State mulls cut in import tax on EVs

State mulls cut in import tax on EVs

An electric vehicle on display at the Thailand International Motor Expo. (Photo: Wichan Charoenkiatpakul)
An electric vehicle on display at the Thailand International Motor Expo. (Photo: Wichan Charoenkiatpakul)

The Finance Ministry may consider lowering the import duty on electric vehicles (EVs) as part of the measures to promote the use of EVs, says a ministry source who requested anonymity.

Thailand's EV import tax rates vary. EVs imported from China enjoy a 0% tax rate under a bilateral agreement between Thailand and China.

Some EVs imported from Japan are subject to a 20% tax rate under the Japan-Thailand Economic Partnership Agreement. However, the source said most EVs imported from Japan are not entitled to the 20% rate and instead face an 80% rate as their Japanese content exceeds the level required for the lower rate.

EVs imported from South Korea are levied a 40% import tax, while those from Europe face an 80% import tax.

The source said if Thailand wants to promote EV usage, it will have to lower the import duty during the initial phase of EV promotion.

At present, EVs produced in China appear to have the upper hand as they are subject to a 0% import duty in Thailand.

The source said a comprehensive EV promotion, which is expected to be enforced early next year, would be implemented step-by-step to give all car manufacturers time to adjust their businesses.

Last week Finance Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith said a planned government fund is expected to subsidise the prices of EVs, keeping them closer to the cost of cars powered by internal combustion engines.

The planned fund is one of several measures to promote EV usage.

Mr Arkhom said in addition to a planned excise tax incentive, the fund would be another tool to keep EV market prices affordable for the mass market.

The same ministry source said this fund would also hand out cash to people purchasing EVs.

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