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Malaka2

Importing Left Hand Drive Suv To Sri Lanka

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So far I've heard that LHD to RHD conversions are readily done in Dubai and since the JK wrangler is offered RHD as well, the parts should be available. Only thing is that I will have to deregister from Qatar, ship it to Dubai, get it converted and shipped over from Dubai. Would rather do it straightaway from SL if the cost is comparable.

AFAIK, LHD to RHD is available in Dubai for almost all of common Japanese models (Cars & SUVs). But I'll have to check for the availablity for American vehicles. Got my Dubai License a few weeks ago, and planning to go to Al Awir Auto Market during the next couple of weeks for my 1st Car in Dubai. There is a separate area at Al Awir where they have RHD vehicles for export. I'llkeep you posted when I visit.

If the conversion is available, shipping the car to Dubai and re-shipping out of Dubai won't be much of a hassle, cause the systems are pretty fast here. But have you thought about;

  • Reliability of a Gulf Spec car in a tropical country like ours
  • Taxes and engine capacity limits in SL
  • Petrol (I guess you pump 98 Octane now) etc...

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AFAIK, LHD to RHD is available in Dubai for almost all of common Japanese models (Cars & SUVs). But I'll have to check for the availablity for American vehicles. Got my Dubai License a few weeks ago, and planning to go to Al Awir Auto Market during the next couple of weeks for my 1st Car in Dubai. There is a separate area at Al Awir where they have RHD vehicles for export. I'llkeep you posted when I visit.

If the conversion is available, shipping the car to Dubai and re-shipping out of Dubai won't be much of a hassle, cause the systems are pretty fast here. But have you thought about;

  • Reliability of a Gulf Spec car in a tropical country like ours
  • Taxes and engine capacity limits in SL
  • Petrol (I guess you pump 98 Octane now) etc...

Thanks for looking this up for me. And congratulations on getting the license. Middle Eastern license process is a b****! Have you been in Dubai for long?

Yes I'm considering the other aspects as well. As far as I know, Chrysler doesn't build region specific vehicles, the only deviation they do is RHD to European markets. If at all, the car will fare much better in SL than here in the middle of the dessert. You might have seen that gulf vehicles lose their value after 5-6 years almost completely and by that time most cars hacked up beyond saving.

With the 3.6, this one will rack up the highest tax bracket which is my biggest worry cos it might end up being above my budget. But I don't think there's a restriction to import as D*MO offered up to the Rubicon Unlimited model in SL.

I am on 98 now but it will take 95 and any performance issues can be taken care of with an ECU reflash (If I'm not mistaken)

I've also found some information on the Government Information Center

http://www.gic.gov.lk/gic/index.php?option=com_info&id=415&task=info〈=en

I think this is what iRage mentioned in his post. there's no mention of specific taxes and duties applicable. Maybe Customs will have to come in once the permit is obtained. As I could understand, the benefit is the higher rate of depreciation on the CIF on an older vehicle.

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http://www.gic.gov.lk/gic/index.php?option=com_info&id=415&task=info〈=en

I think this is what iRage mentioned in his post. there's no mention of specific taxes and duties applicable. Maybe Customs will have to come in once the permit is obtained. As I could understand, the benefit is the higher rate of depreciation on the CIF on an older vehicle.

Yes...plus there are a few other versions of the same document...typical of SL ?

A relative of mine took her car down from Japan and another friend of mine is in the process of taking his car down from Africa. In the first case it was a RAV4 and all the taxes /duties applicable to importing a RAV4 under the normal permit applied.Like you mentioned..the cost benefit is from the higher depr. of an older car. Actually, the depreciation is calculated based on the agent's valuation. Customs asks for CIF for records and as far as I know charge you on what ever is higher.

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Yes...plus there are a few other versions of the same document...typical of SL ?

A relative of mine took her car down from Japan and another friend of mine is in the process of taking his car down from Africa. In the first case it was a RAV4 and all the taxes /duties applicable to importing a RAV4 under the normal permit applied.Like you mentioned..the cost benefit is from the higher depr. of an older car. Actually, the depreciation is calculated based on the agent's valuation. Customs asks for CIF for records and as far as I know charge you on what ever is higher.

Yes, the CIF is taken from the local agent and freight Insurance and shipping cost is added to arrive at the CIF. Any accessories are valued and added to the CIF as well. Then the depreciation is applied based on the approved depreciation table. Then the applicable duties and taxes are calculated on the final depreciated CIF value.

Apparently there's not much of a benefit in this scheme if I only use it for 2 years I will still end up paying the same amount as a normal import. (Which I'm afraid I won't be able afford :( ) Fingers crossed, I hope something opens up cos I'm quite fond of this one :/

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Yes, the CIF is taken from the local agent and freight Insurance and shipping cost is added to arrive at the CIF. Any accessories are valued and added to the CIF as well. Then the depreciation is applied based on the approved depreciation table. Then the applicable duties and taxes are calculated on the final depreciated CIF value.

