Archive for February, 2008

Import Taxes Up in Sri Lanka

February 29, 2008

In a strange attempt to cut the trade deficit, the Sri Lanka government passed a new tax that equals out to 10% more over the already insane taxes equaling out to between 250 to 350 percent.

Sri Lanka has consistently have problems dealing with their trade balance as each year they import more than they export. To deal with the problem, they try to cut the amount of imports of the biggest category: cars. The problems with doing this include sky-rocketing prices for used cars. This is because Sri Lanka doesn’t produce any used cars, and if the government kinks the imports (by raising costs), demand go up and supply plummets.

Of course, the average person in Sri Lanka cannot afford a used (4-years old) Corolla that costs over $40,000. So what happens? The government indeed cuts off trade, but at the expense of it’s people. More sad days ahead for would-be consumers.

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1,000 Hits and Counting

February 27, 2008

A little celebration of hitting a century of visits (not including my own) after being open for a little over 3 months. Starting on November 19th,  20 posts later, and an current average of over 100 visitors a week recently, this blog is taking to new heights. So far this February we’ve seen 600 visitors so you can get a picture how much things are accelerating.

Props to WordPress crew though. It an amazing blog system that gets you widely syndicated very quickly. I make a post a within an hour it’s on first or second page of Google search for that topic.

I look forward to seeing how we do this next Quarter. I’ve got more news sources set up so readers look for more to come. And as always, visit our sister sites if you’re looking for more information on importing used Japanese cars:

The Website – Japan-Used-Car-Exporting.info/Import/ -and-
The Forum – JCarsNow.com/JDM/

Trinidad and Tobago Introduces Import Licenses

February 26, 2008

In an effort to manage vehicle imports (particularly from Japan) more effectively, the Trinidad and Tobago Government has started issuing Importing Licenses from the beginning of the year.

It is not clear whether only dealers can apply for and receive such licenses or if it is available for anyone. But the effects can already be felt. Because of this transition of requiring a licenses was started this year, many importers lost thousands of dollars after not having the proper documents to import the vehicle. If a car importer doesn’t not have a licenses from now on, they will not be able to clear the car.

So far over 350 foreign used car dealers have this license.

Buying From Auctions: Inspection Sheets

February 25, 2008

Auctions are an excellent place to start your search for a Japanese used car from Japan. This is because it has many benefits over other choices. The most obvious is the selection. On average there is about 20,000 vehicle listed every day, for that day alone, on the top 20 auction group listings. Another benefit is the value where, because there is so many cars to choose from, you’re not stuck with one costly vehicle to choose from because everyone want it. Another big benefit is the Inspection Sheets most auctions have.

Inspection Sheets were designed to give you, the bidder and buyer, a quick idea what kind of condition the car is in. Each auction does things a little from others, but in general they have the same content.

The first thing you might notice is a big car diagram usually found on the bottom right of most inspection sheets. This diagram show you the physical flaws on the body and glass on the car. The different symbols/letters mean different things to different auctions, but for some general information, look here for some general guidelines for auction grading.

On the top, you will often find especially on paper-based inspection sheets to larger box on the top left, and top right. On the left side this is usually the Exhibit number, the number give for that car so people can identify it on auction day. If you find a car you like, this is the number you should write down. Your auction agent (also called bidding agent) will be able to quickly find the vehicle to do a hands on inspection.

The box on the top right is car’s grading box. It will usually show a number, dash (not rated or worst condition), asterisks (***), or a letter. A zero or non-number usually signifies it’s been in an accident and/or repaired. An exception is R1 which means it has been modified for racing. Of course, as said earlier, there is a slight variation between auctions. With the numbers, the higher the better. In general, 3.5 is average/decent quality. That means it doesn’t have much more than a few minor scratches or very small dents. For exporting, this is probably the lowest standard you’ll want to avoid additional repairs.

Just a few more exception to the grading system. First the letter “S” means brand new and “T” mean special purpose vehicle. Also, if there is a smaller box below this grading box and has a letter or number, that box is for when they separately rate the interior of the car. Without the smaller grade box, the grading box is for both exterior and interior.

Other information you will find in an inspection sheet include:

  • Car identity numbers and information
  • Engine information
  • Transmission type
  • History
  • Last Car Inspection (Shaken)
  • Mileage
  • Color (Exterior and Interior)
  • Equipment
  • Fuel Type
  • Dimensions
  • Other sales points
  • and Inspection Notes

Most is self explanatory. One important thing to note is that all the grading is for the body’s condition and not include the rating for the car’s mechanical condition. To find how the car is mechanically, this information can be found in the “Inspection/Inspectors Notes” section. This is written in Japanese so will need to have it translated by your auction agent.

Auction Inspection Sheets are excellent tools for searching for cars, but they are not a substitute for hands on inspections of your agent that will be there at the auction physically. Make sure you mention to your agent exactly what you want and what is acceptable before he bids for you. Often, auction sites provide digital images for your agent to send you before bidding happens. Take your time, there are often many cars available that match your specification.

For more information on Inspection Sheets visit:

Japanese Used Car Exporting.info – Inspection Sheets
Japanese Used Car Exporting.info – Japanese to English Inspection Sheet Translations

New Year for Russia, New Rules for Importers

February 19, 2008

Latest news from Russia is starting this year, individual importers will be limited 1 car. Now what does that mean?

Very simple. People can’t import more than 1 whole car as a personal import. Importer businesses can continue on no problem, and for the individuals, you’ll have to resort to (but not recommended) importing parts which basically means cars split in half.

So at the moment, importing should see much of a big hit, but if other rules change, things can tighten. And for those not watching the news, Russia will be getting a new president this year so things might change a little.

Back from Holidays – News on Bulgaria and Kenya

February 18, 2008

Hi readers, I just got back on the weekend from holiday/vacation last week. Reading my mail and RSS feeds seems that there hasn’t been too much going on while I was gone.

There are claims that Kenya might be hit in its imports due to the [big] political changes happening, resulting in possible tighter controls. On the other hand, Bulgaria’s used car import figures have increased, but in my opinion, that looks like a short term jump. The demographics just won’t be able to sustain to much imports. (Bulgaria has a small rich class, and the rest are of a quite poor class)

Other than that, check back later this week for more info coming up. And as always, if you got questions on importing, check out:

The Website – Japan-Used-Car-Exporting.info/Import/ -and-
The Forum – JCarsNow.com/JDM/

Australian Import Duty Going Down in 2010?

February 5, 2008

A little tidbit of information I’ve found. I don’t know if it will go through or not, but according to the 2007 Australian Customs Tariff Schedule, we may see the Duty rate drop from 10% to 5% in 2010. Here is what it says:

Tarrif Numbers 8703.21, 8703.22, 8703.23, 8703.24, 8703.31, 8703.32, 8703.33, 8703.90
—-Used or secondhand vehicles

10%, and $12 000 each [that is $12,000 if you fail to get import approval before arrival]

From 1 January 2010:
5%, and $12 000 each [same as above]

Source (PDF)

If that is true, that will make importing even cheaper for Australian looking to import JDM. Hopefully it gets through.

For more information on Importing to Australia, and other countries, visit:

http://japan-used-car-exporting.info/import/

Used Car Exports Up 2007

February 1, 2008

Japan’s Ministry of Finance gives the used car exports industry a chance to look at snapshots of what progress is being made by giving monthly and yearly statistics. In review of 07, there is some big increases especially in Russia, and an increase year to year from 06.

More details (semi-technical) after the break… (more…)