Parts Freedom

Chandi Dharmaratne

May 11, 2012 (LBO) – Sri Lankan boat builders say taxes on imported parts are pushing up production costs while they are losing domestic market share to foreign vessels that are allowed duty free. A country with cheaper boats could become bigger player in the vast Indian Ocean.

Boat manufacturers however say taxes on imported components are hurting them. They also want a bigger domestic market share.

Gamini Herath, managing director of the Boat Building Technology Improvement Institute, said the industry is lobbying through the National Chamber of Exporters against duty free imports but got no favourable response.

“Because of recession in the West, many second-hand boats are available at very low prices, like used cars,” Herath said.

“All components imported for local boat production are taxable,” Herath said.

“We’re not against import of boats but are asking for fair play and also to maintain quality standards which local manufacturers have to observe in order to access export markets.”

Allowing imports are a key way to keep large industrialists on their toes, forcing them to compete against the best that the world has to offer. Country’s like Sri Lanka, where labou