Archive for June, 2008

Importing Japanese Used Cars Into Mongolia



All merchandise imported is subject to a value-added tax (VAT) of 13%, and a 5% import duty. Import duty does not apply to equipment and tools imported to Mongolia for hospitals.

Vehicles are subject to an additional excise tax (in addition to import duty and VAT):

Excise Tax Schedule For Automobiles
Cylinder Capacity
Tax on cars used
from 0 to 2 years
Tax on cars used
from 2 to 4 years
Tax on cars used
over +4 years
Up to 2000 $500.00 $1000.00 $2000.00
2001-3000 $1000.00 $2000.00 $4000.00
Over 3001 $1500.00 $3000.00 $6000.00

Customs Declaration Fees:

  • US$5 for basic declaration;
  • US$8 for basic intensive and simplified customs declaration;
  • US$5 for every additional declaration.
  • Payment for the charged services are to be made in MNT at the US Dollar rate of the day.

Other Costs:

  • Annual Vehicle Tax
    • 2,000MNT to 100,000MNT depending on engine size and capacity.
    • Annually, must be returned by Feb 15th of next year.


The following documents are required by Mongolian Customs:

  • Contract for import
  • License for import
  • Cargo Manifest
  • Bill of Lading
  • Transportation Invoice (railway bill, road shipment bill, airfreight bill, and/or combined transportation bill)
  • Merchandise Customs Declaration
  • Declaration of Merchandise Value
  • Proof of Insurance
  • Commercial Invoice
  • Payment Receipt
  • Status on quality control of goods
  • Packing List
  • Certificate of Origin
  • License from responsible agency
  • Receipts of payment for related duties and taxes



Goods are cleared based on a Customs Merchandise Declaration, which is filled out by the importer/exporter in Mongolian. The importer/exporter can use the service of broker companies such as MONGOLTRANS, TUUSHIN and IFFC, to prepare the Merchandise Customs Declaration.

The general steps to clear imported goods are shown below and should be followed in sequence:

  1. 1. Importer/ Exporter (I/E) obtains shipment documents from the Transport Dispatcher at the point of arrival of goods (UB Train Station, Toolkit Station or “Gurvaljin” container yard, etc.).
  2. An inspector at the Ulaanbaatar Railroad Customs makes sure that the packet of papers is complete and reviews shipment documents.
  3. I/E goes to one of the broker companies (MONGOLTRANS, TUUSHIN and IFFC) to prepare a Merchandise Customs Declaration.
  4. Payment of taxes and fees to the bank (located in the same building as the Ulaanbaatar Railroad Customs).
  5. I/E brings all collected documents to a goods clearance officer at the UB Railroad Customs and obtains a number for the Merchandise Customs Declaration.
  6. Importer/Exporter and Customs Inspector go to the container yard to inspect the goods.
  7. Goods are inspected and released.

Source: All tax informations here should be checked for any updates.


June 26, 2008 at 11:37 am Leave a comment

Doing Business in Mongolia

Market Overview:

  • Prospects for 2005-2006: Surging to 10% in 2004, growth was led by higher commodity prices for gold, copper, etc. spurred by demand from Mongolia’s chief trading partner, China. Government estimates predict 8% growth in 2005. However, 8% may be too optimistic as the impact of the end of the Multi-Fiber Agreement on Mongolia’s 2nd biggest export earner—apparel—will lower overall growth. Economic tightening coupled with a high rate of public indebtedness promise to make 2005 and 2006 leaner years for Mongolia.
  • Political Situation: Mongolia has held eight presidential and parliamentary elections in the past 12 years, during which power changed political hands peacefully. In 2004, the Democratic opposition won 34 seats, leaving the former communists (MPRP) with 36, with 3 seats going to independents and two still in dispute (seven months after the election). There was some initial worry that the even split between rivals would render Mongolia ungovernable; however both parties formed a Grand Coalition government that has held together and governed so far. Changes have yet to disrupt the local business environment or the administrative apparatus.
  • Mongolian-U.S. Relations: Good Mongolian-US relations have developed rapidly over the last 15 years to include humanitarian and technical assistance, military to military relations, business development, and a host of smaller programs. Mongolia calls the US its “third neighbor” to balance relations with China and Russia. Mongolia has contributed peacekeeping forces to both Iraq and Afghanistan. Over the past decade, we record no incidents of anti-American sentiment or politically motivated damage to American projects or installations.
  • Russo-Sino-Mongolian Relations: Relations with Russia and China are critical because Mongolia depends on both for power, petroleum and transportation. Sour relations among these neighbors invariably affects Mongolia’s business environment. When the Dalai Lama visited in spring 2003, the Chinese temporarily halted all commercial rail shipments for “technical reasons.”

Market Challenges:

  • Weak rule of law
  • Corruption in the bureaucracy
  • Ignorance of best commercial practices in the government and private sectors
  • Lack of transparency in regulatory and legislative processes
  • Some abuse of phyto-sanitary and licensing regimes in both the pharmaceutical and food production industries to protect existing state and private interests

Market Opportunities:

  • Mining: Over 6000 deposits of approximately 80 minerals exist in Mongolia, among them coal, copper, uranium, iron ore, oil, tungsten, molybdenum and phosphate. Of particular note are Mongolia’s excellent metallurgic coal deposits. Currently, 160 are being exploited. Mongolia’s location next to resource needy Chinese provides a ready market for Mongolia’s mineral wealth. As with all industrial sectors in Mongolia, the developing infrastructure is a concern.