Apparently there's not much of a benefit in this scheme if I only use it for 2 years I will still end up paying the same amount as a normal import. (Which I'm afraid I won't be able afford :( ) Fingers crossed, I hope something opens up cos I'm quite fond of this one :/

which is somewhat unfair for the importer because when the agents value a modern day car the base value they use includes quite a few of the accessories that customs add-up at a later stage. What I meant was they ask you for YOUR CIF value as well...apart from what they get from the agent which is agent's FOB value of vehicle depreciated and freight+insurance added to arrive at the CIF value. Then you are dutied/taxed on what ever the higher CIF value is. Needless to say the CIF value they derive based on the agents valuation is higher than the importer's.

Yes..like I said before....you need to bring down a car older than 2 years for any kind of benefit.

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which is somewhat unfair for the importer because when the agents value a modern day car the base value they use includes quite a few of the accessories that customs add-up at a later stage. What I meant was they ask you for YOUR CIF value as well...apart from what they get from the agent which is agent's FOB value of vehicle depreciated and freight+insurance added to arrive at the CIF value. Then you are dutied/taxed on what ever the higher CIF value is. Needless to say the CIF value they derive based on the agents valuation is higher than the importer's.

Yes..like I said before....you need to bring down a car older than 2 years for any kind of benefit.

Ya machan, I had the depreciation table downloaded in my office PC. They will deduct 45% of the CIF for a car 2-2 1/2 years old which is a considerable amount. I'm also thinking of sourcing a permit to reduce the tax hit but I don't know how it works so far. For starts I will go and check with Import control and Customs end of this month. I will post up if I manage to find something interesting :) Thanks again for the heads up!

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Ya machan, I had the depreciation table downloaded in my office PC. They will deduct 45% of the CIF for a car 2-2 1/2 years old which is a considerable amount. I'm also thinking of sourcing a permit to reduce the tax hit but I don't know how it works so far. For starts I will go and check with Import control and Customs end of this month. I will post up if I manage to find something interesting :) Thanks again for the heads up!

I was about to say keep all your invoices of the original purchase with you. In the case of one of my friends he didn't have the original invoices so he had to go to the local agents and get a valuation.

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I was about to say keep all your invoices of the original purchase with you. In the case of one of my friends he didn't have the original invoices so he had to go to the local agents and get a valuation.

All originals are with the bank from which got the loan from. But every shred of related paper had been copied and filed which I will be taking with me when I visit Import control, I think better to show them what I have and fill in the gaps from the get go :)

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You can convert, just the cost becomes a lot higher. There are specialist companies who does these conversions and they fabricate the necessary parts for the conversion. Funny enough there is a Sri Lankan company who converts a number of American marques like hummers for re export I believe. The vehicles go from the port straight to their factory and then gets shipped out again to the customer.

Sometimes they don't go that route ;) Many of them cruise around unregistered with clown princes at the wheel for a few months...must be resetting the odometer or something prior to shipping out

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Thanks for looking this up for me. And congratulations on getting the license. Middle Eastern license process is a b****! Have you been in Dubai for long?

Yes I'm considering the other aspects as well. As far as I know, Chrysler doesn't build region specific vehicles, the only deviation they do is RHD to European markets. If at all, the car will fare much better in SL than here in the middle of the dessert. You might have seen that gulf vehicles lose their value after 5-6 years almost completely and by that time most cars hacked up beyond saving.

With the 3.6, this one will rack up the highest tax bracket which is my biggest worry cos it might end up being above my budget. But I don't think there's a restriction to import as D*MO offered up to the Rubicon Unlimited model in SL.

I am on 98 now but it will take 95 and any performance issues can be taken care of with an ECU reflash (If I'm not mistaken)

I've also found some information on the Government Information Center

http://www.gic.gov.lk/gic/index.php?option=com_info&id=415&task=info〈=en

I think this is what iRage mentioned in his post. there's no mention of specific taxes and duties applicable. Maybe Customs will have to come in once the permit is obtained. As I could understand, the benefit is the higher rate of depreciation on the CIF on an older vehicle.

This is very useful info. I'm just completing 1 year in Dubai. I had almost given up the idea of shipping the car home (when I buy one), but after reading this I think there is still potential.

However, it seems that the car needs to be used by the exporter for at least 3 years to enjoy the optimum benefits of the taxes in SL. That way, you are bringing a not-so-old car, but still old enough to fit in an affordable tax bracket.

And the best thing is, if you bought it brand new, you've known the car since it was a virgin...!

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This is very useful info. I'm just completing 1 year in Dubai. I had almost given up the idea of shipping the car home (when I buy one), but after reading this I think there is still potential.

