Re-export of Japanese cars produced for the US from Georgia to Azerbaijan remains problematic.
Limitation operates within the regulation, which prohibits exports to Azerbaijan vehicles that don’t meet Euro-4 standard requirements. Currently, the problem has only the vehicles manufactured in Japan for the US market. This is due to the fact that American cars made since 2004 meet the Euro-4 standard, but in Japan this standard was enacted in 2011. Accordingly, the Japanese cars produced for example in 2009 cannot be exported to Azerbaijan.
For this reason, the Azerbaijani customs officers do not pass through the border such cars. The Revenue Service of the Ministry of Finance tried to solve the problem and transported in test mode Japanese Lexus produced for the United States across the border. According to the head of the Caucasus Auto-Import George Surguladze, after long bureaucratic procedures, they’ve managed to transport the test car to Azerbaijan, but the problem still remains unresolved.
“It was test transportation, but it does not solve the problem as a whole. In fact, Lexus was transported to Azerbaijan almost violently. By law, the vehicles can be transported across the border, but the export is artificially blocked. There is no guarantee that a particular car can cross the border, so the Azerbaijani dealers do not create unnecessary problems for themselves and not buy cars from us, “- the businessman notes.
In his words, the problem should be solved at the international level between Baku and Tbilisi, as it cannot be solved at the level of car dealers and customs officials. The Revenue Service confirmed presence of the problem in a conversation with CBW.
“In order to solve it, the Revenue Service representatives met with the Azerbaijani customs officials, who said they are ready to examine each individual fact, if something like that happens again. So if someone has a problem at the border, they should apply to us and we will inform the leadership of the Azerbaijani customs,” Khatia Moistsrapishvili, the head of the PR department at Georgia’s Revenue Service, states.
The new regulation on the import of cars to Azerbaijan entered into force on 1 April. From that day, the country banned the import of cars that don’t meet the Euro-4 standard, which means an automatic ban on import of vehicles older than 2004, which were traditionally in demand by Azeri buyers. Regulations delivered a nasty blow to the Georgian re-export to Azerbaijan. In 2014, the vehicles took first place in the list of exports from Georgia while in 2015 – only the third.