  • Construction: The population of the Mongolian capital Ulaanbaatar has more than doubled in 7 years from 450,000 to over a million. Quality commercial and residential stock is in short supply and demand shows no signs of slacking. By 2010, Ulaanbaatar’s population is expected to grow by over 60%, bringing a demand of 700,000 additional family units as well increased need for expanding municipal facilities.
  • Tourism: Mongolia is an attractive venue for adventure and cultural tourism. In 2004, the government estimates that over 200,000 visitors saw famed fossil discoveries, a legendary history, religious sites, and a vibrant, living nomad culture. However, long, cold winters limit the length of the tourist season. Inadequate tourism infrastructure requires upgrading.
  • Meat Processing: Mongolia has vast herds of sheep and cattle, and hungry neighbors. Satisfying demand in Russia, China, Korea, and Japan offers an opportunity to American ranchers and meat processing and marketing technologies. However quotas and restrictive health regulations inhibit the meat trade among Mongolian and her neighbors. Existing Mongolian processing facilities require upgrading to increase production capacity, quality, and sanitation. For this and for other opportunities to export American agricultural products and technologies into Mongolia, contact the USDA supported Mongolia-based AGPROMO at

Market Entry Strategies:

  • Personal Relations are key: Mongolians like to deal with old friends. Investors must establish and maintain close relationships with their Mongolian counterparts and relevant government agencies. Family and school ties are still very strong in Mongolia. Learn who is related to whom when establishing business connections.

  • Use of Agents: Find a Mongolian advisor to guide through the ins and outs of local customs and business practices.

  • Structure of ownership: The Foreign Investment Law of Mongolia does not require foreign investors to have a Mongolian partner. All investment may be 100% foreign-owned and operated (with the exception of land ownership).

  • Product Pricing: Sensitive to price, Mongolian consumers will choose the less expensive product–unless they can be swayed by after-sales service or clear product superiority. They perceive American- branded goods as superior to all others, and will more often than not pay a premium to avoid purchasing lower cost, lower quality items

June 26, 2008 at 11:28 am Leave a comment

Mongolia’s Used Car Market

Before the 1990s, made-in-Russia vehicles filled the streets of Ulaanbaatar. Today, one can see hardly any Russian cars among Ulaanbaatar’s 70,000 vehicles, except off-road vehicles like UAZ jeeps, still favored by many off road drivers. Ulaanbaatar’s motor vehicles range from cheap, small sedans to big off-road jeeps, many of which were imported from South Korea and Japan. No traffic laws exist to limit today’s mixed traffic of both left and right-hand driven cars. According to foreign trade statistical figures from the first ten months of last year by the General Customs Office, Mongolia imported 99 motor vehicles from the U.S., 102 from Germany, 379 from Russia, 73 from UK, 18 from China, 3 from Sweden, 2,660 from South Korea, and 7,628 motor vehicles were imported from Japan.

Imported cars are subject to customs tax and excise tax. The government imposes excise tax on imported cars depending on their cylinder capacity and year of production.

Capacity of cyllinder of engine /cc/ Excise tax (in USD)
Year of production /by year/
0-3 years 4-9 years More than 10 years
Less than 1,500 500 1000 2000
1,501-2,500 1500 2000 3000
More than 2,500 2000 2500 4000

Source: Excise Tax Law
Although the world’s big companies, Toyota, Hyundai, Nissan, Suzuki, Ford, Mercedes Benz, and BMW, have authorized sales agents in Mongolia, people still prefer driving cheaper and used cars.

“Many Japanese used car exporter companies expressed their interests in cooperating on sales in the Mongolian market, which is rapidly growing,” said a businessman of an auto trading company.
“But our government lacks attention and checks on the imported cars whether they are stolen cars. The government only cares about collecting taxes. We [importers] don’t declare the price of vehicles truly because the customs tax is high.”

Japan exports used vehicles to over 180 countries; the largest markets are Russia and New Zealand, according to Japan Used Motor Vehicle Exporters Association. “In the future, further increases of Japanese used export are expected, especially to developing countries,” noted Hiroshi Sata, chairman of the association.

“We sell used Toyota Mark II for US$5,000, Land Cruiser US$25,000, Mitsubishi Pajero for US$9,000, and Toyota Raum for US$4,500. Buyers like Japanese ones because of safety, but the spare parts are more expensive than Korean ones,” said a retailer of Dako Auto, one of the largest auto vehicle importing companies in Mongolia.

In an effort to promote automobile manufacturing in the country, the government committed to not charge any excise tax on exporting cars, which were manufactured in Mongolia, by the Excise Tax Law of Mongolia.
Up till today, this sector is still vacant, awaiting potential investors.
“We have no record of this type of proposal submission. If someone foreign investor proposes, we will support it,” said an officer of the Mongolian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Source: All tax information and prices here should be checked for any updates.

June 25, 2008 at 11:41 am Leave a comment

Exporting Used Cars to Mongolia

Information on exporting and importing Japanese used vehicles into Mongolia is very hard to come by, especially in English. This is difficult for importers and exporters alike as the try to find ways to bring trade to this rising star. Just last year in 2007, Mongolia was place as the 11th top importing country of Japanese used passenger vehicles.

The ever need of vehicles growing in Mongolia will be dramatically rising as the baby boom generation are starting become adults. In fact, according to US International Census data, the largest 5-year span group in Mongolia is 15-19 at about 300 thousands boys and girls.

Soon, these teenagers and young adults will be looking for affordable cars. For them, it is a choice between used Chinese, Korean, or Japanese cars. Currently, the market is very open and growing rapidly and is good time for Japanese used vehicle exporters to enter the market.

June 25, 2008 at 11:35 am Leave a comment


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Information contained in this web site are partly derived from a CD-ROM "Guide to Investment and Trade-Mongolia", produced by Foreign Investment and Foreign Trade Agency (FIFTA). All trademarks are properties of their own respective owners.