An interview with Vakhtang Lashkaradze, Deputy Head of the Revenue Service of the Ministry of Finance
2014 was not a very good year for the car business of Georgia – in particular, after Azerbaijan introduced new standards of fuel, sellers of cars were on the verge of bankruptcy. What is the situation now?
In 2014, the export of cars from Georgia fell. The problem is evident, and therefore we have been working on initiatives to promote this business for more than a month.
We met several times with representatives of the sector, both individuals and legal entities. We attempted to fully analyze the problem to understand exactly how to achieve maximum effect.
We focused on three areas, and they are generally based on the same concept. Perhaps our initiatives will affect vehicles imported to Georgia until April 1. It is assumed that the timing of payment of customs duties will be extended until September 1 and all penalties will be removed.
The second initiative is to increase the 45-day period allowing to move around the country by car without proper clearance. Perhaps the period will be extended to 60 or even 90 days.
If the car cannot be sold within 90 days, it is planned to simplify the rules of placement cars in a customs warehouse.
Will the new initiative have an impact on budget revenues?
If it is really implemented, we expect the growth of budget revenues rather than reduction. With regard to the reduction of budget revenues the initiative can cause – it is minimal and will not have any significant impact on revenues to the treasury.
Car dealers are one of the major exporters in the country. Do you plan to stimulate this business?
The Government is actively working with the business, and not just with the car business. But the issue has become more urgent, and we are now working on the document.
We intend to meet again with car dealers and show them our initiative already in finished form, on paper, in order to hear their views, take into account their possible comments. If they offer something useful, we will definitely keep it in mind.