LTA, FRCS Urge Importers Of Used Goods Vehicles To Obtain Clearance For Modifications

Fiji’s Land Transport Authority (LTA) has urged importers of used goods vehicles, such as Hiace and Vannette, to obtain prior clearance from the Fiji Revenue and Customs Service (FRCS) before modifying them into passenger vehicles and registering them. 

This directive addresses concerns over the practice of adding seats to imported goods vehicles after customs clearance, which bypasses passenger vehicle regulations and tax rates.

LTA Acting CEO Irimaia Rokosawa stated that this practice undermines regulatory controls, poses safety hazards, and facilitates tax evasion. 

“Any attempt to transform these vehicles into passenger vehicles without prior clearance from the FRCS will be met with stringent enforcement measures. The illicit conversion of goods vehicles into passenger vehicles not only jeopardises public safety but also undermines the fairness and transparency of our regulatory framework.

“The LTA is steadfast in working in partnership with the FRCS to curb these illicit activities and uphold the highest standards of compliance and safety within Fiji’s transportation sector,” Rokosawa said.

Passenger vehicles, subject to stringent regulations, are bound by specific criteria, including age restrictions (8 years old) and emission standards (Euro 4). Contrarily, goods vehicles adhere only to Euro 4 emission standards, presenting a loophole that certain entities exploit.

Goods vehicles, which only need to meet Euro 4 emission standards, are being converted to passenger vehicles post-clearance to avoid stricter criteria, including age restrictions and higher duties for passenger vehicles.

Rokosawa emphasised that any unauthorised conversion would face strict enforcement.

FRCS CEO Udit Singh echoed the call for adherence to regulations, warning of severe penalties for those manipulating vehicle classifications. Both agencies are committed to maintaining compliance and safety in Fiji’s transportation sector.

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