Customs impounds 100 NGV buses amid duty doubts

The Customs Department has impounded 100 natural gas vehicle air-conditioned buses which were supposed to hit Bangkok streets late this month amid doubts over whether the import order is legitimate or was falsely declared to avoid more than 100 million baht in tax. The first lot of 100 buses procured by the Bangkok Mass Transit Authority arrived at Laem Chabang port on Dec 1. The remaining 389 will be delivered by Dec 29. The buses were procured from Bestlin Group in a deal worth 3.3 billion baht. Chaiyut Kumkun, deputy director-general of the department, said on December 6 the vehicles were imported with a document asserting the vehicles originally came from ASEAN countries, or so-called Form D, which means the buses would be exempt from import duty under the ASEAN Free Trade Area. Super Sara Co handled the import procedure. However, customs authorities found the buses were not manufactured in Malaysia as claimed but come from China, and should not be subject to the tax exemption, Mr Chaiyut said. 

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