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Government may ease import norms for high-end electric vehicles, cars, bikes - Report

Auto News - Published on Mon, 11 Jun 2018

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Times of India reported that Indian roads may see a rush of top-of-the-line electric vehicles, luxury cars, vans and superbikes, with the government all set to liberalise import norms by removing restrictions on price and engine capacities, as well as the mandatory local testing conditions. The liberalisation may encourage new product launches by carmakers such as Mercedes, BMW, Nissan, and Toyota and premium two-wheeler companies like Triumph and Kawasaki.

Sources said that the government will henceforth allow the import of vehicles, which are certified by internationally-accepted test agencies such as those in Europe, Singapore and some other countries.

Current norms fixed by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) allow homologation-free (without mandatory local testing) import of four-wheelers valued above INR 27 lakh at the exchange rate of INR 67 to a dollar and two-wheelers of 800-cc and beyond. These would now be done away with, although import and other duties will still need to be paid at the current rates. In certain segments, import duties add up to over 100%.

Sources added that the proposed norms will allow a manufacturer or its agent to import 2,500 units annually and these would not require test-clearance by Indian agencies.

Luxury vans may benefit from the measure. While Toyota can look at introducing the Alphard people's carrier, Mercedes may be prompted to get the Viano van or V-Class.

The road transport ministry has issued a draft notification on easing the norm, which it claimed will increase the options for consumers to buy globally-popular models. This, officials said, will also pave the way for registration of imported vehicles across states, which has been a problem in certain states.

To ensure that imported vehicles meet certain Indian conditions, the draft notification says that these will have to have "right hand steering control" while complying with international standards set in Europe and Singapore.

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Posted By : Rabi Wangkhem on Mon, 11 Jun 2018
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