Philippines Cuts Import Tariffs On Hybrid Cars To 0% Until 2028

This full reduction of import tariffs encompasses both self-charging and plug-in hybrid cars. 

The Filipino government has recently announced that it has slashed the import duties on hybrid cars to 0%. Down from the 30% rate previously applied, this newly-signed executive order by President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. paves the way for hybrids (of the self-charging and plug-in variety) to enjoy the same zero tax benefit currently enjoyed by full EVs imported into the country. 

This new executive order was signed to further supplement the existing EVIDA law that pushes wider electrification efforts in the country, with this zero-tariff benefit extending till at least 2028. Aside from hybrid vehicles too, fully electric two-wheelers (e-bikes and e-motorbikes) as well as the charging components for EVs and other related production equipment have also seen its import taxes drop to 0% from this new piece of legislation. 

Toyota Hybrid Electric Mobility

Now it is worth highlighting that this headline import duty cut from 30% to 0% primarily benefits non-ASEAN made hybrid vehicles, as ASEAN-made hybrids already benefit from zero import tariff due to the ASEAN Free Trade Agreement (AFTA). This zero import duty perk also does not appear to encompass mild-hybrid vehicles with 12 to 48 V systems, or more generally vehicles that cannot move using electric power alone.

Looking at the wider ASEAN market, the Philippines is one of the few countries to still be offering tax incentives on hybrid vehicles. The Malaysian government previously waived import and excise tax on hybrids with engine capacities below 2,000 cc, but it has been nearly a decade now since this incentive was last offered. 

Given that hybrids still provide a practical means of going green amid the still-developing charging infrastructure over here, the more pragmatic might say that giving just pure EVs all the perks is more for getting a few shiny new names into the Malaysian auto market, instead of truly being committed to a feasible green transition. A sub-RM 60,000 Perodua Ativa Hybrid is after all a more attractive proposition for most ordinary Malaysians to consider going green with, in place of a RM 100,000 EV that will inevitably require an even greater acceleration in the national charging infrastructure

Joshua Chin

Automotive journalist. Professional work on and Personal writing found at Instagram: @driveeveryday

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