However, it seems that the car needs to be used by the exporter for at least 3 years to enjoy the optimum benefits of the taxes in SL. That way, you are bringing a not-so-old car, but still old enough to fit in an affordable tax bracket.

And the best thing is, if you bought it brand new, you've known the car since it was a virgin...!

LOL that was exactly my idea. Because of the low cost of new vehicles here in ME, people care very less about their cars, This fact coupled with extreme heat during most of the year shorten the life of cars drastically. You might have noticed already that a car older than 5-6 years is valued next to nothing.

If you're planning to buy second hand, make sure you get a professional inspection done. Any chassis damage will knock down the resale value drastically and you run the risk of failing the annual registration inspections. And it might cause problems if you export to SL too as Import control also requires a tech certification.

If you buy brand new you will pay a bit more but you can keep track of servicing and would know every little glitch and sweet spots of the car.

Since I have successfully hijacked this thread I will try and post as much information as I can find on the matter for the benefit of anyone who's interested.

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OK so last week I went down to Import Control and Customs to get some facts straight.

Currently, you can import a car up to 2.5 years old into the country. But with a 'Blue Permit' you can bump it up to 10 years. They will charge a licensing fee of 3% for a car not older than 5 years and 6% for a car between 5 and 10 years old.

You need to cough up bank statements proving $50,000 of foreign remittances to obtain the licence. This has to be remittances only, excluding any local deposits, and the 50K should have been piled up at least 6 months prior to the date of application for the license.

You also need to have owned the vehicle for a year if the vehicle is less than 5 years and 3 years if it is older than 5 years.

You also need to prove that the car is in good shape and free of accidents.

However, there is NO TAX RELIEF and all the duties and taxes will be applied by customs, which is somewhere between 200%-275% depending on engine capacity. (Which basically means that I'm F***ed)

The only benefit will be to import an older vehicle which would fetch a much higher rate of depreciation for the duty calculation.

This is basically a highlight reel of what I was told by the good folks at Customs and Import Control. Shout if someone needs something specific :)

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Almost forgot! You can import an LHD but will need approval from Dept of Transportation (is that what it's called now?) to be converted to RHD before registration.

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:) So basically, with the exception of the LHD part....nothing has changed from what it has been for the last year or so...which means...what will actually happen is anybody's guess...

Hoonigan...can't imagine why you are F*ed as you were anticipating to pay full duty on a car that has a greater depreciation :)...unless you are planning to come back to SL sooner than anticipated :)...

Edited by iRage

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:) So basically, with the exception of the LHD part....nothing has changed from what it has been for the last year or so...which means...what will actually happen is anybody's guess...

Hoonigan...can't imagine why you are F*ed as you were anticipating to pay full duty on a car that has a greater depreciation :)...unless you are planning to come back to SL sooner than anticipated :)...

I was actually hoping that some portion of the taxes/duties would be relaxed under this scheme, which is not the case.

According to my current plan, the car will only be 2 years old which means the blue permit won't even be necessary (if things stay as they are at the moment) And according to the gentleman I spoke to at customs, the valuation is likely to be more than what I actually paid for the vehicle.

I'm trying to get a rough estimate of the vehicle valuation process, like whether they factor in the considerably less value of these vehicles once used. But if they stick you the brand new value at the dealer and tax on that, I won't be able to afford it.

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I was actually hoping that some portion of the taxes/duties would be relaxed under this scheme, which is not the case.

According to my current plan, the car will only be 2 years old which means the blue permit won't even be necessary (if things stay as they are at the moment) And according to the gentleman I spoke to at customs, the valuation is likely to be more than what I actually paid for the vehicle.

I'm trying to get a rough estimate of the vehicle valuation process, like whether they factor in the considerably less value of these vehicles once used. But if they stick you the brand new value at the dealer and tax on that, I won't be able to afford it.

No they don't relax any tax component at all...everything as it is...in fact it is explicitly stated that the only benefit is that you get to bring down an older vehicle with the same taxes being applied.

For you to benefit you need to figure out how to figure out how to use the car for at least another year...if you are going to be there for another year why not sell the current car and buy the same thing that is slightly used so that when you bring it down it will be a lot more than exactly 2 years old ?

As for the valuation...the agents valuation is always higher than what you bought it for for and that has nothing to do with the type of permit. There is the off chance that the agent's valuation would be lower than your CIF value (for example a 3 year old car bought in Tanzania the CIF value to Colombo would be considerably higher than what the agents would derive the value to be as due to the higher purchase price in Tanzania ) in which case what you get taxed on is whatever the higher value is.

As far as I know the process was that the agents take the value of a brand new car and then depreciate that accordingly to the age of the vehicle being imported; add the freight and insurance to derive a CIF value; then tax that derived CIF value. If they add the tax amount of a brand new car irrespective of the age of the vehicle being imported the whole process of valuating the vehicle through depreciation etc would be a pointless exercise. For some models such as a RAV4 or Allion it is considerably easier as the local agents deal with the same/similar model or are familiar with it due to the high amount of imports. Bringing in something like a Mitsuoka for example would be whole other ball game.

