HARI ng smuggling? Hyundai still silent after getting caught cheating gov’t of P1B in duties
The local dealer of South Korean automotive giant Hyundai has yet to respond to government findings that it cheated the government of P1 billion in taxes and duties when it passed off its fully-built, cheap car model Eons as an assembly kit.
It has been nearly a month since Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez told reporters that the government has kicked out Hyundai Asia Resources Inc. (HARI), the exclusive dealer of Hyundai in the Philippines, for being a smuggler.
In a report by Malaya Business Insight, Lopez said the government “has has cancelled the registration of HARI as participant in the Motor Vehicle Development Program (MVDP) after it found the company to have been importing semi-knocked down (SKD) kits instead of completely knocked down (CKD) which would have supported its assembly operations.”
A CKD is charged only one percent duty or just a fraction of the 20 percent charged for completely built up units of Eons that it ships to the country.
The Eons did not require any assembly as it only needed tires and batteries before going to car showrooms. Lopez noted that the Eons arrived in the country withvehicle identification numbers.
“We have found they have not been assembling as what was committed.(HARI) did not comply with its commitment to assemble which was the basis of the cancellation(of registration),” said Lopez.
Lopez had pushed through with the ejection of HARI from the MVDP because he was not satisfied with its explanation.
Apparently, HARI is waiting for Lopez to make good his threat to file technicla smuggling charges against the company and recover the P1 billion government losses.
Inquirer columnist Conrad Banal said: “From what I gathered, Lopez still could not decide whether or not to file smuggling case against Hyundai with the Bureau of Customs.”
HARI’s chairman emeritus is Bilyonaryo Richard Lee who is described in the company’s website as coming “froma family that pioneered and built the automotive business in the country on the solid foundation of trust and integrity.”
Other officers of HARI are chairman Edward S. Go, vice chairman Conrad Marty, and president and CEO Ma. Fe Perez-Agudo.