Tougher laws needed in parallel import industry

I read with much dismay the news of the two parallel import car dealers closing down (Two parallel import car dealers shut suddenly; April 2).

There have been multiple cases of parallel import car dealers shutting down abruptly and absconding with the deposits of numerous consumers.

Perhaps the current regulations are inadequate in providing sufficient protection for consumers, while allowing firms to engage in unethical business practices.

Due to the very low certificate of entitlement prices, there is likely to be an increase in the demand for new vehicles.

Some consumers may be drawn to the lower prices and incentives offered by parallel importers, despite multiple warnings issued by the Consumers Association of Singapore and the Government to be wary of deals that sound too good to be true.

The Government should impose new and stricter regulations on parallel importers, such as having a minimum capital amount to weather tough economic times or other external factors.

The cases of consumers losing their deposits highlight the need for additional regulations in the industry.

Akshay Nitin Dhulia

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 05, 2018, with the headline 'Tougher laws needed in parallel import industry'. Print Edition | Subscribe