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Traders report ‘zero’ selling of hybrid vehicles at free zone

By Raed Omari - Feb 24,2018 - Last updated at Feb 24,2018

Only two cars have been cleared in three months in the Zarqa Free Zone, traders complained on Saturday, blaming the 'zero' activity to the government's decision to cancel the exemptions on Hybrid cars (JT file photo)

AMMAN — Only two cars have been cleared in three months in the Zarqa Free Zone (ZFZ), traders complained on Saturday, blaming the "zero" activity to government's decisions.

"Nobody is buying… nobody is selling… all hoping the government would renew tax exemption on hybrid cars," investor at ZFZ said.

Hybrid car buyers used to pay a reduced special sales tax of 25 per cent of the price instead of 55 per cent for regular fuel cars. 

The government decided to cancel the exemptions in 2012, but the decision has been always postponed since then. This year, the government cancelled the exemptions and added another tax, calculated on the basis of the car’s weight, on all cars ranging between JD500 to JD1,500.

"The only two cars cleared were for a trader who bought them for himself and his wife," the investor, who preferred to remain unnamed, told The Jordan Times.

He also said that a “leading” car importer at ZFZ has resigned from the syndicate representing the zone’s businesses during a meeting with government officials in protest against the decision to cancel tax exemption on hybrid vehicles.

"The speculations over authorities' intention to, or not to, reverse the decision is also affecting our business as customers are afraid of losses if they buy hybrid cars at the present prices then the prices go down." 

In recent remarks to The Jordan Times, Jordan Free Zone Investor Commission President Nabeel Rumman said that new tax hikes, which took effect February 1, raised the prices of hybrid cars between JD4,000 and JD8,000, depending on the model, make and engine size of the car.

The sector leader said the move is “not feasible” for the government, stakeholders or residents as the tax is “too high”, added Rumman.
Rumman called on the government to extend the tax exemption, as it would have positive impact on the national economy with direct revenues to the Treasury.

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