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Ministry tackles overloaded vehicles

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A man rides his motorbike without a helmet past a traffic police officer in Phnom Penh’s Chroy Changvar district. Hong Menea

Ministry tackles overloaded vehicles

In the first six months of the year, officials from the Ministry of Public Works and Transport found over 280,000 overloaded vehicles during road inspections, said a report by the ministry’s overload control committee dated July 6.

The report also said the General Department of Customs and Excise warned the owners of 846 cars which were seized over the last four years that the vehicles will be sold if they do not collect them and pay fines and taxes they owe.

Officials inspected 1,094,397 cars during the first six months of the year. Of that total, 281,244 (26 per cent) were overloaded.

The ministry’s undersecretary of state and chairman of the overload control committee Seng Chhuon said a working group planned to set up more inspection stations and improve some existing ones.

“We advised station officials to strengthen work performance by adhering to working ethics and cooperate well with relevant partners,” he said.

Chhuon said the six-month period was the first time the committee worked together after transport minister Sun Chanthol changed its staff.

The General Department of Customs and Excise of the Ministry of Economy and Finance announced on Wednesday that owners of seized vehicles and goods who evaded taxes must pay them and collect their vehicles. If they don’t, the vehicles and goods would be sold.

A notice issued by the department dated July 8 said owners have 60 days to pay their taxes and fines to retrieve their vehicles. Owners of vehicles with steering wheels on the right side have to fulfil two conditions.

First, they must make a 70 per cent deposit on their tax bills and fines and change the steering wheels to the left side of their vehicles.

Secondly, owners have to show Customs and Excise officials proof they changed their steering wheels and pay the rest of their taxes and fines as well as an additional 30 per cent of their total fine to receive a receipt for vehicle registration. This is in line with laws and regulations, the notice said.

The notice said if owners of vehicles and goods fail to fulfil their obligations, their property would be considered unclaimed under Articles 54 and 55 of the Customs law.

The department would then put them up for public sale to collect income for the national budget.

A department official who asked not to be named said some of the goods seized had been confiscated as long as four years ago.

He said they were domestic goods which have not yet been taxed.

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