Prominent automotive businessman calls for ‘reconsidering’ sector taxation policies

(Photo: Ayah Siam/Jordan News)
(Photo: Ayah Siam/Jordan News)
AMMAN — Tarek H. Tabbaa, president of General Association of Automotive Agents (GAAA), Spare Parts & Accessories Traders said in an interview with Jordan News that “We always strive for citizens’ safety and to build on the positivity of the local market.”اضافة اعلان

Tabbaa who holds a graduate degree in business, invests in the food and beverage sector, as well as the automotive industry. He is also a general manager at Renault Trucks dealership in Jordan.

Taxation and customs imposed on traders and citizens alike during the past five years did not come in favor for trade of new or used cars, that is why our government should reconsider its decisions in laws and legislations; especially concerning the imposed customs, to follow a logical path and achieve a win-win situation,” Tabbaa said.

According to Tabbaa, car traders and dealers, whether in Amman or at the free zones, are highly committed to importing good quality cars that match the safety and warranty specifications, however, the businessman stressed the need for reconsidering customs and taxes in order to empower the car market.

“Hybrid and electric cars are showing enormous success worldwide, and (the industry) is quite successful here in Jordan despite the market drop that our country was facing the previous years, yet, the government is going to force customs, which will lead to price hikes on hybrid cars. We hope that this decision will be re-evaluated or postponed,” added Tabbaa
Tabbaa claims that “we at GAAA are working closely with the Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Supply to spread awareness among consumers and citizens, and part of this awareness is to be alert of having clear and direct warranty, whether for buying new or used cars, and even for spare parts and accessories, in addition to safety awareness — which we will be discussing with the government soon, to impose higher safety standards for imported cars.”

In terms of safety and how to better protect consumers, the Jordan Standards and Metrology Organization, has laid out new standards regarding importing car tires, such as the tire’s life cycle and storage conditions that ensure the endurance of tires.
For his part, Tabbaa said “I am not a tire specialist, but we really have highly professional specialists. A safety awareness campaign should deliver messages and awareness across the Kingdom.”

Tabbaa underlined the importance of the cars and spare parts sector in Jordan, which, according to the businessman, employs “thousands of Jordanians.”

Tabbaa noted that heavy vehicles like pickups and trucks are a source of income to many Jordanian families, not to mention the importance of these vehicles to the national economy as means of transportation of goods and merchandise.

“Those types of vehicles must have special treatment and legislation when it comes to customs; those types of automobiles generate money for the government, traders and consumers, which is the win-win situation I am talking about,” said Tabbaa.

The businessman commended some officials for being active and swift when dealing with issues facing the sector.

“We are really fortunate to have active decision makers in our field, like the minister of finance and the minister of industry and trade. For us, one of the most important (public bodies) is the Jordan Customs Department, as well as the ministries of finance and trade and industry, along with the Jordan Standards and Metrology Organization. They all work hard and harmoniously to protect all sides, starting from citizens, and all the way to the Treasury,” he said.

“A very important part of our narrative is talking about the global hike in cargo charges induced by the COVID-19 pandemic. The general director of customs has setup a number of meetings with the private sector that ended up with announcing new regulations, which came in favor of the sector, yet needed some modifications to achieve justice at all levels, for both importers to consumers,” he added.

Tarek H. Tabbaa is focused these days of the campaign calling for reconsidering regulations of customs imposed on the automotive sector, he noted, adding that “a five-year business plan should be designed and studied in a more logical and practical way in order to achieve the best results for all parties.”

“We cannot compare our strategies or plans to any other country, as each has it is own philosophy. The Jordanian government’s main source of revenue is customs and sales taxes, but we are seriously working on studies based on analysis and real numbers that may convince the government to reschedule the regulations or restrictions that are imposed, which of course is not an easy decision as many people think; rescheduling does not stands only on customs reduction, but it will be followed with many other issues that require significant study with accurate numbers to shift to a more practical working dynamic, keeping in mind that any modification will impact all sides, both government and consumer,” he said.

Tabbaa alluded to the fact that there is an urgent need for amendments and changes in customs and taxation policies in the upcoming years.

“Throughout the past five years there has been a decline in the purchasing power of Jordanians but today this decline is much clearer. The reason behind that is the high cost of living. All industries can face ups and downs, but I believe that this sector will see a boom again in a very strong way through more flexible methods.”

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