Algiers — The car imports bill decreased to USD 141.16 millionin January 2016 against USD 377.88 million in January 2015, i.e. a decrease of 62.64%, Customs told APS.
The quantity imported was almost divided by three in one year with 9309 cars imported in January against 27,497 units in the same month of the previous year, i.e. a drop of 66.15% in number, the National Center for Statistics and Customs (CNIS) announced.
As for car dealers who hold the largest share of the national market, their imports' decline fluctuated between 29% and 97% in value, and between about 1% and 98% in terms of quantity.
The largest declines in value and quantity have been e recorded in dealers selling Asian and German brands.
Despite the freezing of bank debits for imports subject to licensing, the Chairman of the Algerian Automobile Dealers Association (AC2A) Sefiane Hasnaoui told APS that "the opening of bank documents was made prior to the release on 5 January 2016 of the note of the Association of banks and financial institutions (Abef) on the freezing of debits of imports subject to licensing."
Thus, the bank debits of imports of 9.309 vehicles had been made before 5 January but they arrived in the ports in the first months of the year, the president of (AC2A) said, i.e. 95% of imports cars.
"Other vehicles registered before this date will arrive in February," he added.
In the wake of the oil price fall, the government decided to cap some imports through the implementation of the import licensing regime since January.