Isuzu Motors wins court battle over 1.8 billion baht import tariff
The Supreme Court on Friday upheld the lower court’s verdict and dismissed the Customs and Revenue departments’ demand that Isuzu Motors (Thailand) pay some 1.8 billion baht in import duty.
The automaker had earlier slapped the two departments with a lawsuit for refusing to apply the discounted import tariff on the transmission gear sets it had imported from the Philippines between 1999 and 2002.
Isuzu said that under the Asean Industrial Cooperation (AICO) scheme, it was entitled to an import duty of 5 per cent. However, the two departments said Isuzu was not qualified for the discounted rate because the gearsets had been used in truck models not specified in the product certificate and hence must pay the full 42 per cent tariff.
The Supreme Court rejected the claim on Friday and upheld the lower court’s verdict, which said the details specified in the certification were just model numbers and did not affect the essence of the AICO scheme. Hence, Isuzu will only be required to pay the 5 per cent import duty.
The court also dismissed the two departments’ appeal, which claimed that the automaker had imported fewer transmission sets than the approved number. They also claimed that its subsidiary, Isuzu Engine Manufacturing (Thailand), also did not meet the requirements to export car engines under the AICO scheme.
The court, however, said the appeal was based on new facts that had not been raised when evaluating the import tax. Hence, using them would go against the procedure and would be unfair to the importer.