KUALA LUMPUR: Super Zara Co has agreed to pay a 427-million-baht import tax for 291 natural gas vehicle (NGV) buses which have been kept at Laem Chabang port, following the company’s allegedly false tax declaration.
The payment would allow Bestlin Group, which asked Super Zara to handle the imports, to take the buses out of the port in Chon Buri around the middle of this month, Customs Department chief Kulit Sombatsiri said yesterday. The tax problem last month caused Bestlin Group, which is contracted to supply a total of 489 NGV buses to the Bangkok Mass Transit Authority, to miss the delivery deadline, exposing it to a fine imposed by the BMTA.
The buses were confiscated by customs officials who suspected they were imported from China, not Malaysia as claimed by Super Zara. An initial inspection found the buses were produced under the brand Sung Sung Long, and shipped from China, so the company is subject to the 40% import tax for the buses.
Under the Asean Free Trade Agreement, importers of products from Malaysia are entitled to a tax exemption, but that is not the case for Super Zara, according to the Customs Department.
The 291 vehicles are in the 3rd and 4th lots of imported buses and “we suspect they were from China like those in the 1st and 2nd lots”, Mr Kullit said. Supar Zara has claimed the four lots were shipped from Malaysia, he said.