres, thus avoiding the payment of customs duty. In order to correct this discrepancy, I propose to harmonise the customs duty on all tyres at 30 per cent,” Imbert said.

Yesterday, however, Ramlogan, who has been in the business for over 35 years, called for a clarification with respect to the environmental tax from Imbert, saying tyre distributors/retailers already pay $10 to the T&T Solid Waste Management Company (SWMCOL) for the disposal of tyres.

“If we don’t pay this they would not dispose of our tyres unless we produce that receipt to SWMCOL showing that we paid, so what we need to find out is with this $20 environmental tax how will the system work?” Ramlogan said.

“Would this $20 tax replace SWMCOL $10? Because I suspect that this tax would be collected either by the Bureau of Standards or Customs…so all this needs to be cleared up. We need to be advised as to what we pay and to whom and make sure that we have the proper documents to produce for disposal.”

While Ramlogan he had no issue with the 30 per cent tax being proposed on the importation of foreign used tyres, he admitted he would just have to “dig deeper into his pocket.”

“That 30 per cent on foreign used tyres would cost me an additional $20,000 per container shipment because each container has an average of 1000 tyres. This means that I will have to increase my wholesale price by a $20 on each tyre,” he said, adding retailers will also have to increase prices.

Vijay Mohan, who runs V&S Tyre Service in Mc Bean Vilage, Couva, said he will have no choice but to raise his prices by a maximum of $50.

“People already not buying new or foreign used tyres because they seeing hard times. So they may quicker beg for a local used one for a mere $20, but those who buying foreign used will now have to pay about $300 to $350 each,” Mohan said.

Motorist Wayne Ramdass yesterday paid $400 for a brand new tyre, but fears even that price may increase.

“I used to pay $300 for a new tyre, now I pay $400 and with the new taxes and the increase of diesel price everything will go up as a trickle effect, but what can I do because I have to drive my car and I would be needing tyres.”

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