BISHKEK, January 12 (Itar-Tass) —— In Kyrgyzstan’s capital Bishkek demonstrators have held a rally in front of the national parliament’s building to demand the cancellation or delay in the rise of the customs duties on imported used cars. According to different estimates, up to 200 men and women participated in the protest action.
“From January 1 this year the government raised several times the customs duties on imported cars manufactured before 2000,” a demonstrator told Itar-Tass. “Now many of us have gone bankrupt, because the cars we purchased outside the country will be delivered in six moths’ time, and most of them will be liable to the operation of new tariffs.”
He said that when they purchased motor vehicles abroad, many hoped that the cars would be brought to Bishkek within six weeks to three months, but due to railway problems in China many containers are stalled for up to six months.
“Most of us had taken loans to develop business, but now we have no money to repay them,” the demonstrators said. They insist that the operation of the old customs duties, which are a mere one-third of the new ones, should be prolonged till April. As the demonstrators said currently in China there are about 2,000 containers with cars for Kyrgyz businessmen.
In the meantime, as the state customs service has explained to Itar-Tass, high tariffs on used cars older than twelve years are introduced in the country annually in order to prevent the import of motor vehicles that fail to meet ecological requirements and traffic safety rules.