Rwanda Revenue Authority has seized 34 right hand driven vehicles owned by Rwandans living in Rwanda, with foreign plate numbers.
The tax body said on Friday in a statement that vehicles owned by Rwandans living in Rwanda must be registered in Rwanda with a local plate number.
It said most culprits were Rwandans living in border districts neighbouring the Democratic Republic of Congo, owning right hand driven cars with Congolese number plates.
According to the Investigation conducted by the tax body, it was discovered that there were imported vehicles that were destined for Congo but never left the Rwandan territory.
“These cars imported from Asia had been given a transit regime from Rusumo boarder to Congo, but their importers noticed that it would be difficult for them to re-enter in Rwanda with Congolese identifications due to boarder closing under COVID-19, as reported by one who was arrested by Rwanda Revenue Authority and have been involved in this business,” the statement reads in part.
Faced with this challenge, the owners of these imported cars decided then to leave uncustomed and restricted vehicles in Rwanda, and get entry cards and plate numbers from Congo whereas vehicles have never entered Congo which is against customs regulation.
“We have engaged Congo customs and institutions to put in necessary efforts and undergo further investigations to stop this malpractice, which has bad consequences on both countries,” RRA said.
According to the tax body, since these vehicles are strictly restricted in Rwanda, those seized could be returned to Congo if they meet requirements or be destroyed, says the Authority.
Meanwhile, based on their customs value, imported cars are liable for Customs duties (25%), Value Added Tax (18%), Consumption taxes (5%, 10% or 15%) depending on the engine power, Infrastructure Development Levy (1.5%), African Union Levy (0.2%), withholding tax (5%) and registration fees that varies from Rwf 250.000 to Frw 350.000.