The whole purpose of depreciation is to factor in the vehicle being used and the corresponding value drop isn't it ?

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No they don't relax any tax component at all...everything as it is...in fact it is explicitly stated that the only benefit is that you get to bring down an older vehicle with the same taxes being applied.

For you to benefit you need to figure out how to figure out how to use the car for at least another year...if you are going to be there for another year why not sell the current car and buy the same thing that is slightly used so that when you bring it down it will be a lot more than exactly 2 years old ?

As for the valuation...the agents valuation is always higher than what you bought it for for and that has nothing to do with the type of permit. There is the off chance that the agent's valuation would be lower than your CIF value (for example a 3 year old car bought in Tanzania the CIF value to Colombo would be considerably higher than what the agents would derive the value to be as due to the higher purchase price in Tanzania ) in which case what you get taxed on is whatever the higher value is.

As far as I know the process was that the agents take the value of a brand new car and then depreciate that accordingly to the age of the vehicle being imported; add the freight and insurance to derive a CIF value; then tax that derived CIF value. If they add the tax amount of a brand new car irrespective of the age of the vehicle being imported the whole process of valuating the vehicle through depreciation etc would be a pointless exercise. For some models such as a RAV4 or Allion it is considerably easier as the local agents deal with the same/similar model or are familiar with it due to the high amount of imports. Bringing in something like a Mitsuoka for example would be whole other ball game.

The whole purpose of depreciation is to factor in the vehicle being used and the corresponding value drop isn't it ?

You're right for the most part. However the depreciation table is very generic and is based on the vast majority of imports which are Japanese and Indian vehicles which hold their value for a long time which is in line with the depreciation table. Mine being a 3.6 Petrol engine mounted on a two door configuration is a hugely undesirable combination in SL and does not hold value as much as the government stipulates.

But anyways, that's how the system works and that's how I will have to play along. So I've put all the mods on hold for the moment and reconsidering my initial plan.

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You're right for the most part. However the depreciation table is very generic and is based on the vast majority of imports which are Japanese and Indian vehicles which hold their value for a long time which is in line with the depreciation table. Mine being a 3.6 Petrol engine mounted on a two door configuration is a hugely undesirable combination in SL and does not hold value as much as the government stipulates.

But anyways, that's how the system works and that's how I will have to play along. So I've put all the mods on hold for the moment and reconsidering my initial plan.

Well....yes..the government wouldn't care if car A depreciates a lot more than car B :)...depreciation is calculated on a generic basis. If they didn't one could argue that a Jaguar or a Rolls Royce or something depreciates a lot more than a Toyota in country X and argue that the valuation be lowered thus pay lower duty on it.

Sad to see that your strategy didn't work out for you. Like I said..any chance you can get a used one for 1 year that would borderline the 3-4 year age mark at the time you come back ?

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On 3/6/2013 at 4:51 PM, Hoonigan said:

You're right for the most part. However the depreciation table is very generic and is based on the vast majority of imports which are Japanese and Indian vehicles which hold their value for a long time which is in line with the depreciation table. Mine being a 3.6 Petrol engine mounted on a two door configuration is a hugely undesirable combination in SL and does not hold value as much as the government stipulates.

But anyways, that's how the system works and that's how I will have to play along. So I've put all the mods on hold for the moment and reconsidering my initial plan.

Hoonigan,

Did you go ahead with you plan to export from Doha? I own a 2009 Kia Sportage and given the current resell value in Doha, I'm considering taking it to SL with me.

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On ‎3‎/‎19‎/‎2018 at 12:08 AM, bhaSen said:

Hoonigan,

Did you go ahead with you plan to export from Doha? I own a 2009 Kia Sportage and given the current resell value in Doha, I'm considering taking it to SL with me.

Hello, apologies for the late response as I don't come around the forum as often.

I opted to sell the Jeep in Doha instead of trying to bring it over. RHD conversion cost and the exorbitant tax when landed made it a pointless financially. Plus the paperwork and red-tape to work around is also very offputting.

With a 9 year old vehicle, it may be a little more viable but that's a decision you have to weigh out yourself.

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13 minutes ago, Hoonigan said:

Hello, apologies for the late response as I don't come around the forum as often.

I opted to sell the Jeep in Doha instead of trying to bring it over. RHD conversion cost and the exorbitant tax when landed made it a pointless financially. Plus the paperwork and red-tape to work around is also very offputting.

With a 9 year old vehicle, it may be a little more viable but that's a decision you have to weigh out yourself.

I also gave up the idea and sold the Kia dirt cheap in Doha. Thanks for all the information anyways.

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