The Turks and Caicos islands have introduced a new import duty structure for motor vehicles, in the hope that it will provide an incentive for the purchase of more fuel efficient automobiles, including hybrids:
The new tariffs on vehicles take into consideration the size of the engine with the simple principle — the smaller the engine, the less you pay.
Customs Advisor Geoffrey Thorne says the intent behind the changes had several benefits. The new import tariffs are intended to encourage smaller, more fuel efficient automobiles in the country. It will also have the knock off effect of raising the value of used cars on the island, encouraging the recycling or longer use of cars already in service in the country, he said.
While not an absolute, the general rule is the smaller the engine and vehicle, the less gas it burns per mile. The more fuel efficient the car, the less fuel it burns, so the less carbon dioxide it produces. According to the U.S. Environment Protection Agency, each gallon of gasoline burned creates 20 pounds of carbon dioxide, or between 6 and 9 tons each year for a typical vehicle.
Carbon dioxide is the chief greenhouse gas that results from human activities and is recognized as the major cause of global warming and climate change.
This explains why hybrid vehicles have been given preference in the new tariff with only 10 percent import duty. Hybrid-electric vehicles (HEVs) combine the benefits of gasoline engines and electric motors and can be configured to obtain different objectives, such as improved fuel economy, increased power, or additional auxiliary power for electronic devices and power tools.
The Turks and Caicos fp has more details.